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Jacksonville’s DePaul School sees high demand for dyslexia methods

Jacksonville’s DePaul School is seeing high demand for its approach to teaching kids with dyslexia

The condition is a language-based learning disability that makes reading and spelling more difficult for millions of Americans. One of five people have dyslexia, and new research indicates it may be tied to genetic variations.

Dr. Chanley Dudley, a Jacksonville physician with a child at DePaul, said the school is expanding so rapidly that it's moving to a new location.

“We are hoping to grow the program. We currently only have space for about 98 to 100 students," Dudley said on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. "And because there's such an unmet need, we are hoping to grow and move to a new location to facilitate just the growth of the classroom sizes but maintaining a small environment for the students so that they can have that individualized one-on-one teaching in that multi-sensory way.”

Dyslexia is not due to problems with intelligence, hearing or vision. In fact, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.

Five to 15% of students are estimated to have dyslexia. So, for their parents, getting their son or daughter an education tailored to the way they learn is definitely a huge concern.

TheDePaul School of Northeast Florida has been helping students with dyslexia for 42 years.

DePaul educators specialize in using what’s known as the Orton Gillingham method to teach their students. The Orton Gillingham method teaches the connections between sounds and letters, and pioneered the multisensory approach to teaching reading.

Dudley explained how DePaul has changed the way her son Charlie learns. Charlie, she said, used to struggle in class but has seen his grades and enthusiasm skyrocket since changing schools.

"He's just so happy. And just seeing that happiness and the brightness and the excitement for education is really what any parent wants."