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The Melting Pot

Meghan.jpgFirst Day of Seventh GradeIn my last post, Little H had completed elementary school with no real answers as to why she was having so much trouble with reading.  So, we were both a little worried when she started middle school.  Despite her problems, she has done very well.  Her English teachers really have no idea that her reading isn’t up to par. She even got an award for highest GPA in her sixth grade English class!  Her spelling and punctuation are lacking, but her storytelling ability and ideas are amazing.  She is also quite artistic.10153669_10204034447037564_5650165286231091969_n_001.jpgLittle H's Art

At home, I noticed that she still struggled with reading whenever she would read out loud.  And she was terrified of being called on to read in school.  She was fine with words she knew, but had trouble breaking down words she didn’t.  She would fly through parts of the passage and then read other parts slowly, all the while pretty much ignoring the punctuation.  I tried to get her to read like she spoke.  It didn’t really sink in.  Things like blends and digraphs meant nothing to her.  Differentiating between a “b” and a “d” has always been problematic.  I didn’t realize at the time that these were all signs pointing to dyslexia. 

607__5_.JPGTiger PaintingWhen I had Monkey Boy tested in the spring of 2014, I asked about Little H and finally had her tested, too.  We went through a clinical psychologist and were lucky that our insurance covered most of it.  She was super resistant to the idea, but dyslexia had been in the back of my mind for a while.  The test results were not unexpected.  She’s on a tenth grade level in comprehension, a twelfth grade level in essay writing, a fourth/fifth grade level in reading and just slightly below grade level in spelling.

Because she had done so well in school, we figured she didn’t qualify for services, and she didn’t want her disability made obvious. So through some networking, I found her a tutor for summer 2014.  At the same time, I was directed to the site for the International Dyslexia Association. There are only two tutors in the Fredericksburg area endorsed by this group.  Tutoring was the best thing I’ve ever done for her.  She did a lot of complaining at first, but now admits the activities are fun.  It also helps that she is putting her effort into something that is working.IMG_5874_001.JPGFirst Day of Eighth Grade

Her tutor uses the Wilson Method, and she has been doing this for many years.  Wilson is a multisensory program that essentially breaks language down into its smallest pieces and shows how to put it all back together.  All the different activities help build connections in the brain that are weak in dyslexics.  The best thing about Wilson is that it spans all ages, so it is never too late to get help.  Little H is doing great in the program and moving along rapidly.  We will continue tutoring throughout the school year, and hopefully, she will be in a good place when she enters high school next year.

If you think your child may have dyslexia or has problems similar to Little H, I strongly urge you to get testing done.  It is so worth it.  A few days ago, I asked Little H if she noticed a difference. She got a big smile on her face and told me that when she reads now, she understands and remembers all the details.  Her fluency is also so much better, and she is continuing to work on speed.  It’s absolutely amazing how far she has come in such a short time. 

 

Next up, I will take you back to Monkey Boy and his battle with fifth grade homework.  And finally, we will reenter the world of donor eggs with a short series of posts.

 
 
 

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About Laura

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Laura is mostly a stay at home mom who works part time at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.  In the past, she was a first grade teacher.  Over the years, she has kept herself busy volunteering at school, babysitting and caring for her children.  Currently, a lot of her time is spent dragging her youngest child, Monkey Boy, to various appointments in search of answers to his developmental issues.  She also has two teenagers, son:  Master Yi-Yi and daughter: Little H. Her melting pot family also includes her ex (father to her kids), the world’s best step-dad and husband, “TR” two step-daughters, two cats and a part-time dog!

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