Who am I?
What qualifies me to develop reading programs?
How could I know about the pain and frustration of a poor reader?
I know because I lived through it.
I lived through frustrating 4 hour nightly homework sessions, doors slamming, tears falling and low self esteem.
I am a surviving parent of a dyslexic child…
I would give anything to have had the knowledge and tools I have today back in 1985 when my daughter was born. She was beautiful, healthy and perfect, so we thought. She was obviously intelligent. And we thought it was cute when she would point and grunt to us when she wanted something.
But by the age of 3, it was frustrating for all of us, not cute. It was sad. It was wrong. SOME thing was wrong. My daughter was highly intelligent, but she had very limited verbal skills; vocalic, I know now. She was only able to speak in vowels, no consonants.
I took her to a speech pathologist and she tested her for deafness or any other physical cause of her speech delay. Nothing physically was wrong with her. So we began weekly speech therapy when she was three years old and that lasted for years. And although her speech did slowly improve, we were never prepared for the trials that lay ahead of us.
No one knew it was Dyslexia, not yet.
She had already begun pulling back into herself. She refused to talk to anyone but immediate family. She had already been laughed at and made fun of, and she knew it. It was affecting her self esteem, even as a toddler.
So on to school she went, talking so much clearer now. She continued her speech therapy with a school pathologist for several more years. We thought we had it beat.
But we didn’t even know what we were dealing with. How can you fight a dragon that nobody sees?
She was obviously intelligent, but she wasn’t able to finish her schoolwork on time. Most class assignments became homework to be done before her actual homework assignment.
Our daily ritual looked a little like this:
Homework till Dinner
More Homework till Bedtime
Finish homework in the morning before school… every day.
It was so frustrating, so hard.
Finally, thinking maybe her problems were due to poor teaching, we began homeschooling. You know, one-on-one instruction. And why not? I was a tutor for special needs children at her school, children exactly like her, children who were failing reading.
What was once difficult now became impossible. Days were long and filled with doors slamming, tears falling and hurt feelings. We both began to hate school and each other. I wanted to pull out all my hair and we both would cry for hours. Unfortunately our struggle never ended. We kept trying the same frustrating reading approaches with the same failing results year after year.
We both felt like failures… and eventually we both just gave up.
She NEVER was diagnosed as Dyslexic!
In fact, it wasn’t until I was working in a speech center myself, and developing programs for the onslaught of “3rdgrade non-readers*” that I realized that my daughter was text-book Dyslexic. My eyes filled with tears as I remembered those awful days.
I called her on the phone, now grown with children of her own, and apologized in tears for all of those terrible years; for all the fights, for all the tears, for all the frustration. I apologized for not knowing.
Had I known, things would have been different, LIFE would’ve been different!
I can’t go back and change our past, but I decided that I could definitely change the path for other families, and turn their tragedy into victory.
So I was given a new mission. Almost half of our pediatric patients at the speech center were dyslexic, and they deserve a better future; one without all the tears, frustration and self hatred.
And that became my goal.
I researched day and night, took courses, learned how the brain receives, stores and processes language… I committed myself to the cause.
I had patients ranging from preschool through adults to work with and learn from.
And I did. Over time, programs were conceived that address the brain, the language processing centers, the eyes and the body, all working in concert to overcome dyslexia.
We did it!
Our kids ranged from average IQ to 99th percentile and they all benefited from the same programs. Our kids come to sessions excited, showing off report cards and bragging about passing their benchmarks or the next grade level. They went from failing to top of their class!
We even had teachers and neurologists recommending our programs to parents.
So now I'm sharing these programs with you.
I've adapted the programs for home use. You don’t have to be a teacher or speech therapist to use these programs, as I have laid out each exercise in a simple Step-by-Step format.
If you are consistent in following the sequence and faithful in continuance, you should see improvement in your child’s benchmarks within 3 months, most likely well before that.
Good luck! My heart is with you and your children!
* Dyslexic children often slip through the system as poor, slow or even average readers until third grade, when every subject requires reading. Until that point they were able to use picture and context clues, guessing and memorizing words to get by. It becomes evident in third grade that they need remediation. The sooner reading intervention is made, the better. The longer one waits for intervention, the more difficult and longer the process to remediate.