Hearing words of encouragement whether you’re dyslexic, or the parent of a child with dyslexia can make a huge difference to your outlook on life. It can turnaround your life and make the future much brighter.
From the first day of attending The Carroll School that specializes in teaching children with dyslexia my daughter she came home a different child. They understood she needed to hear that children with dyslexia are smart and this is what they told her. This encouragement was the beginning of my daughter becoming confident in herself and her abilities, and being hopeful and optimistic about her future.
The experience I had when my son, who also has dyslexia, required speech services, was completely different. His difficulties with speaking were constantly reinforced. After every session the speech therapist would tell me what he could not do and say. I thought he would never be able to speak! So, I decided to change to a different service provider and speech therapist. On our first meeting with the new speech therapist I tentatively asked if he would ever be able to speak clearly. “Of course he will,” she told me in a casual and blasé way, walking off holding my son’s hand, seemingly totally unaware of my angst. It was obviously of no question or concern to her that my son’s speech would be a continuing problem. Her encouragement changed my attitude completely. Our twice-weekly speech sessions were no longer filled with dread. I could see a brighter future coming. I became hopeful and optimistic. She was right, too. My son is now an articulate speaker.
“Thriving with Dyslexia” caught my eye as I browsed through The Carroll School brochure. That little phrase speaks of my desire for my children! Doesn’t it speak for all of us who care about someone with dyslexia, or any other difficulty for that matter? It says: unleash the potential, enable a child to achieve their best and let them flourish in learning.
My browsing and our tour today of The Carroll Lower School for grades 1 through 5 with my husband and our daughter were not for her potential admission to the school but returning as an alum.
We had come to look at the brand new Lower School campus that opened in September 2010. The familiar Carroll logo on the sign in front of the school clearly beckoned us. We passed a new play structure and tall stone sculpture beside the path as we came to the main doors. Artwork adorned the walls in the main entrance and words such as “self-confidence, healthy in self-concept, happy and reflective” were scribed around the top of the walls near the ceiling. Stretching to our right and left were long corridors in mute colors broken by archways painted in mellow blue, green or orange. We passed through the archways as we peeked in on classrooms, spied teacher and students clustered around an interactive smart board and entered larger common areas, some filled with computers, others with mats for yoga and one area, where we finished our tour, dotted with tables and chairs and shelves filled with books.
Five years previous the sight of shelves of books in a school made me nervous – would this school understand that rows of books just emphasized the content locked on pages, unable to be accessed because of a struggle with reading. But today, it was okay! We had experienced the Carroll methods that provided access to curriculum and taught techniques to read words. Our daughter’s Facebook status after our visit: “happy memories.”
We sat and talked with some faculty. We discussed where our two Carroll graduates were now in their education. My daughter was listened to as she spoke about the support she currently needed but also her desire to learn and be challenged, just like a regular kid, in in history and science and other subjects. We talked too about brains – research in neuroscience, advances being made in cognitive development and its impact for those with dyslexia. But these matters will have to wait for future posts!