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It really can get better!

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I just want to encourage anyone who is just starting out on the road with a dyslexic child that it really can get better. My DS (8) has made so much progress over the past year it's hard to believe. He's finishing up second grade (he goes to public school) and, on the end of year tests, he tested at a second grade level in both reading and math! At the beginning of the year, he was testing at a kindergarten level. A year ago he was slowly and painfully decoding CVC words and couldn't count to 20 (he doesn't have dyscalculia, but struggles with math due to his dyslexia). He did a big jump in counting ability on his own over the summer (a key just seemed to turn in his brain), and, thanks to the combination of a good teacher for math at school and a supplemental math programs for dyslexics (with a tutor outside of school), his math abilities and confidence have soared. He now says Math is his favorite subject. He still doesn't love reading, but his progress has been really good in that area as well. He's about 2/3 of the way through level 4 of Barton, and is starting to attempt to read chapter books like Magic Treehouse and A-Z Mysteries on his own. DH is his Cub Scout leader, and he's noted that, as the year has progressed, DS's reading skills have moved up compared to some of other other scouts and he's now somewhere in the middle with reading skills (it makes me wonder if there are some undiagnosed dyslexics in the den). DS is bright, and I think that, without the dyslexia, he'd be working well above grade level, but going from way below level to just at level is huge for him!


I'm also seeing more and more the advantages that his dyslexic brain gives him. He's incredibly creative. He and his two best friends (a brother and sister who are homeschooled and also dyslexic) put on plays in the basement for us on a regular basis. He's a champion at thinking outside the box. In fact, sometimes I wish he'd spent a bit more time in the box :). He's great a spatial thinking and want to be an engineer like DH (another dyslexic).


We're not done yet. He'll have to work hard to stay at level. In 3rd grade the "reading to learn" type of work really ramps up. But, unlike last year at this time, I'm not terrified about him moving on to the next grade.

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The math program is called The Smith Method: Math for Dyslexics. It was developed by a dyslexia specialist in (I think) Arizona. He started out just using it with his own students, but he's now expanding and offering it to others. Two of the Barton tutors at the center where my son goes are trained in it. I don't see any info on his site about how to buy it/get trained to use it, but I'm sure he'd be happy to answer your questions if you contacted him. One of the best things was that, in the very beginning, DS learned gross motor movements and sayings to go along with numbers 1-9. He occasionally still reverses numbers if he's in a hurry, but it went from almost always to very rarely. His website is:



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