Mike's Newspaper Column

Mike's Newspaper Column
Read Mike's column weekly in the Times Community Newspaper Family, including the legendary Kettering-Oakwood Times, and posted here the following week.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dyslexia fundraiser hits home with radio show host Mike Scinto

Dale Huffman

October 1, 2007
Dayton Daily News (OH)

As a veteran Dayton radio talk show host, Mike Scinto is sometimes called upon to help support and publicize charity events and fundraisers. "I am always pleased to help when I can," Scinto said. "But when the folks organizing a walk to help children with dyslexia were in touch, there was no doubt I would give until it hurts. This one is close to my heart."

Scinto, who hosts a radio talk show on WDAO-AM (1210) weekdays from noon to 2 p.m., has a personal interest in dyslexia.

"My son Zak, who now is 15, has been challenged with this his whole life," Scinto said. "We knew he had a problem with words, but it was six years ago when we took him to Children's Medical Center, and they diagnosed him with severe dyslexia."

Scinto said he learned dyslexia is a language-based disorder characterized by difficulties in single-word decoding. It can result in problems with reading, writing and spelling.

"They tell me that people who suffer from dyslexia are sometimes considered to be lazy, rebellious or class clowns," Scinto said. "These misconceptions, without understanding dyslexia's effect on the person's life, can lead to rejection, isolation, feelings of inferiority and low selfesteem."

Scinto's son is a sophomore at Tippecanoe High School. "The teachers there are very helpful, but in the past we had to explain the situation to some teachers. Then they were more than willing to work with Zak and help him deal with it."

Scinto, who has been a talk show host for three decades in Dayton, also fills in from time to time for Mike Gallagher, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host based in New York City, and also is a guest contributor on the Fox News Channel on television.

"On a personal note, I can't imagine what it would be like to struggle with dyslexia, since my profession is based on using words," Scinto said. "It makes me think I really do take a lot for granted." Over a year ago Scinto's son began attending special classes for those with dsylexia sponsored by the Shriners at the Dayton Masonic Temple, 525 W. Riverview Ave.

"Students are given specialized lessons in learning to cope by highly trained professionals," Scinto said. "It is working and many young people are being helped."

According to Scinto, there is a waiting list for classes at the Masonic Learning Center. "There is a shortage of trained tutors and not enough school room space," he said.

That is why Scinto, and many other caring folks in the Miami Valley, are supporting a fundraising 5K walk to benefit the Masonic Learning Center for Children on Oct. 13, beginning at 10 a.m.

Mike Terwilliger, chief meteorologist for Dayton 22 and Fox 45 television in Dayton, and I have been invited to take part by acting as honorary co-chairmen.

Mike and I invite you to join the walk which begins at the Masonic Temple and includes a stroll through historic Daytonview and along the Great Miami River downtown.

Participants can walk at their own pace and can make a contribution as they wish. In the past, some have donated and decided not to walk.

For more information, call (937) 496-2242.

Dale Huffman wants your story ideas. This column is for you. Send e-mail to dhuffman@DaytonDailyNews.com or write to Dale at 1611 S. Main St. Dayton OH 45409. Fax: (937) 225-2489. Phone: (937) 225-2272.

Copyright, 2007, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.