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My daughter was in the select 3%.  Impressive- a tiny sliver of the pie.  Unfortunately this was her score on a nationwide scale of spelling ability.  She was in the 4th grade and in the bottom 3% for spelling in the nation.  I am her mom and I have an elementary teaching degree with a concentration in reading and language arts.  I couldn’t help her.  Her reading skills scored closer to 20%, but still well below average.  I had been a wreck over this for 3 years already.  The next step was testing to qualify for special education services.  

 

One word put the skids on this train wreck: dyslexia.  Her literacy skills were in the toilet, but she demonstrated “superior reasoning” in math, exceptional social skills, a healthy IQ and fantastic problem solving skills.   You don't’ get to 4th grade as a poor reader without being creative and inventive. After a couple months of exploring options available it became obvious that I had to be the hero in this story.  What a hero needs is a super power.  I found this super power in the Barton System for Reading and Spelling.  This program came in the mail with all the training and tools I needed.  We started immediately….  We began a play of tantrums, bribery, tears, encouragement, flying notebooks, smiles, pencil stabs and growth.  After the first week I knew…  I knew we were doing intervention right.  No question about it.  It was not easy, but mother and daughter sat together at the kitchen table and we learned together.

 

Fast forward to conferences 2017 of her junior year of high school.  How can I describe the swell in our hearts as her dad & I met with teacher after teacher.  Seven years ago we were looking at the options… which looked like special ed or no special ed.  How could we be so lucky to have a young woman who clawed through, worked hard and brings smiles and laughter to her classes every day.  She is a solid B student with countless skills that can’t be measured.  She is a happy and successful person and we are grateful.

 

 

Every four months, we do a short assessment to see how are students are progressing. 

We love doing these assessments because we get to witness moments like these:

 

When Sam started working with his tutor Kasey, he was reading at 23 percent of his grade level.  After six months of tutoring, Sam is now at 97 percent.  It's exciting to see the hard work pay off and it's exciting to see how proud parents are of the progress! 

I didn't grow up watching the Fonz because "Happy Days" was too inappropriate for my sisters and I.  Despite our sheltered upbrining, we all knew about "The Fonz" and caught a few shows here and there while someone was on the lookout. (Sorry, Mom!)

While crowds of Screaming People Love Henry Winkler for his role as Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli, I admire the actor who played him, Henry Winkler, for his work for dyslexia awareness. 

Thank you, Mr. Winkler, for sharing your story so that others might understand. 

 

Check out this video on Henry Winkler here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn93Itn08fc