Non-Profit Spotlight on Haley’s Hope: Understanding Dyslexia

haleys hope

As parents, we do whatever we can to help our children. But what happens when we can’t find the answers? Where do we turn when things aren’t working? 

This was the challenge faced by Kari Bucholz over 15 years ago with her son, Haley. He was having difficulty with school work, was falling behind, and the routes they tried to help him weren’t working. She needed a different answer. 

Finding Answers

Haley struggled with developmental milestones and academics from an early age. He was intelligent, but started to fall behind in school. Like any mother would, Kari sought answers and advice but was not able to pinpoint the issue. Then she remembered a past reference to Dyslexia and it was like a lightbulb turned on. After that, the more she read, the more it started to make sense.

Somer, Kevin, Kari, & Haley

Haley was formally diagnosed with Dyslexia at the age of seven and their journey began. A short time later, Kari founded Haley’s Hope to help other families in the community have a place to turn to when faced with with a Dyslexia diagnosis. She didn’t want others to feel as lost as she did in those early years with Haley. 

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurological in origin. Children with Dyslexia often have difficulties with word recognition, spelling, and decoding abilities. In addition, it can include issues with reading comprehension that can lead to setbacks with building vocabulary.

One in five children has dyslexia, and it can range from mild to severe. It is not a lack of intelligence. Far from it, really. Kids with Dyslexia can be very creative, quick thinking, and have strong reasoning abilities. 

However, Dyslexia can affect self-image and cause students to feel less capable than they actually are. A student may become discouraged by learning difficulties, feeling like they aren’t smart enough to excel in school. In addition, parents may feel anxiety about their child’s struggles with schoolwork. Dyslexia also tends to run in families, leading parents to blame themselves about passing on the learning disability to their children. 

Early identification and recognizing the signs of Dyslexia can help kids to adapt and progress in school and life. Some clues that Dyslexia might be the issue in young children include delayed speech, stuttering, constant confusion over left versus right, difficulty learning to tie shoes, and difficulty with sight words and spelling. Also, symptoms may look different in teens and adults, including a limited vocabulary, slow reading skills, poor grades, and difficulty writing.

Offering Hope & Support

Student, literacy coach, and Kari ringing the bell after completing a level.

The good news is that it’s never too late to improve the reading, spelling, and writing skills of someone with Dyslexia.

Haley’s Hope offers early intervention. Through screenings and consultations, their staff can help determine if Dyslexia is the cause of academic difficulties. After that, they can determine the course of action to help the student back on track and gain their self-confidence back. 

After a diagnosis, Haley’s Hope can educate parents on how to help their child adapt and succeed. Particularly, teaching them how to become advocates for their child at school and with other caregivers. They teach simple, free, no-training accommodations, giving kids the opportunity to learn the same curriculum as everyone else, including accommodations for homework. 

Kari with Sally Shaywitz, author of “Overcoming Dyslexia.”

In addition, one-on-one tutoring and consulting can help students master reading, writing, and spelling through a multi-sensory approach. For more information on tutoring and other services, see the Haley’s Hope website.

How You Can Help

Donations are accepted at any time, or you can be part of one of their fundraising events! Your gift is used for program building and scholarships. Your support allows our students to HOPE for a brighter future! 

Connect with Haley’s Hope!

If you are facing a Dyslexia diagnosis, please know you aren’t alone. To find out more or connect with Haley’s Hope, you can find them online at haleyshope.org or on Facebook and Instagram

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Leah is a true Midwesterner: born in Minnesota, educated at the University of North Dakota, and living in Fargo since 2009. She has a degree in English and spent years working as a paralegal. Leah is now a stay-at-home mom to two boys, Andrew and Sammy. She spends her free time reading, traveling, and getting a good workout in. She loves learning, music, art, coffee, the oxford comma, and is continually pursuing the elusive goal of having an organized home.

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