Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT Piehl Lecture to Explore New Scientific Frontiers in Dyslexia


CANYON, Texas — A neuropsychologist who hopes to dispel myths about dyslexia is the guest speaker at the 11th annual Helen Piehl Distinguished Lecture for West Texas A&M University’s Center for Learning Disabilities.

Dr. Jack M. Fletcher, a research professor in the University of Houston’s Department of Psychology, will speak at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 5 in Legacy Hall in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on WT’s Canyon campus.

The event will be simulcast as a webinar.

Register at; fee is $10 or $25 with continuing-education credit. Registration is free for WT students.

“There are both a lot of misunderstandings about dyslexia and a lot of excitement over the scientific advances that have occurred over the last 20 years,” Fletcher said.

He said he’ll offer a “plain-language summary about what we know about dyslexia in terms of diagnosis and treatment.”

He’ll also address strategies to prevent reading problems associated with dyslexia.

“The unique thing I’m going to do is to help people understand how the brain functions in people with dyslexia,” Fletcher said. “People think it’s something you’re born with, something that’s hard wired, but in reality, the brain is very malleable. Audiences will get a different view of what is a much more dynamic problem as opposed to a static problem you can’t do anything about.”

The Center is honored to host Dr. Fletcher, said Dr. Michelle Simmons, CLD director and WT’s Lanna Hatton Professor of Learning Disabilities.

“Learning to read is a gift but can be a difficult process, impacted by children’s access to quality instruction, varied life experiences and the ability to process language,” Simmons said. “We are excited that Dr. Fletcher will be on hand to discuss the reading brain and help participants understand the science of dyslexia.”

WT’s commitment to serving students is central to the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.

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