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Northampton parents group hosts film screening about dyslexia

By some estimates, as many as one in 10 people has dyslexia. But many parents still lack information about how to help children with the learning disability that affects reading and language skills.

To help fill that gap, the Northampton Special Education Parent Advisory Council is hosting a free screening of “The Big Picture,” a film exploring dyslexia, March 19 at 7 p.m. at Northampton High School.

The film, acclaimed at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and recently broadcast on HBO, shows that dyslexia is “a neurological issue, not a character flaw,” in the words of director James Redford, whose son Dylan is dyslexic.

“Dylan is intelligent, thoughtful and intellectually curious — a big-picture thinker. But at the age of 10, he was barely able to read and write,” Redford said in a statement on the film’s website, www.thebigpicturemovie.com.

“Now that he is grown and thriving, there are many things that I wish I had known about dyslexia at that time,” Redford said, “things that would have helped me understand that his struggle in lower and middle school was not the final verdict on his academic or intellectual ability or ambition.”

The city’s SpedPAC is hosting the screening to draw attention to the subject and prevent other parents from feeling such regret.

For details, call group members Martha Jenkins at 586-5113 or Valle Dwight at 584-4165.

e_SEmD BARBARA SOLOW

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