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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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Jenny

says:

This looks really interesting. As a mom of an 11 year old boy who is on the spectrum, we’ve noticed a few things that had us questioning whether or not he was dyslexic, and if so, where do we go from there? Nice to know we have option.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jenny,
We have a blog post that I think will be helpful for you, Teaching Reading and Spelling to Children with Autism. Also, we have a Dyslexia Resources page that includes a Symptoms of Dyslexia Checklist as well as articles and reports that you will find informative.

If you have specific questions or need help with placement or anything else, please let me know. I’m happy to help!

Ruth

says:

My daughter struggled with dyslexia before there were resources like this available. I’m going to try to use AAR with my grandkids and hope they can become fluent readers.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ruth,
I have great hope that All About Reading can help make a difference for your grandkids. If you have questions or concerns or need help along the way, we are here for you!

Alexis D

says:

Thank you for this post! It gives me encouragement for my son who is struggling!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so pleased to hear this was encouraging to you, Alexis!

But if you need help or have questions, please let us know. We are happy to help!

stevensplat

says:

After receiving ebook ghostwriting assistance from a buddy, I discovered that their writing abilities are exceptional. I must say that the authors ghost writing service is well worth it. Now I have to reward my friend for recommending this service.

Anna

says:

What an encouraging testimonial for us mamas working through a similar process! So happy to hear about R’s success!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so glad this was encouraging for you, Anna!

Jackie Rowe

says:

I have two kids with dyslexia, this is a great resource.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Jackie!

Natalie

says:

Helpful, thank you!

Abbe

says:

I am just beginning this journey. Excited to hear of such great success you are having!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wonderful, Abbe! If you have questions as you begin, we are happy to help.

Niki

says:

My son also has dyslexia and we are currently working through All About Reading. I haven’t added spelling yet but I plan to.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Let me know if you have questions about starting All About Spelling, Niki! I’m happy to help!

Miranda Carter

says:

Thank you so much for sharing your story I do think my daughter has some qualities of dyslexia but haven’t had her tested. We are working through level one AAR now plan to use the whole sets going forward!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Miranda.

We have a Dyslexia Resources page I think you may find helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything. I’m happy to help!

Deena Hargett

says:

Very inspiring story. I would love to get this series for my struggling reader

Judith Martinez

says:

My 10-year-old is still struggling to learn how to read and I’ve considered having her screened for dyslexia but on the other hand, she’s learned a lot of sight words on her own. This inspires me to just keep plugging along.

Jamie

says:

I love that she is reading on her own!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, that is wonderful, Jamie! I also love that she enjoys reading too!

Sandi Wagner

says:

My son was recently diagnosed with dyslexia. My other son is suspected to also be dyslexic but we’re unable to assess him at the moment. This was very reassuring to read!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this is reassuring for you, Sandi! I have similar success stories with two of my own children, so I personally know the struggle and the success. You can too!

We have a Dyslexia Resources page you will find helpful. If you have any questions or need help with anything, please let us know. We are happy to help!

Sandi Wagner

says:

My son was recently diagnosed as dyslexic and my other son is suspected to have but we’re unable to test him yet. This was very reassuring to read!

Alix Owens

says:

It’s so encouraging to read how this program has helped others!

Jodie Marsh

says:

As someone that is dyslexic I am excited to use with my children!

Ashleigh

says:

So glad your program is helping others achieve their goals.

Kathryn M

says:

This is so encouraging! We are in the process of diagnosing dyslexia for our daughter, and are hopeful for a success story like this one.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kathryn,
There have been lots and lots of success stories like this! Two of my own children have very similar stories, and your daughter can too.

We have a Dyslexia Resources page I think you will find helpful. If you have questions or need help with anything, please let me know. I’m happy to help!

Amy

says:

Thanks for the reminder that there is hope- my son has struggled for years; we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in reading though and I know it’s because of your program. 😊

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so happy to hear that you are seeing progress in your son’s reading, Amy! How exciting!

Jordan Shepherd

says:

Thank you! Great program!

Barbara Hawkins

says:

My nine year old grandson is finishing level 2 in all about reading and all about spelling. When I started using your program with him last year, it was just to supplement his homeschooling lessons. However, AAR&S quickly became his main focus. Now, he has developed more confidence in himself and reads with fluency. He hasn’t had any trouble understanding spelling rules,and remembers them well. He can sound out and spell words correctly. I believe the multi-sensory learning tools have helped him tremendously. In fact, he asks sometimes, just to let him do his words orally because he doesn’t need to do all of them with the tiles. He has finally developed a desire to listen to chapter books read to him, and is just starting to read books for himself. He has come a long way in the past two years, and I can see how he could even catch up to his peers, if he sets his mind to it. He just might, too, for we’ve seen him persevere when he wants to learn how to do something new.
Thank you Marie Ripple, for your dedication and the creative ways you help children and parents.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so happy to hear about your grandson’s amazing progress over the last couple of years, Barbara! Thank you for sharing it! He has come a long way in a short time and he will catch up, I have no doubt!

Lindsey Pierce

says:

Love this program

Kathryn Gomes

says:

We love All About Reading!

Ivette

says:

I have read many testimonials…excited to give it a try

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Let me know if you need help with placement or have any questions, Ivette! I’m happy to help!

Amy Rogers

says:

My daughter is in second grade, and was diagnosed with dyslexia in 1st grade. I chose to homeschool her after the school declined help for issues I saw at the preschool level and later her reading issues became more obvious to me. All About Reading was tremendously helpful in teaching her to read. She is almost done with Level 3 and testing at a 6th grade level for reading now. It is a tremendous tool!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, wow, Amy! She is reading so well and at such a young age! Way to go!

Jamie

says:

We love AAR

Heather Pappa

says:

We are excited to start with level 2 on our first year homeschooling journey. While in public school our son read the level 1 books and did very well with them. He has short term memory and is receiving his 2nd round of speech/language therapy to strengthen some cognitive skills. He works real hard and strives for his personal best. We are very excited to start level 2 very soon

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
Thank you for sharing your son’s story so far!

Lisa

says:

My sweet childhood friend had dyslexia. I watched her struggle even into adulthood. I wish there had been more resources like this to help her.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your friend struggled and continues to do so, Lisa. Dyslexia is so common (~ 1 in 5 people) that pretty much everyone knows at least one person that has it. I think we would all love to see resources that help students with dyslexia succeed be more readily available to everyone!

Christy

says:

I love All About Reading and the huge difference it can make for kids with Dyslexia!