One of my sons took three years to recognize the basic 26 letters—most of the time. We gradually worked our way through 12 different programs and therapies. I was open to anything that might help: recommendations from other parents, from books, from the public school remedial reading specialist.
After five years and over $5,000 invested, my son was still stumbling over simple kindergarten words like “big” and “all.”
I had read anecdotes where a parent said, “My child just needed to wait until age eight. Then, boom, overnight he learned to read!”
That was not our story.
And it could have been worse. I had taught a few of my other boys successfully, I knew that this wasn’t (necessarily) an issue of my teaching. My husband has always been my advocate. My in-laws maybe didn’t always understand, but they graciously supported us to the best of their abilities.
Even though it could have been worse, it was still gut-wrenchingly hard, to pull out a program and work for an hour or so, without visible progress.
My husband even started his own manual labor business in order to allow our son to remain employed, should he always be illiterate.
Around this time my mom went to a presentation by reading expert Dr. Karen Holinga. Afterwards, she went to Dr. Karen and said, “My grandson doesn't know how to read.”
Dr. Karen said, “Send your grandson to me and I will teach him to read.”
She was also saying, “I don't care what therapies you've already done. I don't care what issues you're dealing with. I have the tools that can help.”