She'll Catch Up
“Oh, she’ll catch up,” is what Jane recalled her daughter Susan’s teachers saying throughout first and second grades. Susan, now 12, was in the lowest reading group in her classroom but teachers assured Jane that Susan was very bright and would catch up shortly.
In truth, Susan wasn’t catching up. As peers began moving past her in reading, Jane became more anxious and worried. Their collective frustration levels — both Susan’s and her parents—soon reached a breaking point, especially after they’d hired a tutor to help improve her reading in the fall of second grade.
“She’d have meltdowns over homework,” Jane said. "Susan would be happy and fine all afternoon, but when it came time to do homework, she would refuse to begin. She would scream and cry, then I would scream and cry,” Jane said. “I once crumpled up the whole assignment and yelled, ‘What are we going to do?’”
Then one night, after four months of intensive (and expensive) tutoring, Jane’s husband, Bill, was talking to Susan’s tutor on the phone when she mentioned the word “dyslexia.” A light went on. Jane recalled that up to that point, everyone had been very careful not to say the word, but the tutor suggested that it might be time to have Susan officially evaluated in order to receive more targeted instruction.
Tests provided the data that Jane, by this time, already knew: Susan had dyslexia. Although she was very bright and displayed above-average social skills, without intense and specific intervention, she would never “catch up” in reading.
Jane now knows that an overly emotional response to homework is common in those with dyslexia: Susan didn’t know why she couldn’t read either. Now with a diagnosis and intensive intervention, Susan is entering seventh grade with her peers. She’s able to accomplish all the work, although she requires more time. “I always disliked the words ‘learning differences,’ ” Jane said. “But the more I get to know about this, the more I think it’s true.”
This kind of anxiety and frustration can be largely avoided. For students accused of being stubborn or not working to their potential, often neither is true: Children with dyslexia need immediate and intensive intervention to connect the pieces of the reading circuit.
For more information on dyslexia, targeted instruction, or dyslexia testing contact us. We can help you turn your dialogue with your child around.