By Guest Blogger Carrie Malloy, Director of Triad Academy at Summit School

A child comes home from school each day frustrated that he can’t keep up in the classroom. He’s often not able to participate in class and at home, he bursts into tears during homework time. He is becoming socially withdrawn from his peers and his self-esteem is deteriorating. These may be signs that your child is struggling with a language-based learning disability like dyslexia. Three-quarters of students who read poorly in third grade will be poor readers in high school. It’s important to pay attention to these queues and act upon them right away.

Early Signs of Dyslexia Include:

  • Slightly delayed speech
  • Challenges with articulation
  • Difficulty recognizing words that rhyme
  • Family history

Early markers of reading difficulties can be identified as young as four years of age. If intervention does not take place by the time a child is in the third grade, the chance of closing the gap between potential and performance is less than 20%. At Triad Academy at Summit School, a division of Summit School that works with children with dyslexia, I see this statistic play out each year.  Many of our young students come to us, essentially as non-readers and make exponential and multi-year gains in reading and written language, often in a few short months’ time.

Our students close the gap via the Orton-Gillingham (O-G) approach to learning, the gold standard for teaching children with dyslexia. All teachers at Triad Academy at Summit School are trained in O-G. It is a multi-sensory approach, incorporating visual, tactile and auditory drills, to remediate dyslexia.

Our students receive intensive, comprehensive and coordinated instruction throughout their academic day in language arts, science, social studies, and math. Additionally, they participate in a daily class called language tutorial, in which students are taught the sounds, symbols, and structure of the English language in a gradual, logical, and orderly progression. Reading and spelling skills are mastered simultaneously and cumulatively as students are taught to decode (take words apart for reading) and encode (put words together for spelling) rather than guess. Fluency drills and opportunities to practice oral reading throughout the day facilitate comprehension and automatic recognition.

As both a parent and a teacher, I know how important it is to find the right educational environment for your child, where he or she can be successful academically and emotionally. If you believe that your child may have a language-based learning disability, I invite you to learn more about dyslexia. Our website has an abundance of information and helpful resources:

Triad Academy is one of two schools in North Carolina and one of fourteen in the United States, that is accredited as both a training and instructional center by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.

Other Resources:

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity is a wonderful resource for parents and educators.

To better understand how a dyslexic brain processes speech and written language, watch

In conjunction with dyslexia awareness month, on October 29 from 11:45 am to 1:15 pm on the third floor of the library, Triad Academy at Summit School will offer Orton-Gillingham 101, a course designed to help parents and educators better understand how and why this multi-sensory approach to teaching is the gold standard for educating children with dyslexia. To RSVP, email Jennifer Caldwell at  For information about Triad Academy, call or email Karen Pranikoff at or 336-722-2777, ext 1508.

*Sponsored by Summit School