It’s a common misconception that dyslexia is just reading words incorrectly, but according to Dr. James Herman, Director for the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at Middle Tennessee State University, the learning disability has deeper neurological roots. Herman was on campus to speak at the McKee Learning Lunches, a new series focused on community education sponsored by the UTC McKee Chair of Excellence.“Dyslexia is not a vision problem. It’s not just reading words and letters backward,” Herman said.

Herman’s presentation was focused on debunking some of the myths surrounding dyslexia.

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It’s not the result of low motivation or lack of intelligence. Many people with dyslexia have above average language comprehension,” he said.

Learning Lunches are designed to promote discussion and engagement with the Chattanooga’s community.

“We want to model a community-learning style that will both inform and inspire. These lunches will apply an interactive learning process to give members of the Chattanooga community an opportunity to share their experiences and engage with each other,” Dr. Jim Tucker, the McKee Chair of Excellence in Learning in the UTC School of Education, said.

The participants in the lunches will come from a wide range of civic connections, age groups, and interests. The UTC Department of Education, Hamilton County Schools, and the local PBS affiliate were represented at the first luncheon.

During the lunch, participants were invited to speak in an informal panel discussion, hold smaller discussion in groups, and reflect using writing prompts.

“We hope the exchange of ideas during these lunches will be an integral part of developing a strong and prospering community,” Tucker said.

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