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Lowcountry seventh grader overcomes dyslexia

Jacob Garris

A Lowcountry seventh grader has had anything but an easy time in school. He thought he wasn't as smart as the other kids in his class—but that wasn't the case.

"I felt kind of like I was stupid and not as smart as the other people who could read in my grade," said Jacob Garris. "They would jump to conclusions that I'm not a good student."

In fourth grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. He says before his diagnosis, some of his teachers thought he wasn't trying.

Now, three years later, Garris is thriving as a seventh grader at Moultrie Middle School.

Reading still takes work, but with the right set of tools, he is able to keep up with other kids in class.

"I feel like I'm learning a lot more than I used to," he said.

"Every day I would miss a good amount of the words I was reading," said Garris. "Now I can overcome the words because I know how to read."

Garris, his mom Jennie and about 30 other members of the grassroots group "Decoding Dyslexia" will be in Columbia today for "Dyslexia day."

Members are advocating for the bill that would screen children for dyslexia in kindergarten through second grade.

"It makes me feel safe to know that someone is trying to help me," Gurris said.

And he knows his mom will always have his back.

"She's trying to help me through a lot of things I have and she's trying to push for things that will help other kids with dyslexia," said Garris.

The bill passed in the house already and now it's in the senate.

Members will also be speaking with senators about the bill. The Decoding Dyslexia group will also be recognized by the state today.

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