by Jill Callison -
Ten-year-old Benton Meier can build almost anything, from a cart to transport the family’s snowmobile to a loft for his bedroom.
He says recess is his favorite part of the school day but also admits to a liking for science.
If the weather would cooperate, the Brandon Valley Elementary School fourth-grader would be out dirt biking after school or working on his fort, an abandoned party shack.
Benton also has a golf-ball business to keep him busy, retrieving wayward balls that left the nearby Brandon Municipal Golf Course and cleaning them for resale. He’ll have to abandon it several times this summer, once to attend an inventors’ camp.
He also finds time to do something that used to be a struggle: read books. Benton has boosted his reading level two grades this school year.
And he’s done it despite common misunderstandings about dyslexia, the language disorder Benton was diagnosed with last year.
“I was learning at a second-grade level, and now I’ve popped up to fourth,” Benton says proudly.
Most people view dyslexics as someone who mixes up words, for example, seeing god instead of dog, Benton’s mother, Heidi Meier says.
It’s more than that, however, and an event this Friday may help educate people on dyslexia.
“It’s not a disability,” says Sue Hegland, a Brandon Valley school board member and a board member for the International Dyslexia Association’s Upper Midwest Branch.
“It’s a different way of processing information, particularly the sounds in our language. That difference in processing makes it really difficult to learn written language but also brings with it these enormous gifts and talents.”
People with dyslexia have keen problem-solving skills and come up with creative solutions, Hegland says.
One in five children have dyslexia to some degree. People who see that may question the figure, not believing that one in five children can’t read. But what that means if that one in five children have problems with the written language, beginning with reading, then writing and spelling.
Read more at Callison: Dyslexia doesn’t equate to disability.
[Via The Argus Leader]