Thriving With Dyslexia

Reading impacts everything. When children can't read they miss critical learning opportunities. Their self esteem suffers. They feel overwhelming stress and anxiety. Stop waiting for the school to solve it. You can save your child from the misery of not being able to read. You can address the struggle at home.

Elizabeth's Story

Dyslexia is hard. So hard. Hard for the entire family. I didn't go to school to become a dyslexia expert. I am simply a mom who had a child who was adrift. He needed a lifesaver and I had to figure out how to help him.


Over the years I've said "If only someone had told me where to look. I could have helped him faster. I could have saved him so much stress and anxiety."


We can't go back and make those years easier. But we can share our lessons and help other families. Thats what this project is all about.

Bradyn's Story

I have always enjoyed learning. I love science and history and a good story. My favorite books right now are the Wings of Fire series.


My mom says that at 3 years old I could teach her about dinosaurs and their habitats. But as I got older I struggled to learn to tie my shoes. I couldn't remember the difference between 1st and last. Beginning and end was tough and reading wasn't clicking.


In 5th grade things got really bad. I tested at a pre-K reading level. All of my friends could read and I couldn't keep up. I told my mom I was very unhappy. She hugged me and told me we would figure it out together. We saw a lot of doctors. We found tutors. We worked on reading constantly. I can read at a 7th grade level now and we are still working on it every single day.

Say Dyslexia

In October of 2018 Bradyn and I had the honor of telling our story to the Georgia Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia. We joined many families and educators in asking for help for dyslexic students. 


I'm happy to say that GA SB48 passed the GA House and Senate and was signed by Governor Kemp in 2019. I'm sad to say the bill only helps with screening and provides support through grade 2.


That means we have much more work to do to help our struggling learners in Georgia and across the nation.


Orton Gillingham Approach

Click Here to View


Long before I knew that a few key call outs in Bradyns IEP like "languaged based learning delay" and "phonological processing weakness" actually meant dyslexia I spent SO MUCH money on tutors. Very nice tutors that retaught grade level material exactly the way it had been presented the 1st time in class and unfortunatly was not the way that B needed the information presented. It wasn't until I learned about the Orton Gillingham approach and the various programs that explicity teach symbol sound corespondence in a systematic, structured way that has been reaseached and proven out to be the Gold Standard for helping dyslexic students did B's learning really begin to progress. 


Toe by Toe Reading Manual

Click Here to View


This little red book was a game changer at our house. We worked on it every morning for 20 minutes for about 6 months. It was really hard and we both cried some days but the lessons are very clear and structured. There are specific instructions telling the reading coach (me) what to say and how to coach the learner. We saw big progress during the time that we worked through the book. At the beginning Bradyn couldn't decode short CVC word like "cat". By the end he was sounding out big multi syllable words. Note: We did not use Toe by Toe exclusively. B was so far behind that we had a lot of tactics in play including a private OG Tutor. But this was one of the tools that helped me practice with him at home. There is no quick fix but this is a great tool to help a struggling reader get comfortable with decoding.


FREE Blending Drills

Click Here to View


We used these drills every day. The link contains web based drills for teaching and practicing blending and segmenting skills. The purpose is to help a struggling reader transition from using memorized words and guessing to actually sounding out words. We don't want our kids randomly guessing at what a word could be. The goal is to build automatic symbol sound recognition. This program does that by teaching 3 letter words like "cat" and "dog" using the 5 short vowel sounds. Then introducing consonant clusters and consonant digraphs using the same 5 short vowels. For example - "chat" and "blink".


FREE Stairway to Reading

Click Here to View


This is a full 41 lesson reading program plus tips on how to teach, games and flash cards. We didn't finish it because B lost interest and we had other tactics in play. Its a solid program so I wanted to include it as an option because your clild may respond better to this one than B did. Each learner is unique and various programs work for different children.


Dyslexia Quest Podcast

Click Here to View


As a mom who was once wandering around in the dark desparatly trying to find the right path - I consider this a MUST listen to resource. In the beginning it gave me hope and thats what I needed the most. Now I still listen to it and it regulary gives me insights into nurodiversity, ideas about new things to try, exposes me to more resources and gives me fresh ways to empower Bradyn to advocate for himself and most importantly to thrive.