Rosie and Eve
I’m Rosie, mum to Eve who is nearly 10.
From as early as Year 0 we knew that there was something not quite right with Eve’s reading. Comprehension was great, the want for knowledge was off the charts, but reading wasn’t coming naturally. We put this down to her being a late bloomer. Then our second daughter began school. She kept going up in reading levels and came home with more and more flashcards for sight words, something we didn’t see with Eve.
In Year 1 we asked for Reading Recovery (RR) for Eve but were told this can only happen in Year 2. Reading homework was such a trauma so we stopped doing it. She finally received RR, it was good, but she didn’t make the gains they expected. She ‘graduated’ RR and then did a test at school that showed it was ‘highly likely Eve was dyslexic’.
However, after that the school seemed to wash their hands of us. We were told there was no funding for dyslexia, and she’ll get that when she gets to high school. The most common thing implied by her school was, “She’ll be right’, and ‘Lots of kids here have dyslexia, they’re coping fine.”, “She’s great at reading, she read to me yesterday.” – a book that she’d memorised.
We took it into our own hands to get her a tutor who specialises in dyslexia (and now we know they use Structured Literacy) and then after a few lessons we got her assessed for dyslexia. She was 7.
Structured Literacy has given Eve the confidence to know she can learn resulting in a much happier person. She no longer tries to get out of going to school or escapes to the bathroom at school when it gets too hard. She now has strategies in place to learn in the classroom.
Our tutor is amazing, but one 45-minute lesson a week isn’t enough. Our hardest struggle is getting the school to BELIEVE that dyslexia is a diagnosed problem and unless she’s taught differently there’s no such thing as, “she’ll be right.”
Obviously, this is all quite challenging, especially as we work full time. Coming home to teach our girl the things she should have been taught at school seems like a very raw deal.
The deb Facebook page has given me a safe community to ask questions, to seek help, and to know that as parents we are not alone.
The best advice I can give to parents is to read the files on the page, and then if you have further questions, ask. And to trust your gut. You know your child best, if you really feel there is something not quite right, then seek help!
I hope we are well on our way in our journey. We are looking to change schools to one that teaches SL so that Eve’s future is as easy for her as possible. This is a bright wee girl who dreams of being able to read a book one day. I really hope that day is just around the corner.”