For this episode of the TiLT Parenting Podcast, I talk with advocate and author Micki Boas about dyslexia and the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m excited to be bringing Micki on the podcast because not only is she incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the state of dyslexia services in our education systems, but she’s also one of those parents who created what she needed in the world so other families could benefit. Following her youngest son’s diagnosis with dyslexia, and the resulting four-year legal battle to get him the educational support he needed, Micki quit her day job as a marketing consultant to focus on dyslexia advocacy full time. The result is her new book called One in Five: How We’re Fighting for Our Dyslexic Kids in a System That’s Failing Them, referring to the statistic that one in five children have dyslexia, and yet so many are lost in a dysfunctional and underfunded system. Micki is also the founder of Invisible Red Tape, an online advising and crowdsourcing platform for parents to find practical, helpful solutions for fighting the inequalities in education for children with dyslexia.
I know many families are dealing with these challenges, made even more complicated by remote schooling during the pandemic. And I’ve heard from many parents who are just now suspecting their child might have dyslexia, while sitting next to them doing school at home, and who are wondering what to do next. What I love about this conversation is that Micki brings so much insight, data, hard-won experience, and most of all, hope to parents who find themselves in this situation, and she strongly believes in the power of parents (and teachers) to help turn the system around and to push for better services for our kids.
About Micki: Micki Boas is a marketing consultant and entrepreneur who has worked with a range of iconic brands, including Nike, Samsung, the ACLU, the United Nations, and Fusion to find bold, provocative solutions for broken systems. When Boas’ older son was diagnosed with dyslexia, it took her four years of legal battles that drained her savings, battered her self-esteem, and pulled her family apart to find an education that fit his needs. As a result, she created Invisible Red Tape, a thought leadership forum and online advising platform designed to expose the inequalities in education for children with dyslexia and crowdsource an insider’s guide to practical solutions.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- How and why Micki came to write her book One in Five
- The constellation of systemic issues in education that contribute to delayed diagnosis and gaps in support for dyslexia in the United States
- Why early intervention is so important and how to start conversations with a pediatrician to request early free intervention services
- How the Covid-19 pandemic is draining resources needed for virtual special education learning and what parents need to know about their rights
- Micki’s strategies and tips for how parents of dyslexic and special needs students can successfully navigate the remote school
- How One in Five is different from most books about parenting kids with learning disabilities
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