When Your Kid Can’t Read …

Kaia’s in third grade.  Since midway through Kindergarten, we’d been told she had reading issues.  I kind of had an idea that she did before that. But, I wanted to ignore it. It was too much to deal with.  She’ll read when she’s ready, I told myself.  It’s fine.

But, her teachers were pretty insistent something wasn’t right. Thank God they were.  I wanted to ignore it.  Bury my head in the sand.

We agreed to spend the $3,000 to get her tested.  Turned out she has minor dyslexia.

I was crushed that my baby would never love to read.  I was resigned to it.

The school suggested that she work with an educational therapist.  At $75/session, twice a week, it was a big pill to swallow.  But, there was no way she’d be able to keep up at school otherwise.

When you can’t read, you can’t do any of your other homework because you can’t read the instructions.

She’s at an academically challenging school.  I pay a lot of money for her to go there.  I concluded it would be stupid for me to spend big bucks to send her there and then not do what they tell me to do.

So, I sucked it up.  That was midway through first grade.  About 18 months ago.

Last week, Kaia excitedly read 12 pages of Jake Drake Know it All without a bit of cajoling just because she wanted to get to the end and find out what happened.  Today, I got an email from Cindy Shortt, her ed therapist (who is totally awesome, btw!), letting me know Kaia doesn’t have to meet with her anymore.

Kaia not only can read, she’s beginning to really like it!

We’ve probably spent $15,000 helping Kaia learn to deal with her dyslexia.  I’m so happy I didn’t let myself convince myself Kaia didn’t need this intervention and extra help.  She did and it’s paid off.  I’m so happy.


  1. Darwin StephensonThursday, October 2, 2008 at 9:54 pm 

    Great posting, thanks for sharing. My daughter doesn’t have dyslexia but she does have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and one of the things they test for is eye tracking. By having her follow the therapist’s finger from side to side or up and down, they watch to see if they child’s eyes track smoothly or have jumps, skips or swings. As you can imagine, when your eyes jump around like this it makes reading really hard because your eyes aren’t taking in the material to the right as you scan the sentence. Thus simple concepts like sounding out words become very frustrating for the child because their brain isn’t getting the input it needs to process.

    The point of both of our postings is that getting your kids tested is critical when they’re struggling. If you know what you’re dealing with you can help. Otherwise you’re just having a homework battle and no one wins.

    Thanks for posting. The more we share the more we can help one another.

  2. Heidi AlexanderFriday, October 3, 2008 at 6:11 am 

    Thank goodness our optometrist ,Dr. Kapust of Hermosa Beach ,did a tracking test on our kids. We found out 2 of 6 have tracking issues – which also can be an effect of “easily distracted” behavior in class or even headaches. He offers a private session teaching parents tracking exercises to help them work with their children at home.

  3. maria baileyThursday, October 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm 

    I feel your pain, frustration and desperation. I am still trying to get someone to tell me what my gut tells me, “there is something wrong”. Instead I have teachers telling me she will grow out of it but she’s in the fourth grade. Now I’ve gone out on my own to find an answer. I will- I’m determined.

  4. amymiyamotoTuesday, October 21, 2008 at 2:26 am 

    I commend you for remaining open and willing to explore what Kaia’s teachers were sharing with you. As a former middle school teacher, I had the honor of working with a number of delightful and unique students. Some of those that touched me the most were those that persevered through learning challenges. I had several who were both highly gifted and also dyslexic or dysgraphic. This was particularly hard for me as a teacher – because I could see their brilliance shining through yet also witnessed their daily pain and frustration as a result of their learning challenge. They came to me already in adolescence and although I provided all the support and intervention I could, I always wondered had they received more intervention at a younger age – if school would have been easier and more enjoyable for them.

    Again, I applaud you for giving your daughter the gift of a new set of skills which will serve her for a lifetime and open for her a wealth of possibilites!
    Amy Miyamoto
    On Twitter @amymiyamoto

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