This is near and dear to my heart!  My youngest son is dyslexic.  He’s 20 now and in college at the University of Montana.  I honestly thought that he would never go to college because I wasn’t sure he could survive elementary, middle, and high school!  Things were tough for him in school especially in 7th grade.  Teachers were tough on him, in an effort to instill skills they felt were vital to education. He developed OCD and anxiety which with a change of schools and some minor behavioral adjustments suddenly went away.  It taught us to really listen to our son.  We had always been advocates for him, but up until then, we felt that we were running the show. He showed us, taught us, what he needed ( a new school -which would accept him as he was and be willing to make adjustments). The good news is that we found such a school.  I can remember the first parent/teacher conference where I understood that the teachers were on his side.  One teacher, Mr. Jones (God bless him) stood up in front of the other 5 teachers, principal, and learning specialist and declared, ” If you can’t teach a student like C.R., you have no business being here.  He is the finest student I have ever had!” (This from an Honor teacher who had been named STAR teacher by the valedictorian).  Together, C.R. and Mr. Jones tackled English Lit, Modern Lit, Classic Lit, and writing/composition.  Yes, he was very lucky to have Mr. Jones for 4 years.  Their relationship was based on respect for each other.  It was what our son needed to survive in the world of current education.  C.R. was accepted to The University of Montana which was suggested by his counselor (it had a strong support system in place).  CR is extremely successful in his life as a college student… good grades, good friends, and good summer jobs.  I don’t think it was a life that his elementary and middle school teachers felt was possible.  We know it is possible but if CR had not had someone in his corner like Mr. Jones, or a school willing to make changes like Mount Vernon, who knows …maybe they would have been right.  How many dyslexic students are on their own, just waiting for school to be over so they can succeed at life?

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Lisa Belzberg: Can Dyslexics Succeed at School or Only in Life?.

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