Charmaine Cardin hopes for the community’s support to raise awareness during Dyslexia Awareness month. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Proper support lacking for those with dyslexia, says Cowichan mom

October is International Dyslexia Awareness month

“Every time I hand this to somebody, I’m assuming you can read,” Charmaine Cardin said as she handed over a package of material. “Isn’t that interesting? I think we all just assume that because we think reading is just as natural as speaking and it’s not. It’s proven that it’s a taught thing, a learned thing.”

Dyslexia Awareness crusader Charmaine Cardin stopped by the Citizen recently to drop off some documents related to International Dyslexia Awareness Month.

Cardin, an early childhood educator by trade, has only learned all about the dyslexia over the last two years as her family has come to learn one of her daughters struggles with it.

“They don’t call it ‘dyslexia’ at school. They call it ‘specialized learning disability’. That’s the biggest problem to start with,” Cardin said.

“We have to all get on the same page. It is what it is what it is. It’s like if you went to the doctor with a thyroid problem and I went to the doctor with diabetes and someone else goes for hypoglycemia and the doctor just gives us all the same medicine because ‘that’s an internal thing.’ It’s too vague.”

Cardin said everywhere she goes, she finds others in similar circumstances.

“A big part of it is the shame,” she said. “Students with dyslexia are in the same position as a person who is wheelchair bound but welcomed and expected to show up in a government building every week day where no ramp exists, then told, once inside, ‘OK, now walk. You can do it’.”

Cardin said her youngest daughter took no interest in writing as a preschooler and letters continued to be a problem as she entered Kindergarten. She repeated her first school year.

“By the spring of Grade 1 the teacher catches on to this as well and puts her name in for testing. That doesn’t happen until the end of Grade 2,” Cardin said. “We found out that she is indeed dyslexic.”

SEE RELATED: ‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Teachers are not catching kids soon enough, Cardin noted, and then when they do, the help isn’t the right kind.

“It’s not about money. They’re already paying people to do something that doesn’t work,” she said. “There are supports in place in that there is pull out help for children that need extra help but what they’re doing is just more of the same of what they’re doing in the class so when you’re dealing with a dyslexic brain, you’re dealing with a child that doesn’t learn that way, period. Why don’t we pull out and just do more of the same? Because that’s not the definition of insanity right?” she added. “They can claim that they’re supporting but they’re just doing the same thing and there’s science based accommodations that have been proven. They’re not looking at the science and matching it to the need.”

This can be fixed with awareness, Cardin said.

To that end, Cardin hopes that all month, but particularly during the week of Oct. 20, and Oct. 21 specifically, the residents, merchants, the City of Duncan and others will join the Cowichan Community Centre, the public library, Service B.C., the Board of Education, the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, Margaret Moss health unit, DCS, the B.C. Forest Museum, Walmart, Superstore, VIU, Volume One, Staples, The Source, Best Buy and many more in lighting up and/or wearing red to raise awareness.

“This is not a fundraiser, it’s not even about money,” she added. “It’s about awareness. Hopefully with support and love and understanding — with people being aware that it’s OK to know your brain is different, because you haven’t been told that before — it might help lift the level of shame off.”

Merchants and supporters can show their support by wearing red, handing out silver ribbons or by decorating a bulletin board or doorway in red. Teachers and students can show their support by wearing red on Oct. 21. To learn more please visit www.dyslexiacanada.org/mark-it-read.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Healthy, happy pigs come from Muddy Feet in Sahtlam

Happy Berkshires and heritage Tamworth pigs enjoy a pleasant environment at Muddy Feet Farm

Cyclist hit and seriously injured on TCH in Duncan Friday

Initial findings are that the cyclist rode across four lanes of traffic on the TCH

UPDATE: Daughter calls for animal safety measures after fatal accident on Cowichan’s Hwy. 18

“Safety studies and improvements to Highway 18 are vitally important”

1 dead, 2 seriously injured in crash with elk on Hwy. 18 in Cowichan

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to the scene at about 8 p.m. Tuesday night

Caps dig deep for weekend road sweep

Cowichan team battles injuries and tough schedule to win three in three days

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan remembers the fallen with impressive cenotaph ceremony

Remembrance Day attracts a big crowd of Cowichan Lake folks

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

No turn signals, double-parking among top concerns for B.C. drivers: poll

Two-thirds of B.C. drivers said that not using turn signals was their biggest pet peeve

Man accused in fatal Shuswap church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

‘Our culture is not a religion,’ Indigenous educator tells B.C. Supreme Court in case of smudging at school

Mother also gave evidence Tuesday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Wednesday

Most Read