It’s been years, and I am so happy to say that my dyslexic son is finally reading. What I want you to know now may surprise you.
“I don’t think I can say that I can’t read anymore, Momma. From now on, I need to say, ‘I sometimes have difficulty reading because I have dyslexia.'”
My son said it with a gleam in his eyes.
I hugged him with tears in mine.
“You have worked so hard, buddy. You have worked so hard for so many years. It has paid off and you’re right – You can’t say that you can’t read anymore,” I said, squeezing him tightly and wanting to pinch myself, just to make certain it’s true.
My son will be fourteen this winter.
He is finally reading.
If you have been around here with us for any length of time, you know how much this means.
If you are new to me and my family, please allow me to explain. My son is profoundly dyslexic and has a myriad of other learning differences. The very first time I tried to teach him to read in earnest, he was five years old. It was our first day of homeschool and I did exactly what the book told me to.
It didn’t work.
In fact, I quickly learned what his preschool teacher meant when she told me he just couldn’t remember the letters of the alphabet from one day to the next. I blamed her. I blamed the classroom environment. I blamed my lack of working with him at home. But none were a true cause of his reading struggles.
We had him formally assessed a full two years later when he was seven, but I knew before the sweet man told me that he was dyslexic. I knew as I read all of his report’s recommendations for intervention that even he didn’t really know how to help a child with my son’s profile.
That was almost seven years ago and barely a day has passed without me wondering if I was making the right choices, if he was getting what he needed to learn and, honestly, wondering if he would ever learn to read.
A teenager now, my son is able to read street signs. He can find the show he is looking for on YouTube independently and even read subtitles, as long as the remain on the screen for an extended period of time. He is reading books and poetry.
He is reading.
Not a lot and still, with significant effort, but he is in fact a reader.
Every time I say it (or type it) I tear up. It feels sacred, something so valuable and yet for so long, elusive, finally being granted. So many prayers have been answered.
My Dyslexic Son Is Finally Reading And This Is What I Want You To Know
Because I know exactly what it is like to read the struggling reader blog posts and hope that the same will be true for my own child, I want to share what actually worked for my son. I hope it might help yours. If nothing else, I hope it will encourage you.
What I want you to know most, now that my son is actually reading, might surprise you.
But it is absolutely what I wish I’d known so many years ago.
I have a post scheduled for next week all about the different approaches we used to help him learn to read. That will give you the practical support.
But right now, what I most want you to hear is that just showing up is what matters most.
More than the curriculum you choose.
More than the list of sight words.
More than the educational therapists.
More than the flash cards.
More than the amount of time you spend each day.
More than the early readers.
More than anything else, now that my son is reading I can see that it was the simplicity of doing it again and again that finally worked for him.
My dyslexic son is finally reading and this is what I desperately want you to know.
You will feel like it’s never going to click. You will feel defeated, frustrated and afraid.
You will feel all these things.
And, you will keep trying to figure out ways to help your child learn. You will help him read the word “the” a million times and then you will do it again.
Slowly, after years of showing up, you will begin to see progress.
More importantly, your child will see progress.
It is time and love that matter most.
Now that I’ve shared what I wanted you to know most about what helped my dyslexic son finally learn to read, I am also sharing all the details of what worked for him on a day to day basis. You can find all the details here in this post.
I have also been reflecting on what I’ve learned is amazingly similar for teachers in schools and homeschool moms. Please join me at Simple Homeschool for –
For More Encouragement and Learning Support:
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.