My house is big on reading.
We love books and stories. My children are storytellers and enthusiastic sharers of knowledge. In their earliest years it was not unusual to see one or the other toting around a favorite book that had been read so many times that the spine was broken, the pages stained and torn. Our books are well loved and show it.
But once upon a time I was told that it was obvious that I didn’t read to my child enough because this kid was not grasping phonics and, in first grade, was falling behind in reading.
We doubled down on reading. It occurred to me that maybe it was a hearing issue because sometimes he mispronounced things (in the cutest way) so we got hearing tested. Hearing was not the issue. After researching reading I wondered if sight and tracking the letters correctly was the problem. Despite being told that reading could be improved by using a rather dubious course of improving tracking at a special clinic, sight was not an issue.
Second grade rolled around. I was told the teacher was amazing at working with students with reading delay. Then she became really, really sick. And my dear, smart, funny child got awful anxiety in a class where reading out loud happened every day.
This delightful person began to make loud noises to himself, involuntarily, whenever the stress of reading became too high.
The teacher thought he was being rude and he was put on the wall for misbehavior. The wall punishment happened nearly every day of that school year. Classmates began to bully him. He withdrew and became the saddest kid ever. Speaking with the administration provided no relief and no one suggested that this was anything more than a behavior issue.
I didn’t understand Child Find. I didn’t understand Response To Intervention, and I had no idea what the school was supposed to do for my child. What I did understand was that I was missing critical information. At the end of second grade I had my child tested by a neurologist.
I was so relieved to hear that I wasn’t making things up. He is a brilliant dyslexic and an anxious student. Problem solved!
Well, no, not really because then I learned about the politics of education.
Does this story sound familiar? If you and your child have experienced similar challenges with school, I can help you smooth path upward toward their dreams. Book a free confidential 1:1 consultation today.