Parent to Parent
Your daughter sounds very much like my son Matthew (who turns eleven today). He also excels in geometry and has had a challenge with reading. He endured an experimental Remedial Reading Programme in Grade 3 at his school. It did nothing for him whatsoever, except to frustrate and anger him, as it was a programme that literally disassembled the English language. The more repetitive the work, the more he fought it.
It was determined at the time that his verbal/vocabulary skills were in the top 3% of his age group and that he had exceptional skills in spatial organization. This particular trait and his ability to illustrate and visualize three-dimensional objects led me to investigate “The Gift of Dyslexia”. When I read it, I too was impressed by the simplicity of the approach because it made so much sense when applied to my child. I was fortunate to find Cathy when I did, as we were at the end of a very long road and could see very little, if any, improvement for all the work we had done.
Matthew is now at grade level with his reading and fast coming up to speed with his spelling. The many years of rote and repetitive work that he was subjected to was sheer torture for his inquisitive and intelligent spirit. He just became angry and erected a shell of bravado around himself. It all melted away after the first day with Cathy.
I am forever thankful that I never gave up searching for a solution because I cannot imagine how difficult life would be if we had continued on that old road. It does concern me greatly that this program is not taken more seriously by educators. I suppose that the anecdotal stories told by parents on the Davis web site seem almost unbelievable. I also had my reservations and doubts but they were quickly put aside after our own, incredible, and I do not exaggerate, life-changing experience. Thank you Cathy, for what you have given Matthew.
I wanted to tell you about Matthew and how he is doing this year. We are all so pleased that Matthew is consistently getting marks in the high 90s in math and sciences (over 100% in some tests) and has no confusion and dyslexia that is detectable. His spelling has improved significantly and he works hard on his writing assignments without my help! He reads aloud normally without any difficulties and is entered in the science fair at U of T this month for Grade 7. He is soaring this year, and no longer has a requirement for an IEP. He told me quietly in early January that this has been the best year of his life, and that he actually enjoys school. He told me with pride that the kids actually call him “brainiac” at school and come to him for help with vocabulary.
He had been labelled “gifted LD” last year. This year his teacher told me he is just gifted, no more LD. He has come to the attention of the VP who has told me how pleased she is about his progress as she has come through a number of years supporting Matthew. I wanted to let you know, and to reach out to other parents who may be going through the very stressful and often scary experience of advocating for their child. Never give up.
The sun really shone the day we met you, Cathy. Thanks again for your help.
Joanna is the mother of Matthew who was nine years old and in Grade Four when he did the Davis Dyslexia Correction program.