Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Dislecksia--The Movie" educates kids about learning differences

From WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Md.:

BEL AIR, Md. -― October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. One filmmaker set his sights on Maryland schools that could use his movie to teach people that learning disabilities are only learning differences.

"Science proves that we have to get on these kids as soon as we see a problem," Harvey Hubbell V said.

Hubbell spent years documenting dyslexia, and his film "Dislecksia--The Movie" will soon hit theaters. But he's not just the creative force behind the movie.

It's also about his lifelong struggle with dyslexia, a learning disability that makes it hard to read or do math.

"Forgive them for they know not what they did. They didn't have the information out there," Hubbell said. Now, it is a crime."

This week, Hubbell toured several Maryland schools that specialize in learning disabilities. One of them is The Highlands School in Harford County. Teachers there call learning disabilities, learning differences.

"Why can't this kind of education be everywhere? Why is there so few schools? We're here in Maryland, and it's Dyslexia Awareness Month," Hubbell said. "For me, every month is Dyslexia Awareness Month."

It is for Harry Heaps too. He's a fifth-grader at The Highlands School. He hopes Hubbell's movie sends a message that students can become straight-A students with dyslexia.

"Every time that I do better and better on a word,on books, I feel so much better with myself," Heaps said. "I'm confident."

About 35 million Americans have dyslexia, and 40 percent of the students at The Highlands School do too. Hubbell says the best way to help them cope with that learning difference is to catch it early.

"We're losing so many people that do not need to be warehoused in a prison system for the crime of not ever being able to learn how to read because they process differently," Hubbell said.

Hubbell will also speak to parents, teachers and school leaders about his movie Oct. 13 at Loyola University. His movie is set to hit theaters in January.