Meet Meriah Houser
, a Learning Ally Parent Support Specialist, mom to two dyslexic sons, and former teacher. Like many other parents, she knew little about dyslexia when her children were diagnosed, so she made it her personal mission to learn everything she could about the learning disability and become a dyslexia advocate.
In addition to reading extensively about the subject, Meriah completed training in reading programs such as Barton, Wilson, and Orton-Gillingham, all three of which are highly regarded interventions for dyslexia.
Knowing firsthand how challenging navigating a learning disability can be for a parent, Meriah decided she wanted to share her knowledge with other families. “Through my own studies and helping my own children, I realized how I can teach other parents to advocate for themselves. Everyone’s experience is not the same, but I can tell them what worked for me and help them come up with action items to take the next steps.”
Meriah began attending and advocating at IEP meetings with families, providing counseling, and tutoring dyslexic students. She also formed a partnership with a developmental pediatrician-- he would handle diagnosing dyslexia in children with reading problems, then Meriah would help the families find the right accommodations. "People don't always feel comfortable talking to a doctor about what they need," she says, "but I could relate to what they were going through and what they were looking for. Sometimes you just need to talk to another parent."
As a Parent Support Specialist, Meriah's goal is to provide families with advice on how to meet their child's particular needs. "There's so much misinformation out there, and the lack of awareness around dyslexia is a big problem," she says. "I want to give parents information they can go out and apply."
Meriah and other Parent Support Specialists are available to offer guidance to any Learning Ally member. For a limited time, free consultations are also open to non-members, based on availability.
To schedule a 30-minute phone consultation with Meriah or one of Learning Ally’s other Parent Support Specialists, visit www.LearningAlly.org/Parentconsult or call 800-635-1403.