Super A was diagnosed (finally) this time last February with rather severe dyslexia and while it was such a relief to have a formal diagnosis, it’s also heartbreaking. I watch him struggle and give so much of himself – trying and trying and trying and trying to decode words. And his brain just does not want to cooperate.
When he had his formal testing last year he was in third grade and reading at a low first grade level. His silent reading comprehension was at a kindergarten level. His math scores were on target and his vocabulary was great. He just can’t decode the words and, oy, his short-term memory for sight words is almost nil.
Today, his reading tutor gave him an assessment, because she, too, wants his progress to be faster than what it is. While his scores didn’t go down in anything and he actually tested mid-5th grade for his oral vocabulary and 2nd-grade for his silent reading comprehension (it went up 2 grade levels in a year), his progress is excruciatingly slow. And it breaks my heart.
He saw me looking at his scores this afternoon and asked how he’d done. I showed him the results and then broke out the formal evaluation from last year, so he could compare. The look of defeat on his face when he saw that he was still only reading at a first grade level made me choke up. So, I pointed out the strengths and how he has progressed. Slow progress is better than no progress, I told him. And a mid-5th grade level for vocabulary? That’s stellar and shows just how smart and strong he is with oral comprehension and language skills. I praised his silent reading comprehension and told him how very proud of him I am. And I am – more than he’ll ever know.
I just want it to be easier for him. I want him to be able to pick up a book and just read, because despite the dyslexia, he loves books. I pray that one day, after so much hard work, things will just click a little bit better for him. I also pray for patience, because I want that day to be here now. I don’t want him to struggle for even a moment longer.
Dyslexia bites. It really, really does.
Find out more about dyslexia:
I’m so thankful to be connected to The Dyslexia Training Institute and have the wonderful resource that is Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley on our side. She went to the University of Arizona with Super Dad and has been a blessing to us with advice, education, and encouragement. We have taken some of their courses and are anxiously awaiting the new video training program, A Day in the Life of Dyslexia, due out in April. If you want to know more about dyslexia and what it is (no, it’s not writing your letters backwards), be sure to check out their website. I can’t recommend them highly enough.