In 1990, I began my teaching career in the elementary classroom. I taught for 9 years before taking time off to spend with my family. Little did I know that this time off would change all of our lives.
My son was struggling in school. I thought he just needed more of my time, and he would learn how to read. At the time of my resignation, my son was beginning the second grade and could not read. When he was in Kindergarten. I remember teaching him to draw his letters on a sand tray, searching for objects around the house that began with certain letters, using flash cards to teach letters and words, and buying simple decodable books to practice reading. I read to him A LOT. At that time, I thought he needed more time. After all, he was only in Kindergarten (However, he was born in September and one of the oldest in his class). First grade proved to be more frustrating for him (and me). When attempting to read, he would rely exclusively on the pictures and look at the first letter and guess or omit the word completely. If he was told the word, he could not remember the same word later in the sentence or next paragraph. If the books were short, he would memorize the book and would appear to be reading. By the end of the year, I became very concerned and started to research what I could do to help my son. My son was tested by a neuropsychologist and diagnosed with dyslexia- and the journey began!
The neuropsychologist gave me a list of qualified tutors, and I began making the calls. None of the tutors had any openings, but I did get referrals. My son began dyslexia intervention with a Certified Wilson reading teacher. After about three months, he was beginning to read! My son had more confidence when reading and seemed less anxious. I knew this was working and was quite relieved.
Then, I wanted to learn everything I could about dyslexia. I read many books, went to conferences and talked to people knowledgeable about dyslexia. A couple of years later, I accepted a 5th grade position at Rawson Saunders School- a nationally recognized school for children with dyslexia. My son attended Rawson Saunders his 5th grade year and finished his dyslexia intervention. He continued to attend private schools through his 8th grade year. After attending a very large, high ranking public high school, my son graduated on the recommended, college bound track. He continues his educational journey. I could not be more proud of his accomplishments!
Odyssey Dyslexia Services,INC.
Patricia Dietrick, WDP
STRUCTURED LITERACY FOR THE DYSLEXIC SCHOLAR