Since Jemicy was founded in 1973, interest and research in the field of dyslexia and other related language-based learning differences has increased dramatically. Yet parents with a child struggling in school can be easily overwhelmed with information and opinions from specialists. It can be a challenge to fully understand a child’s learning style and choose appropriate interventions.

Many learning differences are inherent in brain structure, from birth. It is often hereditary and can affect the way the brain processes information. Specialized instruction can create successful learners. Jemicy’s curriculum is geared to serve some difficulties characterized as “language-based,” where individuals exhibit difficulties in one or more of the following areas even though they have the ability and have had opportunities to learn:

  • Reading
  • Written Expression  
  • Spelling
  • Organization

Interestingly, a child with dyslexia or another related language-based learning difference can have a weakness in one of the above areas yet show giftedness in another. For example, many young students who struggle to understand the relationship between a letter and its sound, and therefore have trouble learning to read, are very gifted in math.

Who Does Jemicy Serve?

Jemicy’s curriculum is designed to serve students who have strong innate comprehension skills – see “the big picture,” make inferences and think abstractly – yet who struggle with one or more of the mechanics of language. These are students who thrive on the challenge of a college-preparatory curriculum yet also need repetition, practice, and on-going intensive instruction in reading, writing, spelling, and organization.

A good educational program addresses both a child’s learning needs and his intellectual gifts; Jemicy’s ability to do this well is at the core of our success.

Some common symptoms of dyslexia/language-based learning differences

Early identification is important.  Below are some indicators that a child may have dyslexia or another related language-based learning difference:

Directional Confusion – the reason for reversing of letters, whole words or numbers, or “mirror writing”

  • uncertainty of left and right
  • unable to read a map accurately
  • conceptual trouble with up/ down, top/bottom

Sequencing Difficulties – affect ability to read and spell

  • puts  letters, syllables, words in wrong order
  • omits letters in reading or writing
  • trouble remembering the order of the alphabet, strings of numbers

Difficulties with Little Words

  • misreads little/simple words
  • omits/ twice reads little words
  • adds little words that don’t appear

Bizarre Reading and Spelling

  • guesses wildly at words whether they make sense or not
  • spells bizarrely

Late Talking – link between abnormal speech development and learning disabilities

  • not understanding simple words and commands from the age of nine months
  • not saying first words from around a year
  • not acquired vocabulary of up to 200 words, two-word phrases by two
  • not acquired a vocabulary of up to 900 words, full sentences by three
  • not fully able to talk by four
  • talks immaturely, makes unexpected grammatical errors at five years old

Difficulties with Handwriting (dysgraphia)

  • illegible writing
  • letter inconsistencies
  • mixes upper/lower case letters, print/cursive letters
  • irregular letter sizes, shapes
  • unfinished letters
  • struggles to use writing as a communicative tool

Difficulties with Math

  • problems with number/ calculations
  • confuses similar-looking mathematical signs
  • trouble with math terminology
  • reverses /transposes numbers
  • difficulty with mental math or telling time

A person with dyslexia/related language-based learning difference usually has several symptoms that persist over time and interfere with learning.


Recommended Reading

The Many Faces of Dyslexia. Rawson, Margaret, International Dyslexia Association; Updated Edition; December 1993

A Mind at a Time. Levine, Mel. Simon & Schuster; 2002

All Kinds of Minds: A Young Student’s Book About Learning Abilities and Learning Disorders. Levine, Mel. Educators Publishing Service; 1997

Many Ways to Learn: Young People’s Guide to Learning Disabilities. Stern, Judith and Ben-Ami, Uzi. Magination Press; 1996

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood. Hellowell, Edward M. and Ratey, John J. Touchstone Press; 1994

Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD Give You the Tools. Mooney, Jonathan and Cole, David. Fireside Publishing; 2000

The Myth of Laziness. Levine, Mel. Simon & Schuster; 2003

Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Overcoming Reading Problems at Any Level. Shaywitz, Sally. Alfred A. Knopf; 2003

Smart Kids with School Problems; Things to Know and Ways to Help. Vail, Priscilla. New American Library; August 1989


Related Organizations and Advocacy Groups

International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
40 York Road, 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21204
410-296-0232

Maryland Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (MBIDA)
P.O. Box 792, Brooklandville, MD 21022
410-296-0232 ext. 123

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDAA)
4156 Library Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349

National Center for Learning Disabilities
381 Park Avenue South Suite 1401, New York, NY 10016