Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Christmas Miracle For Vu--Learning to Read

My kids started talking about Santa several months ago.  One conversation will stand out forever. 

One child said she really wanted an i-touch.

Another an i-phone.

I thought there was a bad case of i-am-spoiled.

Then Vu excitedly piped up saying, "I'm going to ask Santa to help me READ better!"  And then, after a long pause, he got the saddest look on his face and said, "But I guess that's not something Santa can bring."

All I could do was hold back tears. 

You see, my sweet boy has worked SO HARD to learn to read!  He desperately wants to read like his peers.  He has spent more time reading aloud to me than all my other kids combined!  We have tried various reading programs at home and he's had extra help at school.  He's now on an IEP and has wonderful teachers supporting him.  And while he did make some gains he was still falling further and further behind. 

It was desperately disheartening.  The worst part was seeing his confidence slowly crushed.  Sometimes he would just break down and sob tears of frustration.

Last year, we had Vu tested and discovered he had dyslexia and a related language disorder.  The educational psychologist we hired for the testing recommended the Ortin-Gillingham method.  Interestingly, this is the same method recommended for older adoptees by Boris Gindis at the BGC Center (if you're an adoptive parent his website is a great resource). 

Ortin-Gillingham uses a kinesthetic, multi-sensory based phonics method that works especially well with dyslexia.  Unfortunately, it's a method our school district doesn't use.  If we wanted this particular method, we would have to find it ourselves.  The words of the psychologist kept ringing in my ears, "It's not going to be cheap to get the extra help you need, but in the long run, it will be less expensive than waiting and letting the problem grow."

And so, we jumped in! 

The first step was putting Vu on our church's prayer chain (something we should have done sooner).  The second was finding a speech and language pathologist.  We were able to get into Dr. Bob, an outgoing man of deep faith and ability. The third step proved much more difficult--finding an Ortin-Gillingham specialist within a reasonable distance to our home.

It's a long story, but through divine providence, we now have a tutor that comes to our house three mornings a week.  She is a wonderful woman who truly delights in Vu.  She doesn't have children of her own; she says her students are her children. 

And you know what?  Vu is now reading like a rock star!  Yessirree!!! 

It's truly AMAZING!!!  He just read his first chapter book all by himself!

And the best part is, his confidence is soaring!!!

Santa's wallet is feeling quite thin right now, but it's worth every penny.

Merry Christmas Vu!  And happy reading!

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