My older children are out on a long-awaited day trip with my parents so they aren’t here for me to get reading recommendations from. Instead in the interest in helping anyone out there whose child is struggling with reading, I thought I would share with you how the DEAR program has helped and is helping our family overcome dyslexia.
When my third son/sixth child started school we were both excited. Well, Micah is excited about everything in life. Anyway, as the weeks dragged into months I began to experience greater and greater frustration with his inability to fully learn the alphabet.
I kept making excuses for why it wasn’t happening, but by the time he was in Grade Two and still not reading on his own I realized that there was definitely a problem.
Over the years I kept wondering if he could be dyslexic. Finally shortly after he turned seven I read through a checklist for dyslexia and realized I could check most of the points off for Micah.
I contacted a friend whose niece had dyslexia because I remembered they had been doing a special program with her. Micah had just passed the minimum age for this program. I called and set up an appointment for him to be evaluated.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology even though this program (DEAR) is based in Oklahoma we were able to video chat. At the end of the hour-long interview the lady who runs the program told me that Micah is severely dyslexic. I cried because I was so thankful to have an answer to all of our struggles.
We had to go on a waiting list for several months, but last fall we started the program and within weeks were seeing Micah’s reading abilities improve. A year later he graduated with his dyslexia cured. He is currently reading at a Grade One level, but his abilities are growing quickly, and I anticipate that by the end of the year he’ll be reading on level.
A few weeks after starting the program I began to wonder if one of my older sons was also dyslexic. Dyslexia is not only a reading problem. It can affect other subjects as well which is what made me think Ezra might be dyslexic. He just could not comprehend reading problems in math. He could read them fine. He just had no idea how to solve them no matter how much I tried to help him.
I contacted DEAR and set up an interview. He was also diagnosed as dyslexic and started the program. We have seen an improvement in his school work, but mostly in his art which has just exploded.
Micah’s progress was not “visible” like Ezra’s. I’ll let his pictures tell the story.
This is typical of what Ezra drew for years. Ink pictures. We have sketchbooks full of these. They are great for his age, and we loved them.
Then one day after a few months in the DEAR program he started to copy photographs of animals from a nature book we own. Remember this was done with no lessons. He just started doing it on his own one day. To say we were blown away would be to put it mildly.
The next step was his request for coloured pencils.
Then he began to draw pictures on his own. This one is Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow. He consulted a book he has about uniforms of various nations through the years to make sure he got the uniforms right. I’ve included a close-up of some of the details. Again this was on his own with no lessons or help.
Here is a more recent drawing. This is a World War II scene. Obviously I’ve been searching for art lessons for him. What will he be able to do with professional help?
I know that this is all due to the help he is receiving from the DEAR program. I cannot say enough good about this program and Mrs. Edwards who runs it. She is sweet and encouraging and patient. If your child has or you suspect he/she has dyslexia, I cannot recommend this program highly enough.
So, my question today – Do you know of a good art program? So far I’ve not found anything suitable or that Ezra likes.