Traverse Dyslexia's purpose is to guide families through the process of identifying and supporting dyslexic children, teens, and adults.


Dawn Tacker's experience with dyslexia began when her youngest son was flagged by his preschool/Kindergarten teacher. He was reading at a Grade 1-2 level, but there was "something" about the way he read - memorizing words by shape, and making wild guesses by looking at the pictures - that raised the red flag with his teacher.


When Dawn started researching dyslexia to better understand the teacher's concerns, she had a light bulb moment. Since second grade, and despite being bright, her oldest son struggled with writing, spelling, and memorizing math facts. Evaluation after evaluation failed to provide a specific reason. The list of warning signs for dyslexia read like a description of her oldest son's experience since toddlerhood.


Once she made the connection between her son's academic experience and the pattern of dyslexia, Dawn started her training to become a dyslexia specialist. She has 48 hours of intense graduate work with Susan Barton on Dyslexia Screening, and an additional 150+ hours in study, webinars, workshops, and seminars with top researchers and experts in dyslexia and dysgraphia.


Dawn's educational background includes a Bachelor's degree from American University and a Master's degree from Georgetown University. She has studied six languages, and has a deep, lifelong love for reading and writing. Dawn is a licensed substitute teacher for Willamette Educational Services District, and founder and coordinator of Decoding Dyslexia Oregon's Salem branch.


Despite her academic and professional achievements, Dawn often gets lost, even in familiar settings; has to re-read technical books to understand fully; is terrible with remembering names and faces; has a gift for seeing the big picture; makes connections that are creative; and enjoys creating art through photography - all very common manifestations of dyslexia.