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Utahns with dyslexia rally for support of enhanced teacher training

Published: Sunday, June 29 2014 10:33 a.m. MDT

The local organization aims to garner more support for kids and adults with dyslexia, who struggle to learn to read. Hopes are that as awareness of the disorder grows, so will available resources, as Alvord said his boys basically had to start over after moving a few years ago to Utah from Virginia, where the school system worked with them often.

He said his sons' disorder is often exploited by peers and teachers who don't understand dyslexia very well, which "also needs to change."

"It's hard to find a tutor who is trained to teach the way these kids learn," said Maja Wells, of Sandy. While she navigated the educational difficulties of her first dyslexic son along, she estimates she has spent more than $20,000 on tutoring for the three of her four children who are dyslexic in the last seven years.

"They can be taught," she said, adding that she believes non-dyslexic kids could learn to read better and faster using phonemic methods used to teach dyslexic children.

"Them knowing at a younger age gives them more strength and understanding," Alvord said. He and his wife, Randa Alvord, president of Decoding Dyslexia Utah, have another daughter who is not dyslexic and he said she is close to surpassing her brothers in reading ability.

But the boys don't let it bother them too much.

"I think it rocks," said Damon Alvord, 9. "You can't read as good, but you know more math and can do more stuff in other subjects."

Email: wleonard@deseretnews.com, Twitter: wendyleonards

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