Hands-on event demonstrates what it's like to be dyslexic

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) An event in Wichita leaves participants frustrated, yet aware of the challenges children with dyslexia face in the classroom.

"A Walk in Their Shoes" is organized by the Fundamental Learning Center and it is aimed at teaching parents and educators what it is like to be learning-different, particularly in the areas of language processing.

"It enables us to know what they're experiencing," says Tammi Hope, a certified language therapist at the Fundamental Learning Center. "It's very hard to go through the simulation and not feel like you're a student in the classroom and you genuinely have to experience it."

Hope says children with dyslexia are often anxious and frustrated in the classroom. They see their peers succeeding at tasks they know they struggle with.

She says students deflect these feelings of anxiety by avoiding reading and writing sessions.

"We have many students in the classroom who may be exhibiting these negative behaviors and their behaviors are being addressed, but the source of those behaviors--their academic weaknesses--are not," explains Hope.

She says dyslexia is widely unrecognized in Kansas and she wants that to change.

Participants at "A Walk in Their Shoes" will go through six to eight activities aimed at simulating reading and writing challenges similar to how a dyslexic person may experience them. Thoe activities include processing of sound, writing, reading, spelling, and the things that interfere with the child's ability to do that.

"[Participants] always walk away with an acute awareness of what those kids are experiencing," says Hope.

The cost of the event is $10. It starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Fundamental Learning Center. More information and ticket registration can be found here.