Dyslexia: Help in Hood County

I arranged to meet with Karen Haggard, M.Ed this week after an interesting conversation at a Granbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Karen is a Dyslexia Consultant who strives to put literacy within reach for all. Dyslexia, a lifelong condition that affects reading, writing, spelling and even speaking can be an extremely debilitating disability.This  condition did not receive a great deal of attention until recently.

Dyslexia runs in families and affects up to 20% of the population.If you are dyslexic, the risk of passing the condition on to your children is high.This common condition affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language.Many are unable to complete a job application, pay bills, or help their children with homework despite a high intelligence level.

Karen has 20 years experience teaching in a variety of classroom settings including special education. She obtained her Barton Program Certification in 2016 which is based on the Orton-Gillingham method to teach individuals with dyslexia.The Orton-Gillingham approach is a multi-sensory, highly structured, sequential and explicitly taught system, best used in a one-on-one or very small group setting. Karen is also certified by the Texas Education Agency in Special Education and by the Association of Christian Schools International as a Reading Specialist.

The need for a literacy consultant in Granbury, Texas is obvious. Karen outgrew her home office and recently moved into a large suite where she plans to hire three additional teachers in the near future.Dyslexia is generally diagnosed in third grade because that is the year students no longer are learning how to read; rather at that point they are reading to learn. She is passionate about helping students reach their full potential and proud to be able to profoundly impact the lives of so many.

The Hood County Adult Literacy Program, founded and directed by Karen, grew out of her consulting business. Children who do not receive appropriate help while in school frequently become illiterate adults. Schools were not well equipped to deal with learning issues years ago, and these children become parents who may pass dyslexia on to their kids. Karen felt compelled to establish a volunteer based program to help older members of the community who did not receive help as children.She currently has 10 volunteers from the community trained within the Barton program who provide adult services for free.

None of us can change the world – but Karen is a wonderful example of how we can greatly impact our small piece of it. Hood County is fortunate that Karen works and lives in the community and gives so much of herself to help others. Everyone who wants to learn to read should have the opportunity to do so, and Karen turned her passion into a reality for those fortunate enough to work with her.

Find out more about Karen Haggard and Literacy Consulting Specialties.


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