Dyslexia in New Hampshire

As the fledgling New Hampshire branch of Decoding Dyslexia has mentioned on its website, "Many parents in NH are being told by their local school districts that dyslexia is not a term recognized by that district and therefore they have no services for a child with dyslexia." However, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does specifically mention dyslexia as a learning disability that school districts should address. 

Here in New Hampshire, we have a branch of the International Dyslexia Association; a Children's Dyslexia Center in Nashua; and a program at Southern New Hampshire University that was launch in 2014 to provide a Master's in Education specializing in dyslexia and language-based learning disorders.

And, of course, right in Peterborough in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, we have Windy Row Learning Center, which has helped children with dyslexia and other reading challenges since 2003. 

As our executive director, Dr. Cheryl Orcutt has often said in interviews, "Why do we think all children learn the same way? Dyslexia is a spectrum." Reading challenges can manifest themselves in different ways but they have in common an inability for the child to read at the same level of peers; and a likelihood that problems will become more obvious after the 2nd or 3rd grade when children reading is an essential part of learning.

The earlier problems are caught, the earlier that children can learn techniques for overcoming their specific challenges. Unfortunately, New Hampshire does not have specific legislation for early diagnosis of dyslexia and intervention, even though as many as 1 in 20 children has some form of reading challenge. Such legislation has been passed in about 15 states to date.

As a result, many New Hampshire students are misdiagnosed every year with ADD, developmental delays and behavioral problems, when what they need is help with reading. Windy Row therefore launched a program to bring information about reading, math and writing challenges (dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia) to New Hampshire parents and educators. Please info [at] windyrow.org (contact us) for more information about this program and our one-on-one specialized tutoring.