Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade…that’s how long it took for my son to memorize the sounds of the alphabet. Something that seemed so simple and comes so easily for most children was a huge battle for my middle son. If was frustrating, confusing and down right difficult. But what a learning experience for both of us!
At first, I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, even being an educator didn’t help me at the beginning. I wondered if he just wasn’t ready, maybe a maturity problem. I wondered if he wasn’t really trying hard enough. I wondered if he would just sit still...
I tried everything I could think of. Different curriculums. Different ways of approaching what I was teaching. Different schedules. I was constantly wracking my brain for ways to help him.
Finally as we got further into our his second grade year, I began to realize that we were facing could very well be dyslexia. I began to research. The more I read the clearer it became that my son definitely was probably dyslexic. To confirm my suspicions I had him tested. The results from his testing were a confirmation that my little man was dyslexic. When the lady who tested him told me this, I began to cry. I’m not sure why, except that it was now obvious, I couldn’t deny it, and my heart went out to my tenacious son, who always gave it his best even when he continually failed. We were offered help, which I would have gladly accepted, if the place of service wasn’t an hour away and the price tag so staggering.
With a heavy, but undaunted heart, I began to dig further into the research.
There was an abundance of material on-line. Many companies claiming to be the best for helping the dyslexic student, but all coming with a hefty price. I contemplated some, others I dismissed. It was a difficult decision at best. After a lot of prayer and research, I decided to come up with my own combination of workbooks and reading materials. A educational plan that would fit my boy specifically.
All of this to say…we are now seeing a lot more of this!
My sixth-grade boy is reading! And doing it more fluently and with less effort. It has been a long, difficult road, but one that has built character in my son and myself.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that impairs a person's ability to read, and which can manifest itself as a difficulty with phonological awareness, phonological decoding, orthographic coding, auditory short-term memory, and/or rapid naming. Dyslexia is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. It is estimated that dyslexia affects between 5 and 17 percent of the population. (wikipedia)
****If you have a struggling reader in your family come back for part 2. I will share some of the things that worked for my son on his journey to reading.