|Posted on May 24, 2016 at 8:15 AM||comments (2)|
Our grandson has struggled since kindergarten with understanding letters as well as reading in general. His mother knew something was wrong and talked with his teacher several times. The explanation she received was that sometimes boys take longer to read and therefore nothing was unusual. As he started 1st grade
the same problem persisted and again she was told the same thing. Your son will learn in time. Now the suggestion was that he needed to practice reading more at home with his parents. Every night they read and worked with him with virtually no improvement. He studied spelling words every night and tried to memorize the letters rather then trying to read the words so this also affected his vocabulary. This went on year after year as we watched our grandson become more withdrawn and less interested in anything. Not knowing what to do, the administration placed him in Special Education classes during his 3rd grade year. He was very embarrassed that he was now being pulled out of his classroom to go to Special Ed. Still nothing was done to try and help him with his reading and depression set in many times. He would tell his parents that he just had fewer answers to choose from and still wondered why he could not read the books his friends could read. He told us once that he couldn’t get good grades so he must be dumb and that was the way it was going to be. There were times when he would just give up and lay on the floor and cry that he just couldn’t do it (homework). His parents and us (his grandparents) would tell him that he needed to try harder and take more time to practice his reading. He would completely shut down and not say a word to anybody. Those were the most difficult times for any of his family to watch. He became so depressed at that he didn’t want to do or say anything.
As he was being pushed to the next grade every year still without being able to read much above a 2nd grade level, he finally was given a miracle, Miss Melissa Garretson. She was a teacher that took the time to work with him and his parents to find the problem. After much discussion and work she told his parents that she believed he had dyslexia and recommended he be tested. There was relief for his parents that maybe there was finally going to be an answer. He was taken to Chicago for many hours of testing and was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. A month later he started his tutoring using the Barton Reading & Spelling system. He has worked for two years with his tutor and the improvement in his grades have been remarkable. He is now 15 years old and has become more confident with himself and grown into a good student and fine athlete. His friends have even talked about how much he has changed in the last two years. He is enjoying life like never before and we feel we finally have our wonderful grandson back after years of watching him sink into the depths. The diagnosis of his severe dyslexia gave him a future to look forward to. How great it would have been if someone would have been trained in finding this problem back in 1st grade. The years that were wasted have been a hard pill for all of us to swallow. We will be forever grateful to Miss Garretson for having the desire and knowledge to help our grandson get his life back.