• Reading and Dyslexia

I was a parent watching my child struggle academically and then socially as a result of feeling “stupid.” We were at our wits end. Then we met Maria. Levi improved so much after participating in her summer program. Levi struggled with delayed development his whole life. He was born a little too early, and while he was healthy and happy, we saw significant delays in his speech, core muscle abilities, and fine motor skills. He worked hard with therapists to improve. A bright boy, he was still behind his peers. He was painfully aware that he was behind in reading and math, and he began to judge himself as “less than” and “dumb.” Around fourth grade, the letters and numbers on the page started to float around and reverse. He stopped progressing and fell behind drastically in reading especially. This is where they were graced into our lives. They were recommended by a neuropsychologist that had tested Levi and diagnosed him with dyslexia and ADHD. That summer, she accepted Levi into her summer program. For 5 weeks, four days a week, 5 hours a day Levi worked hard and loved it. He gained information he didn’t have before about how to break up words so he could pin those moving letters down and read. He excelled in the program. Maria recognized his leadership abilities and for the first time in his academic related life, Levi felt like he was head of the class. He went from hating to read to loving it. He is now reading near grade level and continues to practice the rules and strategies taught to him through the program. He began to understand how HIS brain worked, and how to utilize that. What’s more, is he gained not only the skills but also the self-confidence and the courage to continue what was difficult. He is no longer embarrassed by his disability, but strengthened by his abilities. Last quarter he read a science paragraph in front of his class for the first time, and was so proud of himself! I can’t stress enough how much working with Maria has changed Levi’s outlook and reading abilities. He has the tools to do something that just 6 months ago was so daunting it produced tears. Yes, his test scores improved; yes his reading abilities improved; and ultimately his grades and class participation improved. But as a mother watching her son struggle with his self worth, my favorite improvement is the light in his eyes when he’s finished a book, the self confidence he now carries inside himself, and the knowledge that he can succeed. – Jen Roesner, parent