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Do you have a smart and creative child that has trouble reading, writing and/or spelling? Do you know what dyslexia is? Is there a Decoding Dyslexia Movement in your state?

The Decoding Dyslexia Movement started with a group of parents from New Jersey who came together and started sharing their stories of the way dyslexia was handled in their schools. So, what does a mother in West Virginia have in common with a mother in New Jersey, California, Minnesota or Florida? Our children.

Let me just clarify it’s not just mothers who are involved in Decoding Dyslexia; it’s parents, grandparents, teachers and families. When your child struggles in a school system that doesn’t understand their dyslexia, the whole family is affected. Thirty four states have now joined New Jersey in their quest to raise awareness; each state organizes their own grassroots movement and draws strength and knowledge from what other states have found successful.

While each chapter works separately in their own state, our goals are similar. We are advocating for a universal definition of dyslexia, early screening tests for dyslexia, teacher training on dyslexia, the warning signs and remediation programs that work specifically for children with dyslexia. Another matter that is so important to students with dyslexia is access to “assistive technologies.” Audio books are a very important tool for a child that is reading well below grade level. Decoding Dyslexia does not endorse any specific programs or organizations but encourages parents to share their experiences, investigate and make their own decisions.

We are a parent-led grassroots movement and we learn as we go. Our aim is to raise awareness and empower families with information to support their children. Decoding Dyslexia would like to reach all 50 states while continuing to work at the grassroots level. We come from varying backgrounds; some are more versed than others in the political system but we email, call and meet with our state legislators asking them to support legislation aimed at bringing a definition of dyslexia, early screening and teacher training into schools. Some states like New Jersey have been successful in passing dyslexia legislation and other states are just starting the journey to pass dyslexia bills into law. We meet with our United States Congressional Representatives and ask them to join The U.S. Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus which was formed to raise awareness of dyslexia. We also go into schools to help spread awareness during open houses or donate books on learning differences to school libraries.

Is there a Decoding Dyslexia in your state? There is now a website that makes it easy to find out. If you don’t see your state listed, there is a link that will take you to a “how to” guide on starting your own parent-let grassroots movement in your state and a link to contact Decoding Dyslexia.


I am Penny Wagner-Auchmuty and I’m proud to be the mother of two beautiful children.  They are both smart and creative; one also happens to be dyslexic.  I believe there needs to be more understanding of children with dyslexia.  My husband, Neil and I Co-Founded Decoding Dyslexia – West Virginia. We have also Co-Founded Decoding Dyslexia – North Carolina and are ready to start working with parents in North Carolina. I can be reached at: