CELEBRATION OF HOPE - Tyler Russell

Tyler Russell has dyslexia. Before his family found Regional Rehab, it was a daunting challenge. Not anymore.

Posted: Nov 10, 2017 6:50 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE: On Sunday, we will air "Celebration of Hope," a telethon we do every year in support of Tupelo's Regional Rehab Center. It is one of the city's best known treatment centers for speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dyslexia and so much more. In this story, WTVA's Mike Russell profiles a Tupelo teen who's seeing things a whole lot differently, thanks to his Regional Rehab team.

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - In Tupelo, the Regional Rehabilitation Center has a knack for looking at different ways to treat people with special needs. Here, one young man is getting a whole new view of the world. His name is Tyler Russell.


Dyslexia...it's commonly known as a neurological glitch. When people have it , they struggle when they're reading. Words and letters may seem to move around or drop out altogether. Spelling can be a challenge. Writing can be difficult. And as school gets more complicated, grades often head south.

Tyler's father Dave describes it as he sees it. "...The Common Core curriculum hit, and he started going downhill fast."

That was the case with Tyler three and a half years ago. And then his family found Regional Rehab...and speech pathologist Tina Finch.

"Do you capitalize....abbreviations...YES! Yes. Abbreviations..."

That's the sound of breakthrough, as acknowledged by speech language pathologist Tina Finch. She's been working with Tyler since the third grade, and she knows that despite the hardships, there's a silver lining. Children who have dyslexia are usually incredibly creative, often athletic, and expressive verbally.

"They can't put their thoughts down on paper, because they cannot read," says Finch. "But yet they can -- orally and verbally -- tell you anything and everything you want to know."

Dyslexia starts as a neurological tangle, often morphing later into a behavioral concession or crutch. Tackling it early reaps rewards. There's no question that Tina's help has boosted Tyler's grades over the three years of his treatment so far.

"As I have trouble in school," says Tyler, "it helps me so much just to come here and tell [Tina Finch] what I'm having problems with. They help me fix it, and it all turns out incredible."

"So...Tyler is dyslexic, but it's not near the challenge it used to be. In fact, Tyler's has big plans for his future. Thanks to Regional Rehab, he's thinking about becoming a lawyer. How's that for knocking down the mountain?

FINAL NOTE: Experts say that ten to fifteen percent of the American population has dyslexia. Of those with poor reading skills, dyslexia is one of the leading causes.

A reminder: you can watch "Celebration of Hope" this coming Sunday from 1 to 3pm on ABC WTVA. Or you can watch it in person at the food court at The Mall at Barnes Crossing.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68293

Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5656118
DeSoto368031
Harrison253036
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Forrest182056
Washington168942
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Clarke32626
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Lawrence3228
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Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21113
Stone2055
Sharkey1995
Jefferson1957
Benton1431
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena262
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
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Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
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Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
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Pickens4049
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Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
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Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
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