Huntsville is on the cutting edge of treating and schooling children with dyslexia. The learning disability often goes untreated, leaving many to struggle in school and throughout their lives. Huntsville’s Greengate School is trying to fix the problem one student at a time. FOX 54’s Rebecca Shlien has more.
Reading wasn’t always easy for Greengate Student Michael Tichow. “He was struggling to catch onto the sounds and symbols, the relationships between letters and their sounds, and reading was difficult,” says his mom Cathy Tichow. But Michael’s confidence is growing, thanks to Greengate School. “It makes me feel good because now that I can break down the words that I used to not be able to know,” says Michael.
Marcia Ramsey founded the school after her own son was diagnosed with dyslexia. “I started with other children, and one of the dads said, ‘You’re traveling all over the city, it would be more efficient to have them come to you. You could serve more children.’ So he gave me the seed money to start the school,” says Ramsey.
Through its small class sizes, the school is able to provide more individualized attention, helping kids advance faster than they would with just a tutor. “They give you more attention,” says Michael.
Ramsey says up to 20% of children have dyslexia, but many cases go undiagnosed. “Kids can cover it up, especially since most are fairly bright,” says Ramsey.
And diagnosis is essential to ensure a child’s future success. “They don’t have the confidence to pursue the kinds of things they could do if they had a better grounding in school,” says Ramsey.
Michael says he wants to be a veterinarian, and thanks to Greengate, he’s one step closer. “It’s a state-of-the-art school, and I would like everybody in Huntsville to know that it’s here, and it’s really something to be proud of,” says Tichow.