Hi everyone, my name is Jennifer, and I have walked a long joyous journey with my son, Levi. Levi is dyslexic and he began having problems with traditional academic task during pre-school when he was four years old. He had a difficult time learning his colors-the teachers thought he might be color blind. We ruled out color blindness. The teachers thought he might be autistic, or that he might have some developmental delays-fortunately, neither of these things turned out to be a problem for Levi either.
Levi entered kindergarten full throttle. He was a very happy, creative, energetic child and he was thrilled to be finally starting school. So in the fall of 2005, I sent my son off to school with the normal mixed feelings of losing my baby, and silently cheering his successful milestone.
Levi’s initial excitement about kindergarten quickly turned to frustration and anger for him, and stress, and anxiety for me. For the first time in my child’s life, I did not know exactly what was wrong or what to do to fix it!!
Levi could not seem to learn to read like the other children, his behavior in class became distracting and he had some “class clown” tactics to distract himself and his peers from the educational lesson the teacher was presenting. Needless to say, the parent teacher meetings started early with my son, and that was just the beginning of the battle for the appropriate educational intervention.
As stressful as this entire process was for me, it was far more stressful on my son. Levi seemed to learn early on that he was not performing as well as other children and the teachers simply wanted to lable him ADD, as if that would explain this child’s inability to learn to read despite an IQ score above the mean. Levi began to resist going to school, frequently told me he was “stupid”, and would be crying and hiding behind the couch when the bus came each morning. I cant tell you what it did to my heart to peel that child from behind that couch and put him on the bus each morning.
I cannot explain exactly how I knew very early in my son’s kindergarten year that he was dyslexic, but I knew and I began a massive research campaign, and bought every book at Books A Million and Amazon that had to do with dyslexia. Once, I understood what dyslexia was and that it could be overcome with the appropriate instruction techniques I thought I had found the answer for my son and I was eager to discuss this with his teachers since I now felt I knew how we could help him. Sadly, we quickly figured out that school bureaucracies change slowly, and the window for help during the critical k-3 years has can be lost for so many children. At the time I write this, Levi is almost 16 years old, and he reads at grade level. He is like any other teenage boy, dreaming and planning his future.
There was a time I feared that this would never be possible. I found hope through researching and educating myself on dyslexia. I became certified as an Orton-Gillingham instructor, and began teaching my son myself, until the elementary school finally implemented an appropriate curriculum three yeaers later. I used to go to the school and take my son to a small room during his math and reading time and I would instruct him myself. I found the International Society for Dyslexics on-line one day while doing some research, and I attended several of their three day conferences. I literally emerged myself in self study, and I came to one conclusion-Helping dyslexic children should be a simple process and information and resources for parents should be abundant- and that is why I created this website!!! I am committed to saving parents time and money by providing one comprehensive site dedicated to empowering parents to educate and advocate for a dyslexic child.