Making sense of special education: Assets School hosts dyslexia information session

KITV's Erin Coogan did a live interview on the Assets K-8 campus on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022 on Good Morning Hawaii.  KITV aired this story in their later newscasts.

Making sense of special education: Assets School hosts dyslexia information session

By Erin Coogan - KITV

It's a story educators like Dr. Elsa Lee have heard countless times before...

"When I didn't know or word or something I would just feel useless," eighth grader Emmalia Kalahiki admitted. "I would cry and stuff because I didn't know what the word was."

A student failing to reach their academic potential, due to the mainstream education system's lack of guidance and resources for those who learn differently.

"I didn't know how to read and I would get pulled out in the middle of class, just because I was dyslexic," Kalahiki continued.

"Sometimes when students have no idea why they're struggling and parents are frustrated, class teachers don't know what to do, they really need a guideline, or a blueprint to decide how to take the next step." explained Dr. Elsa Lee, clinical director of Assets school's "Transforming Lives Center." 

An estimated 1 in 10 Americans will face the challenges of the language-based learning disorder dyslexia.

A majority of those cases though-- going undiagnosed.

And it's the reason leaders at Assets School are working to bridge that gap. This week extending invitation to Hawaii students and parents to learn more about the disorder.

"We're having a talk and the title of the talk is diving deeper into learning disabilities-- dyslexia specifically." Lee explained. "So we would provide information to parents about the definition of dyslexia, interventions, and also understanding how the struggling reader would learn in a class room setting."

In providing those tools, and housing the state's first private on campus resource center, the school hopes to help more students like Emmalee feel confident in the classroom.