About Us


WHILE WE WORK, PLEASE CONNECT WITH US ON FACEBOOK AT https://www.facebook.com/decodingdyslexiatn/ OR JOIN OUR FACEBOOK CHAT GROUP AT https://www.facebook.com/groups/decodingdyslexiatn/.

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Welcome to Decoding Dyslexia TN! We are so glad you found us. You are not alone. We are a grassroots movement driven by Tennessee families concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia our schools. We hope that you will use this website to learn more about Dyslexia, to stay up to date on what is happening with Dyslexia in Tennessee and to connect with other families across our state to get your questions answered about how to best advocate for your child. We are here to support each other and to grow our voice to make change. Join us.


Decoding Dyslexia TN was founded on October 31st, 2013 when five strangers seeking answers about dyslexia met online and decided to start a Decoding Dyslexia chapter in Tennessee. Since that time Decoding Dyslexia has grown in Tennessee and has made great strides in advocating for Dyslexia Legislation in Tennessee and in raising awareness about Dyslexia across our great state. Our members are very proud of that work and are excited to start a new phase. Recently, we have filed to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization! Stay tuned for more coming soon!

Currently, Decoding Dyslexia TN has 7 active co-leaders:  

Julya Johnson – founding member of Decoding Dyslexia-TN, parent of two children who have dyslexia, AOGPE Associate Level Certified, and published blogger on Diary of a Deelexia Mom, The Mighty, and Grammarly. Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee

Sarah Lightner – dyslexia parent, former homeschooling parent using the Barton System. Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.

Eileen Miller – dyslexia parent, owner/founder of Ignite Dyslexia Awareness,  Orton Gillingham tutor, dyslexia screener,  advocate and member of Tennessee Dyslexia Advisory Council. Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee.

Suzanne Roberts – dyslexia parent, homeschooling parent. Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee.

Lori Smith– dyslexia parent, co-writer of Tennessee’s 2016 Say Dyslexia Law, small business owner, education advocate and community volunteer. Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee.

Melissa Tackett – founding member of Decoding Dyslexia-TN, parent of dyslexia, Tutor,  C.A.L.P. (ALTA Certified Academic Language Practitioner); former public school 3-5th grade teacher. Brentwood, Williamson County, Tennessee.

Anna Thorsen – dyslexia parent who has dyslexia herself, member of Tennessee Dyslexia Advisory Council. Children attend Metro Nashville Public Schools. Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee.

Disclaimer: Remember, we are 100% volunteer and grassroots. While some of the founders have professional separate businesses that you are welcome to reach out to for advice, Decoding Dyslexia TN, as an entity is not claiming to be a professional business. Anything you see on Decoding Dyslexia TN should not take the place of professional, individual advice. We are parents and others who care about spreading dyslexia awareness.

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