“Dyslexia is not related to IQ” — Dyslexia center opens in Ponte Vedra Beach

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A dyslexia center is opening in Ponte Vedra Beach, with the goal of serving 50 students at a time.

The Morris Center is a medical clinic, a school, and a tutoring center all in one. It’s clear that a lot goes into treating dyslexia, and doctors say treatment is life-changing.

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At The Morris Center, seven-year-old Kage Cobb connects sounds to words.

”Dyslexia is really a difficulty in sounding out words. They’re only going to read just by memorizing, and that’s not good enough for English,” Tim Conway, PhD said.

He’s the president of The Morris Center. Dyslexic himself, the neuropsychologist has dedicated his life to treating others.

”Dyslexia is not related to IQ,” he said. “It is just a brain-based learning difficulty.”

Conway says dyslexia involves the part of the brain that processes language. The learning difficulty can also affect motor and visual skills, too.

”Many times parents will be surprised that someone’s trouble with cutting or trouble with handwriting or trouble with tying their shoes can also be related to Dyslexia,” he said.

Prevention and intervention are key. Days are busy and full at The Morris Center.

”A little bit of typing, and also some math,” Cobb said, adding, “the mazes. I’m very good at mazes.”

Cobb enjoys strengthening his visual motor-drawing skills with mazes.

Students like Cobb work one-on-one with therapists and instructors — even strengthening their language-processing abilities with occupational therapy.

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The Morris Center’s OT room includes an apparatus with several layers of spandex suspended in the air. Students slink through the layers of fabric as part of the coordination exercise.

Conway says if untreated, dyslexia can lead to anxiety and depression. Treating it goes far beyond improving a student’s performance in school.

”Make it a lot more easier. So we can get through fourth grade, third grade, fifth grade,” Cobb said about The Morris Center.

Conway says treating Dyslexia is about changing the lives of people like Cobb.

The Morris Center will have its grand opening on October 28. Families are invited to the center for an open house every Friday, for a glimpse into the center’s learning process.

The Morris Center works to help families of all financial backgrounds, offering a “sliding pay scale,” thanks to the help of nonprofits and community donors.