Guest Post: Journalism Professor Emeritus Colleen Callahan

This blog post is contributed by Journalism Professor Emeritus of University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Colleen Callahan.

As a journalism professor for 23 years, I found it heartbreaking to encounter students who were passionate about reporting, had high ethical standards and natural story-telling instincts, yet struggled with reading and writing.

I remember one student in particular. While discussing his poor grades in my office, he admitted he “disliked” reading. Disliked reading? No wonder he didn’t write well. “The more you read, the better you write” was my classroom mantra. I didn’t realize way back then that he may have been struggling with dyslexia. Wanting him to persevere, I suggested he go to the Writing Center, open to all students on campus and tutored by English majors. The sad thing is that there was no Reading Center and he eventually dropped out. His “road to success” had been riddled with bumps and obstacles; he didn’t see any alternative but to abandon his dream.

How many other college students have been, are, and will be cheated out of their future to do what they love because of undiagnosed reading and writing difficulties? Although college is not too late to unlock dyslexia, the earlier a child receives attention, the better.

I wish my student had the opportunity to learn at the Nashville Dyslexia Center.

Erin Paske, my nephew’s wife, has exceptional educational credentials and experience to smooth the path of learning for students who “dislike” reading. I’m impressed with her continual quest to stay abreast on research and tutoring methods for dyslexia. I see the sparkle in her eyes when she describes the latest breakthrough in a student’s progress or discovers a new, evidence-based approach. I highly recommend NDC, not only because it guides children toward success, but perhaps more importantly, it inspires hope in them to realize their dreams.