Home Five Faces of Dyslexia at Friends Academy

Five Faces of Dyslexia at Friends Academy

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of the struggles and successes of students who learn differently. At Friends Academy, we are proud to support students with language-based learning differences including dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia through the Sally Borden Program.

Dyslexia is the most common of all learning differences; some estimate it may affect up to 20% of children. Although dyslexia makes it hard to learn to read accurately and fluently, people with dyslexia also have a variety of strengths, including problem solving, big-picture thinking, creativity, and high levels of empathy. The Sally Borden Program reflects Friends Academy’s deeply rooted belief in the need to appropriately support each child to succeed in school.

To amplify the voices of students with dyslexia, let’s meet five of our SBP students to hear what they have to say about what it’s like to have a language-based learning difference.

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    Cam, Grade 4

    About the experience of having dyslexia: “In writing class at my old school, some other kids had maybe two, three, four words spelled wrong. Almost all my words would be wrong. I missed a lot of classes and experiences because I would have to go to a specialist to fix my spelling.”
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    Cam, Grade 4

    About the Sally Borden Program: “If I wonder how to spell a word, I just ask – I couldn’t do that before. It puts less stress on me. I get more time to have fun after school instead of trying to catch up on my work.”
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    Cat, Grade 8

    About the experience of having dyslexia: “My old school tried their best to help me, but they always went super duper quick and they didn’t have the right experience. I remember one time we were doing around the world multiplication and everyone was saying ‘go faster’ but I couldn’t. I thought I was really dumb.”
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    Cat, Grade 8

    About the Sally Borden Program: “I felt like I was already in the family the second I came. We all understand each other. I never felt confident in myself before, but I gained my confidence here because people told me I can do it.”
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    Jake, Grade 8

    About the experience of having dyslexia: “When other kids started learning to read chapter books, I couldn’t. I have to focus so much on reading the words that I don’t get much out of the story. I find that I’m better in math, and I have good spatial recognition.”
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    Jake, Grade 8

    About the Sally Borden Program: “After just a few months, I could see a lot of progress in my reading and writing. It was easier to make friends. It pushes me to work harder and never give up.”
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    Tess, Class of 2023

    About the experience of having dyslexia: “Before I came here, my experience in school was alone. I was the only one who was always being pulled out of class for extra help. In library, I would pick hard books because my friends were starting bigger chapter books, but they would sit in my bag.”
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    Tess, Class of 2023

    About the Sally Borden Program: “It opened my eyes; before, I thought it was only me. Seeing a big community and the progress that is made has helped me. I’ve opened up here. I’m able to build connections with everyone because the classes are small.”
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    Lily, Class of 2023

    About the experience of having dyslexia: “I was never reading at grade level. I was always told I needed to catch up, that I wasn’t paying attention, and that it was my fault. I’ve grown to love the fact that I have dyslexia – it’s very challenging, but it makes me different.”
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    Lily, Class of 2023

    About the Sally Borden Program: “I am in a room with kids who completely understand. We help each other out in class. It made me understand that it’s not something wrong with me. It’s nice knowing that you’re not alone on this journey.”
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