Massey-Sexton Dyslexia Advocacy Award 2018

It was such an honor to receive TNIDA’s Massey-Sexton Dyslexia Advocacy Award for 2018. So often, advocating for your child with dyslexia is an lonely endeavor. You feel isolated like you are the only one out there who understands and who is fighting to make things better. You feel like you are the only one who sees the difference between how things should be for students with dyslexia and how things actually are.Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 1.07.00 PM

But being in the room at the TNIDA RISE Conference made me feel the power that we each are not alone. We are all doing this together – educating, advocating, pushing to make people around us understand dyslexia. It does not matter if you are doing this just for your child, or just for your school. If you are advocating in an IEP meeting, in teacher conferences, or in a professional development sessions.  It matters that we are all doing it together…making real change for the 1 in 5 of us to have dyslexia who are ready to be seen and understood in school.

I am thankful for my family, especially my daughter Clara whose dyslexia journey has been my inspiration. I am thankful for all the dyslexia mamas out there who have shared their stories, their frustration and their pain with me and given me the fuel to keep going when I felt tired and hopeless.  I am thankful for all the educators and policy makers out there who get it and have shown me that what we are doing is working – even if it is slowly. I am thankful for all the advocates out there who have mentored me and stood beside me. I am thankful forTNIDA and Decoding Dyslexia for being the change agents in Tennessee and keeping educators and policy makers focused. 

We have all made such progress, but there is still a long way to go in Tennessee.  My challenge to each of you reading this is to keep going today. This work matters. Again, it is an honor to advocate amongst such wonderful company.


Published by

Anna Thorsen

I am a parent, attorney and advocate. I and my middle school daughter both have dyslexia. During the 2015 legislative session I was a tireless advocate to help pass the much needed Dyslexia Legislation in Tennessee and am proud to participate in the 2016 Bill Signing. I now serve on the Decoding Dyslexia TN Leadership Team and serves on the TN Department of Education’s Dyslexia Advisory Council. I have been a presenter for the past two years at the Tennessee Association for Assistive Technology annual conferences. I also does frequent speaking engagements around Middle Tennessee on the topic of dyslexia. My family's dyslexia story has been featured in several articles, including Mindshift's October 15, 2015 article "Why Recognizing Dyslexia at School Can be Difficult."

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