In talking with friends about Kate, I have come to discover that several of my friends have dyslexia. They all told me their stories. It was heart breaking. To see a 40+ year old woman get visibly upset when recounting her school experiences, well, it made me think long and hard about subjecting Kate to that. I always thought Chris' school experience was just an exception, but come to find out, it's every dyslexics nightmare. The common thread running through all these people's stories was extreme trauma, and low self esteem. Even though they knew differently now, you could tell they still had lingering doubts about their intelligence. And they all HATED school. Every minute of it for 12 long years.
I don't know for sure that Kate will have that same experience. I can't see the future, but man! Just the thought of her ending up like these people made me cry. I can't do it to her. I just can't. She already feels bad about herself because of the damn pink and yellow dots! What is she going to feel when she has to go to resource every day, and sees her papers and tests all marked up with red?
I don't know what is best for every dyslexic child, but I have to believe that I know what is best for mine. We've prayed about it, gone to the temple, talked to people, read and researched-- all to do my part to 'study it out in my mind'-- and the answer is clear. Take her out of school.
We've decided to home school her half day. She comes home from school fried from the effort it takes her to concentrate on reading, thus, she has absolutely ZERO tolerance for homework. In one short week, I could tell, I was going to have to keep her home if I wanted to do anything with her.
She seems pretty excited about it. We let her make the decision after explaining how much she'd need to do after school with Mom. She agreed it would be too much for her to stay in school.
She'll miss all of language arts, and go back for Math and the other things they throw in at the end of the day. We'll have to get some accommodations built into her IEP about making those classes dyslexic-friendly, but I don't think it will be a big deal. Keeping her out of language arts will eliminate confusion for her as the school's way will be so different from what we are doing at home.
Her teacher has been super supportive, and very willing to do anything she could to help. BUT, the poor woman is in her 70's, and has 29 students. It's not fair to expect her to figure out a new way just for Kate. I know that legally, I can demand it, but what will be the cost? She may resent Kate, she'll have less time for the other struggling readers, and she might not ever figure out the right thing for Kate anyway. I think she is secretly relieved that I am willing to shoulder the burden. Or maybe she thinks I'm going to ruin Kate. Who knows? At least she's been nice.
The perfect solution would be to hire a professional, trained and certified to teach dyslexics, but at $40-50/hr. that's just not going to happen. It's me, or her public school teacher. Those are the options.
I have very low expectations, the key to low stress-- right? I'm not trying to get her up to grade level this year. I just want to figure out the best way for her to learn. Once we can figure that out, catching up should be easy. I know she's smart. I don't know what I'm doing, but I believe the Lord does. He knows what's best for her. I just have to be willing to step into the dark...
Oh, and she's still going through the official testing process with the schools psychologist. That will tell me where her strengths lie. He and I have been communicating via email, and he's been very helpful. He has a dyslexic child as well, and is going to tell me about the Vision Therapy that worked wonders for them. I can't wait. The more information I have, the better chance we have of finding the right thing for Kate.
So tomorrow we start on our journey. I hope it won't take long to find the right path-- Kate's path.