Lorraine Donovan is a successful Orange County, Calif., businesswoman, communicator, author and dyslexia advocate. Lorraine’s commitment to dyslexia education began the day she learned that she and her son had dyslexia. Securing a bright future for her son meant she needed to ask the right questions, find answers quickly and pursue learning solutions for him. Without understanding dyslexia herself, she could not advocate that schools use proper learning techniques with her son.
Lorraine began relentlessly consulting with professional learning disability association data (The International Dyslexia Association, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Decoding Dyslexia, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Academic Language Therapy Association, National Institute for Learning Development), researched government and academic reports, attended parental support groups, and battled for her son’s right to educational accommodations in school. Digging deeply into subject’s scope, she interviewed pediatricians, special education teachers, classroom teachers and parents of children with dyslexia, and joined with experts who work to change the education system.
Her dedication to the dyslexia community is exemplary. And after thousands of research hours and hundreds of interviews, Lorraine wrote a book on dyslexia to fill the information gap between academic analysis and parental action. Her book, “A Child’s Touchstone.” Dyslexia Guidance for ‘Less than Perfect,’ Parents, Teachers and Pediatricians,” launched at Chapman University’s Oct. 23, 2015, Dyslexia Summit.
“A Child’s Touchstone” helps parents recognize dyslexic symptoms, and navigate through the maze of people, paperwork and legalese that a dyslexia diagnosis can bring. In Lorraine’s words, “I wanted a book on dyslexia that guided parents and teachers, step-by-step, in relatable terms. I also wanted solutions that made practical sense that could be applied, on a daily basis to help dyslexic children”. Her decision to write “A Child’s Touchstone” was the right one! Thousands of parents and educators are gaining knowledge and solutions that benefit dyslexic children. Donovan says, “Helping parents and educators so that they can help dyslexic kids, is what it’s all about. I am honored to be a part of such an important cause”.
Lorraine also presents in-service professional development on dyslexia for classroom teachers, SPEDs, school psychologists, etc., utilizing “A Child’s Touchstone” as the educators’ tool resource book. And many organizations, such as The International Dyslexia Association, the National Institute of Learning Development, Decoding Dyslexia, 4th District (Orange County) PTA, and others have tapped Lorraine for speaking events.
Lorraine’s refreshing, common-sense vision has gained national attention. The Academic Language Therapy Association has approved her book for continuing education credits. JPW Learning Center’s 90-hour classroom teacher training on dyslexia now includes “A Child’s Touchstone” as a required course book, and the Slingerland Institute has added “A Child’s Touchstone” as a resource book for parents and teachers.Then in March 2018, Lorraine founded Dyslexia Voice, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation. As Founder and President of Dyslexia Voice, Lorraine wants others to know that they, too, can rise to the challenges dyslexia brings.
“Change cannot help but come through a six-prong plan to counter dyslexia’s effects:
- effectively educate parents, teachers and pediatricians on learning disabilities, including school districts and administrations on appropriate educational supports and therapies for children with dyslexia;
- providing immediate support to dyslexic students via accommodations and academic therapies and supports
- encouraging teacher credential training on dyslexia in higher education;
- reducing youth incarceration;
- educating the media and
- thoughtful legislation”.
Dyslexia Voice wants to be the voice of the voiceless, our dyslexic children. Its’ philanthropic goals include dyslexia awareness, education and support. “Our motto is “Awareness, Solutions, and Results. Please join us on our journey.
And stay tuned – there’s much more to come!