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Real Moms, Real Kids: Dyslexia and Hope

Every once in a while, I receive a note from a customer that takes my breath away. This is one of those stories. As I read Raquel’s testimonial* about how All About Reading helped her daughter, I couldn’t help but remember my own son’s struggle with dyslexia.

I knew exactly what Raquel was feeling—the sadness, the fear, and ultimately the incredible hope—as she walked with Katie through her journey to reading. I knew I had to share their story with you.

mom and teenager on the couch

Here’s Raquel:

I just had to take a moment to tell you what the All About Reading program has meant to my daughter Katie and me. My precious daughter was almost in third grade and not progressing with reading at all. We had homeschooled her from the beginning and had an older son who was a very late reader. Once he hit second grade, his reading exploded, and he was reading sixth grade level books by the end of that year. We thought our daughter would follow a similar path.

Unfortunately, by the end of second grade, Katie was still struggling despite wanting to be able to read. My husband is dyslexic, so we began researching symptoms of dyslexia regarding our little girl. I cried when I realized we could check off every single indicator for her. I felt like an utter failure! My heart broke in two seeing how all the signs had been in front of me, but I hadn’t recognized them. As a homeschool parent, you bend over backward to give your children the very best education possible, and in front of me was proof that we had let Katie down.

mom and teenager working on word cards

We immediately scheduled an appointment for Katie to be tested for dyslexia and any other learning challenges she might possess. We felt lucky that there was a local private school strictly dedicated to helping children with reading challenges. We were willing to do whatever it took to send our little girl there if it meant that she would get the help she needed. We had her tested and the results were dismal. She was in the lowest range for both the visual and auditory aspects of dyslexia. The school asked us to have Katie take a more in-depth test to see precisely how negatively the visual dyslexia component was affecting her.

mom teaching all about reading

I still remember sitting in the office with my husband while we awaited the final information. The head of a school specifically created for dyslexic children looked at us and told us it was hopeless. He told us that there was no clinically effective treatment currently available for Katie’s form of dyslexia. They informed us that they would not admit her into the school because they did not believe they could help her, and that we needed to accept that she would likely never read beyond a first-grade level. I was furious! How dare this man tell me my daughter was a lost cause. We knew Katie was bright, creative, and capable. He had NO idea who he was talking to, and I was determined that my girl would have anything she needed to succeed.

teen using letter tiles

We immediately ordered All About Reading Level 1. It was slow going at first. Truthfully, it was slow going for the first two years. It took us a school year and a half to complete Level 2. There were lots of tears. Fluency sheets were dreaded! It was so bad that I put a chocolate chip on top of each word that she could eat after she read the word. Every five lessons resulted in a prize marked off on the progress chart. There were lots of hugs and reassurances that this struggle did not mean that she was stupid. Thankfully our girl is a fighter.

teen reading from fluency sheet

Fast forward four and a half years and Katie can read fluently at grade level. I am attaching a picture of her reading a complicated Star Wars book. She was desperate to read it because her big brother had read it. I was doubtful that she would make it through the whole book, but that was silly of me. It took her a while, but she did it.

teen reading a Star Wars book

Thank you for equipping me to do what professionals told me would not be possible. I tell everyone I meet how much we love your program, and if they want to start their kids out on the right foot, then there is no better program than All About Reading.

Katie read a book for fun today for the very first time: The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. I wasn’t sure if this day would ever arrive, but it did! Thank you from the very bottom of my heart! May God richly bless you as you continue this beneficial and necessary work!

young woman sitting on a couch

Here’s what I love about how Raquel approached her daughter’s situation:

  • Raquel didn’t quit! Even when the director of a school for dyslexic students said Katie was beyond help, she persisted in trying to reach her daughter.
  • She recognized that Katie had qualities that tests can’t measure such as tenacity and determination.
  • Raquel worked at her daughter’s pace and didn’t compare her to others.

Products Raquel has used with Katie:

Additional Resources Raquel used with Katie:

Raquel loved using our Chapter Book Review posts and Library Lists. These resources helped her find engaging, age-appropriate reading material that motivated Katie and helped her enjoy reading.

Did you enjoy Raquel’s story? Read more stories from Real Moms and Real Kids.

_________________________
*To preserve the privacy of the child featured in this story, we did not use the family’s real names.

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Maria Sonnenberg

says:

when my oldest daughter went to prek4 she had the hardest time reading, and then on a vacation time while playing school, I realized it was because she was reversing every single letter and reading from right to left! I talked to her teacher and the response was if she still does it by 2nd grade we’ll address it!!!! We decided to homeschool and looking for programs for children with dyslexia I came across All About reading, and a friend of mine also recommended it. we started with AAR level 1!
It was amazing to see the improvement!! she started reading from left to right very soon. But my greatest joy was when my child who didn’t even want to try read, became an eager reader! she started reading all the books she found, and when we went for her evaluation at the end of second grade, she was reading at a 5th grade level!!
Thank you AAR

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, this is so wonderful, Maria! Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story and I’m so pleased to hear All About Reading helped with her success! 😊

Lizzie Ater

says:

My daughter is currently in sixth grade. We adopted her at the beginning of her fifth grade.
After attending a homeschool conference last Spring, I was 99% sure she had, at least, 1 type of dyslexia.
We got her diagnosis in September and started All About Reading Level 2 in November. We started All About Spelling Level 1 in December. Within the next week, we will finish AAS and AAR Level 2. We just got level 3 in both. She is finally starting to pick her own books to read. She really enjoys graphic novels and because of how good they are for kids with dyslexia, you can find them with TONS of great titles! She has also found some chapter books she likes. The tiles are very helpful for her. She also dreads the challenge words but is starting to take her time with them and really use her sounds to figure them out!
Most of her hard school text, I read to her out loud, like history and science, but hoping she can enter high school in 9th grade reading close to grade level.
I also really appreciate the help of the staff! Everytime I send an e-mail or facebook message,I get a quick response.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

This is so great to hear, Lizzie! It sounds like she has made amazing progress over the last year and is on her way toward complete success with reading!

I’m very pleased to hear that our staff has helped you so well and quickly. 😊

Sharcondria Salone

says:

Stories like this really make me happy. Having a son with dyslexia isn’t easy but thanks to your program, I know we’ve found a way to help him

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m pleased to hear our program is working out well for your son, Sharcondria. Dyslexia isn’t easy but there is help!

Victoria Baumgart

says:

Thank you for sharing this story. I am interested in knowing more about the resources you have for students with dyslexia and look forward to exploring your blog further.

Merry

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Victoria! Here’s a collection of our teaching tips, articles, and free e-books to help you teach your students with dyslexia: https://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/category/dyslexia/

Heidi Bush

says:

I can relate to this story with my 8 year old son, I’m excited to get the program and get going, he so badly wants to read but struggles with mild dyslexia. With some of our skills and this I’m hopeful he will learn to love reading!

Merry

says: Customer Service

I hope AAR really helps your son, Heidi! Please let me know if you have any questions along the way. We’re here to help!

Shanna

says:

Thank you for sharing your story. I have a 10yo son who is a struggling reader/learner. He is on level 2, and is doing ok. His reading is choppy and he’s still sounding out a lot. He has had more problems since introducing long vowels. He sees an SLP who thinks he is dyslexic. We are looking into getting him tested.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Shanna, I’m sorry your son is having to work so hard at reading. Hang in there, he’ll get there. Please let us know if you ever have questions or would like extra teaching support. We’re always glad to help. If you haven’t already seen it, check out our Dyslexia Resources page too: https://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/category/dyslexia/

Jennifer

says:

We love all about reading! It’s such a great program. Thank you for all the emails and freebies you send too!

Victoria Warren

says:

Thank you for this very encouraging post!

Letitia

says:

Thanks for sharing. Very encouraging!

Tabitha

says:

This was an encouraging story for me!
I am dyslexic and am teaching my three kids and all have dyslexia. This is our fisrt year with all about spelling and it has been a relief …what a blessing!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tabitha,
I’m so glad this is encouraging for you and that All About Spelling is working well for your family!

Roxanna

says:

This brought tears to my eyes and hope for my struggling reader. Thanks for sharing!!

Kristin

says:

Such an encouraging story!

Kelly

says:

The story is all too familiar. Thank you for sharing.

Ashley P

says:

So glad she is doing so well! It gives me hope.

Beth Mortensen

says:

Thank you for sharing your story. I needed to hear it THIS WEEK.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m happy that this encouraged you this week, Beth. But let me know if you have concerns or need some personal encouragement or just to need to vent. It’s what I’m here for.

Adriana Hook

says:

We withdrew our son last October from public school because the reading interventionist could only spend 5-10 minutes a day helping him. His self-esteem was dropping quickly. I decided to leave my work and became a Homeschool mom. All we knew was that he had Orthographic Dyslexia. I read about the OG process and then read about AAR. He was in 4th grade but we had to revert back to 2nd grade. It was a blow to his little ego but that made him more determined to keep at it. He insisted on reading and would ask that I give him 2 chances to “figure” a word out before I stepped in. Soon, he was reading 50% accurately. We then ordered AAS and started at 1. He knew we had to start from scratch there too so he worked at that too. I’m happy to say that he is close to reading to grade. We are still working on spelling but he doesn’t feel pressured so he is enjoying the process and he likes the materials because they don’t look like “baby” books. Every time I hear about a parent struggling with a dyslexic child, I step in and tell them about the AAR and AAS line of products. I love that he is rebuilding his own self-esteem and is making himself accountable. There is no greater gift to a parent than a true smile of joy from their child. My husband and I are blessed! Thank you to everyone on the All About team…I appreciate all your help in selecting the right products and the regular emails that come in handy to keep me motivated.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your son’s story, Adriana. I was excited to read about his progress in just a year! Keep up the wonderful work!

Janet K

says:

Thank you for sharing this story.

Conny Crappell

says:

We have been using AAS for the last 2 years now. We love it

Jenny Farrell

says:

We are in the process of having our son diagnosed with Dyslexia and AAR has so far been a blessing to help us navigate this slow going road. This blog post gives me hope <3 We have not tried AAS yet but would love to win the giveaway!

Linda Undernehr

says:

My kids were adopted from the foster system & struggled with learning issues. All About Spelling & All About Reading helped them make progress we hadn’t seen before. I’d love to win the next level of either AAR or AAS to help keep them progressing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Linda,
It’s wonderful All About Reading and All About Spelling are helping your kids make progress with reading and spelling. Thank you for sharing this.

Amanda Pelletier

says:

My 9 year old daughter is a great reader, but can’t grasp spelling patterns. I’ve been thinking of going back to basics and using All About Spelling level 1 or 2. Every homeschool mom whom I’ve discussed our progress with has recommended All About Spelling to help her reset and get where she needs to be.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
We have a Spelling Placement Guide to help you decide which level would be best for your daughter. In All About Spelling, most students do start in Level 1, but older students will go quickly through the first level or two. My own daughter was 10 when we began with All About Spelling 1. It took her only a month to finish level 1, but her spelling improved notably in that month!

Please let me know if you have any questions or need help with anything.

Nishad Shaikh

says:

Emotional story but also tells us never accept defeat. You can conquer. It really boosts my energy as a tutor of dyslexia children. God bless u

Jessica Drew Barnes

says:

Thank you for the encouragement!

Kristin G

says:

Thank you for sharing this story of hope! AAR has also been a huge blessing in our family. I’ve seen my kiddo with dyslexia make significant strides.

Andrea

says:

This gives me so much hope. My 12 year old reads at an 11th grade level but struggles with spelling and my 9 year old is Autistic and I suspect has Dyslexia. Holding out hope for the best outcome!

Jean

says:

Dedication and a willingness to try each day can overcome many obstacles. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story to give others hope!

Carolyn

says:

What an inspiring story! Standarized tests do not reach all students and what they are truly capable of doing. My youngest has loved AAR and I wish I had found it for my older son. My older son has had such difficulty with spelling and I tried so many programs. I found All about Spelling and I was very nervous about needing to start back at level one, but it was the best thing I ever did. He is understanding spelling now and using in his writing as well. He would spell words correctly for me before, but it wouldn’t translate to his writing. Now I am seeing him spell words correctly not just in spelling, but across the curriculum:). My youngest is using it as well and doing great!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so pleased to hear this, Carolyn! It’s wonderful that All About Spelling is working so well for your older son. Thank you for sharing this.

SusanCK

says:

Our son who is 11 years old reads at 1st grade level. But he is improving.

Charissa

says:

Love All About Spelling! Have used it for several years now. Very interested in All About Reading

Margaret

says:

So encouraging!

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