"But what about the 2%? What do we do when we have exhausted everything?"
"We find something else."
My daughter is falling into that 2%. My daughter is a sad little girl. Thank goodness she has softball that makes her happy because anything to do with school, she becomes sad. I was recently talking to a friend and I made the comment, if I could go back to when she was in Kindergarten, back when she knew she was smart, I would in heartbeat. I would go back smarter and wiser and have the tools to help get her what she needs.
Sadly, I can't. None of us can. All we can do is the best we can and get them what they need to be able to navigate through school.
I am a big advocate for teacher training. I have said so many times, all it takes is one teacher, one teacher who understands dyslexia and can accommodate and listen, one teacher and it makes a huge difference for a student. What I have also learned though is to truly understand you need to experience it. You need to have a child that struggles everyday. See that sadness when they don't understand something the "traditional" way, but also see that excitement and glow when your child gets it!
You all already know this but I am a huge fan and supporter of Kelli Sandman-Hurley and Tracy Block-Zaretsky at the Dyslexia Training Institute. They have an amazing dyslexia for a day simulation that I have witnessed first hand and it works. I wish all training included these simulations, because even just one makes a huge difference for teachers.
I have done Orton-Gillingham training and I have been trained in RAVE-O which is by MaryAnn Wolf. I am a few weeks away from being trained in structured word inquiry as well. I am hoping to come up with something that I can do to help my daughter, the 2%, using all of these, because I think that is what she needs.
I want to end this blog with two stories of my daughter and the glow she got when I explained something to her and she got it!
1. I went through the consonant and vowel cards with her on the first day we were working together. She got to the J card and she hesitated. I knew she struggled with that sound because her case manager told me, she just had a hard time remembering the sound that J makes. I said to her, "What is my name?"
"What letter does Jennifer start with?"
And I saw the glow. Just like that, she made the connection. The next day we got to the J card and she hesitated for a second but I could see her mind thinking (Jennifer.../j/) and she said /j/.
2. I have been trying to come up with ways to teach sight words, not just memorize, my daughter has a working memory deficit so memorizing is not easy for her, so that is why I am taking the word structure class. I asked her, "how do you spell does?"
"Do you know that the base word for does is do?"
"How do you spell do?"
"ok, so if DO is spelled D-O and DO is the base word for DOES, what do you think you add the end of DO to make it DOES, remembering that DO ends in a vowel."
"Right! So how do you spell DOES?"
And there was the light bulb and glow again.