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Nov
29
2011

Dyslexic ah-ha: My daughter gets it!

in Life Lessons, Parenting

The questions started in Kindergarten. She could not hold a pencil or scissors correctly. Her letters were backwards, flipped, and inverted. She would verbalize 32 and write 53. She knew her alphabet, but she could not connect letters with sounds and words. It was frustrating for both her and me because she was a very, very bright kid.

Photo by hortongrou on www.sxc.hu

After not performing well on the Kindergarten assessment, I yanked my angel from public school because the stress was turning to physical ailments. She was sick to her stomach before and after school. She was completely stressed out. After working with her for a few months at home, I enrolled her in a private Kindergarten with a much smaller classroom for the second half of the the year.

By the end of the year, it was obvious that something really was not clicking. Desperate for a solution, I tried yet another school… a charter school. Her first grade teacher was amazing. I could not have asked for a better, more positive, and more encouraging environment.

But she still wasn’t reading. Her numbers and letters were still off. Though I, personally, do not have a Learning Difference, everything I was seeing screamed dyslexia, but the popular opinion (for very political reasons in my opinion) is that kids should not be tested until after third grade. When my daughter started describing the letters moving on the page and words “dancing” as she tried to read them, I did not wait for the school’s permission to take her to Scottish Rite.

The results were conclusive. I have a dyslexic daughter.

For second grade, she joined the Alpha Phonics program at our public elementary school.

At the beginning of the year, she reading at a Level B, which is where my Kindergartener started this year. My daughter, however, is in second grade.

Two months in, there was no progress. Discussions of retention, further LD testing, and other scary ideas started popping up at conferences. We decided we would wait till after Christmas break and see if she had her “light bulb” moment. Most new Alpha Phonics students do by then.

Halloween rolled around without progress. I was getting nervous. Then, about a week into November, she progressed from Level B to Level C. I was excited to finally see movement. She read the Level C book pretty easily, so I requested a Level D. Level D marks the beginning of a first grade. She read it, so I was given a Level E and a Level F.

As of the beginning of Thanksgiving break, my daughter was easily reading and “getting” Level F and Level G books.

Level H marks the beginning of second grade readers. In only a month, my daughter has nearly mastered an entire year of reading. She has almost caught up to her peers.

It clicked.

I cannot remember a prouder mommy moment than when I walked into her room today and I found her reading a book on her bed. She was not “reading” by just looking at a picture book, she was sounding out words and R-E-A-D-I-N-G.

I write this today with a few primary goals in mind.

  1. I want to encourage moms to trust their guts. If you suspect there is something “not quite right,” don’t let it go till you get the answers your child deserves. There are plenty of legitimate resources with a staff that knows what they are doing. While you can throw your life savings at random “cures” on the internet, take your time, research, and find legitimate testing venues.
  2. Don’t be afraid of labels. I was scared to death of the words ADHD, dyslexia, OCD, and all the other little things they wanted to plaster across my child’s forehead. While these labels can be negative when overused, if you will take the opportunity to learn what the labels mean and how they impact you and your child, accurate labels can be empowering.
  3. If you are raising a dyslexic child, or you suspect that your child has dyslexia, know that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. I was to the point of thinking that the light had long since been stomped out.
  4. I want to recognize the Scottish Rite center for the work that they are doing to diagnose and help place dyslexic children in appropriate programs. My counselor from the hospital has been a God-send. She is still right by my side to answer questions and field concerns as they arise.
  5. I want to celebrate my child’s success. She deserves the praise. She has worked long and hard to get where she is, and I know that the sky is the limit for her.


Page November 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Awesome. Brought tears to my eyes. So amazing. I’m excited for you guys. Good job Mama for being an advocate for her and fighting for her. So proud of you and sweet K. Praise God for a sweet girl and a Mama who’s willing to go to bat for her.

Alicia December 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Interesting that testing is suggested so late when programs for dyslexia are best begun early!

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