The Curse of Dyslexia

Jacob Day 33

Jacob is back in school now.  Michelle was afraid to put him in his previous private school due to the rigorous academics expected there, however, she wanted him in a school with normal academic expectations.  She knows this school is probably a stepping stone for another school and is nervous about how well he will do at any school.  She is sure he will fail again and that her options will be limited. She found a private school with a caring staff with low student numbers in each class.

Jacob is holding his own but struggling in math.  This makes sense because we have not spent any time on math.  He doesn’t know addition, subtraction, or multiplication facts and is struggling with multi-step problems as well as word problems. I use Touch Math to start with basic addition and subtraction facts.  He takes to it quickly and easily, enjoying touching the numbers instead of having to memorize them.

I begin the auditory portion of the program, thinking we will sail through it, as Jacob has progressed so well in every other area.  He also was in the Fast Forward program, which is meant to fix auditory processing problems, so I am sure that his auditory skills will be in place and just need some touch up work.

I have Jacob do some basic brain integration activities with auditory emphasis.  He looks at me, confused, as if he doesn’t know what I expect of him.  Then he whines, which is something new.  “I don’t want to do this,” he moans, actually rolling his eyes at me.

He seems confused on every auditory activity we perform, and I can see him slipping away.  Oh dear. We’ve made so much progress.  Even though I had previously tested him, I had no idea that his auditory issues were this strong.  I sigh.  There’s a lot more work to do.  I don’t mind. In fact, I’m used to it. It’s Michelle who has me troubled.

I am firm.  We need to push through this auditory portion.  Sometimes this auditory component of the program is difficult for the student and not as fun as the other parts, but it is crucial to successful learning.

These are difficult sessions for Jacob.  He seems to be falling backward again, and Michelle is worried.  He is having tantrums at night, refusing to do homework.  Michelle is concerned that she made a mistake putting him back in school but is unable to keep home schooling him due to her work schedule.

I reassure her that Jacob is going through a transition and she needs to be patient.  I talk to her about the auditory skills we are working on and how Jacob is not responding well.  I let her know the importance of the auditory skills and that we have come this far and we can’t just stop.

She agrees, but I see a look of disappointment in her eyes.  She has been on this journey for five years now, as Jacob first showed signs of a learning disability in kindergarten and he is now in fourth grade.  I understand her pain and trepidation, but need to be on my way.   There are so many other kids I need to work with, but as I drive off,  I somehow feel like I have let her down.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the next couple weeks.

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