I will never forget the first meeting in my son's pre-k 4 classroom. I was told your son is bright, he is just slow to read. I was referred to a reading recovery specialist. We faithfully saw "Coach Deb" year-round until I received a call at the very beginning of second grade. I went to meet with the teacher, and I was told, "your son has dyslexia." I was devastated and I was also ignorant at the time as to what that diagnosis even meant. I am a professor and research is my specialty. My husband and I feverously researched everything we could regarding remediation therapies. Our children attended a highly regarded private school in our community. Through several contacts, we had our son tested. He did indeed have dyslexia. Due to God's faithfulness to us, it turns out that the teacher that diagnosed him was also a dyslexia therapist.
All through our journey, God has placed exactly the right teachers, diagnosticians, friends, and others in our path as we walk through what this diagnosis means to our son and our family. As an educator myself, it was most important through it all that my son loves school and learning. The teachers that he had were such a partner in this endeavor. Making sure not to call on him for a difficult read aloud and set him up for success when he was called on. As he was in a private school, they were not required to provide accommodations. However, many teachers did so of their own accord, and I will be forever grateful. However, by the end of fifth grade, it became apparent that the school administration did not follow our values. We looked diligently for other options. The Woodlands Christian Academy over and over again was mentioned. We toured and I was hesitant to change schools, but the Lord continued to speak softly and, in some cases, loudly that this was the right move.
After we made the decision to make the change for our three children, we learned about the NILD program at TWCA. This fabulous program provides educational therapy for students with dyslexia and other learning differences. We were sold! Please keep in mind our son is at this time was about to enter sixth grade. He had completed three years of reading recovery and four years of another dyslexia program.
Once we made the change to The Woodlands Christian Academy, will had a fabulous therapist, Mrs. Martin. Mrs. Martin changed his life. Will came out of his shell and before our eyes my husband and I saw our saw laugh more. More importantly, we saw him actually and truly happy. You see the NILD program DOES provide and make sure that students like my son receive the accommodations that they would be entitled to in the public system. Each child's therapist becomes the student's advocate. The program has normalized the accommodations requirement. At my son's prior school, he did not want to be pulled out of class for therapy. He only would go after school.
At TWCA, my soon looks forward to educational therapy. In fact, on numerous occasions he has gone to the testing Lab to study or complete homework. What TWCA and the NILD at TWCA have done is what should be done all over the country. They have helped these gifted students reach their full potential. They have helped them have an equal footing in a world that only teaches from one point of view to one type of student.
My husband and I believe that our son is the best person to evaluate NILD. He is the ONLY student that I know that has completed three programs. He would tell you hands down that NILD has helped him the most. Our son is now in eleventh grade and sixteen years old. He is still in TWCA’s NILD program and has an amazing therapist, Mrs. Levett.
He continues to work through the Rx for Discovery Reading program. This program has built his confidence, his reading fluency, and given him the courage to accomplish things that make my husband and I so proud. He is in all AP or Honors classes. He has been thriving in PreAP or AP English for all three years of high school! We believe that says it all right there! More importantly, he is happy and loves school. He is planning to become a doctor and help others. One of the benefits of dyslexia is empathy towards others. His patients will benefit from his patience and humble bedside manner. We could not be prouder, not only of his goals, but his work ethic.
As parents, we want you to know that dyslexia is a lifelong journey, but it does not have to define you. There is no quick fix or cure, but there is hope and success with patient, consistent NILD therapy. You are your child's best advocate. You know them better than anyone. The ability to provide NILD remediation therapy is the absolute best gift you can give them. Not only the ability to learn, but the skills that they need to be successful whatever road they choose. As a parents, we know you have many options for therapy, this it is we believe it is important to know the entire journey. We honestly believe NILD will make a life changing difference in your child's future, we know it has done this for our child.
Laura and Anthony Sullivan