Parents of children with dyslexia (a learning disability that can make learning to read and developing related skills, like spelling, difficult) frequently have questions about how to best support them and help them thrive in school. “Dyslexia, like most disorders, is a spectrum. I have learned a lot from other parents about how dyslexia affects their child in different ways than mine,” explained Krista Regennitter, coleader of the Muscatine Area Dyslexia Support Group (MADSG).
From working with her own child, Regennitter, along with Alison Hosmer and Denise Wiseman (two other mothers of children with dyslexia) knew firsthand the challenges that come with helping children with this learning disability and the many concerns it raises. In 2019, the three put their experiences and knowledge together to form the (MADSG).
Each month, the MADSG meets on the first Friday at the Hy-Vee Market Grille. The group welcomes anyone curious about learning more to come check them out. “Anyone with an interest is welcome to join us!” stated Regennitter. “The [MADSG] is an opportunity for parents and advocates to meet, to network, offer support, and share resources. Many of us are in different stages of diagnosis and understanding, and it is nice to have people who understand to talk to.”
Aimed at assisting families throughout Muscatine County, the MADSG welcomes members from any town across the region. “We specifically called the group ‘Muscatine Area’ so that parents in surrounding communities would know they could join us.”
At MADSG meetings, people have time to tell their stories and strategies that have benefited their children. Parents can then take what they learned back home and try it out with their own kids. “Typically, we discuss interventions or accommodations that have worked, or not worked, for our kids. Sometimes, it is just an opportunity to be heard,” said Regennitter.
Overall, the MADSG hopes to bring parents helping their children with dyslexia adapt and succeed together to learn new ways to assist them and to know they do not have to deal with their challenges alone. “Dyslexia affects, on average, one in five people. It can be very scary when your child is a struggling reader and there doesn’t seem to be an explanation. Learning any diagnosis for your child is scary. I think this group offers parents a safe place to learn and share. But most importantly, it is a place you learn you are not alone,” emphasized Regennitter.
Along with monthly MADSG meetings, Hosmer, Regennitter, and Wiseman also operate a Facebook group to allow parents to connect and support each other. To find out more, they encourage you to join the Muscatine Dyslexia and Struggling Reader Support Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1799284313680764/).
With dyslexia considered one of the most common learning disabilities, many families across Muscatine County work hard every day to help their children with dyslexia do their very best in school. With the help of the MADSG, parents can come together and find even more ways to support their kids and each other.