"From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other.  But when books are opened you discover that you have wings." Helen Hayes, actress

Read stories about successful LD students that I have worked with over the last 25 years.  I have changed the names to protect the innocent.  I have seen hundreds of children.  Even though I consider all the students I have taught as being successful, these stories are some of the more interesting cases.

Some of these students learned slower than others because their learning disability was more severe.  Some learned to read slower than others because they had more than one disability BUT all learned how to read using the Orton-Gillingham approach.


I am no diagnostician.  I'm not qualified to diagnose a disability of any kind.  I'M a teacher specially trained to work with children that have ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, autism and Aspergers.  Over the years, I have taught students who have been diagnosed with a learning or reading disability, those that were "falling between the cracks" and those students that were "being left behind."

Sometimes, students aren't motivated for one of two reasons.  Sometimes they feel dumb because they can't read as well as their friends.  Sometimes students aren't motivated to read because they don't see their parents reading.

But there hasn't been one child that I have taught that wasn't able to learn to read.  Once they realize they can learn to read, they become very motivated. Usually it is hard to stop these students from reading.


The average length of time for tutoring services is about two years.  As children progress in school, their learning gap (the gap between where they are and the grade level they should be) becomes wider and wider. Because the progress seems very small, parents usually stop services at this point.

Even though these students' reading levels may never "catch up" with their peers, their reading foundation was solidified enough that their reading progress will continue to get better.  As these students keep reading, their reading level will continue to increase, even after graduation.

Many of the students I have worked with have gone to college.  One young man works in law enforcement and one works as a paramedic with the fire department.  A young lady that had severe dyslexia is now managing her family's dairy store. And yet another of the students that I had is now an elementary teacher.


"Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started."  Old Proverb

One student had been diagnosed as severe mentally handicapped.  The doctors said she wouldn't function above a 4th grade level.  In three years of extensive help, she was one grade above grade level.  These are truly reading success stories!

Unless a child has a SEVERE disability, they can learn how to read. Sometimes you may have to enlist the services of a reading specialist.

You may even have to the advice of an educational consultant.  Get the right kind of help for your child and they too can be counted as one of the successful LD students.


IF you want your child to succeed, then YOU MUST become an advocate for him. That means that you are the squeaky wheel.

This means that you are at ALL of the conferences and that you stay in touch with the teacher on a weekly basis.  Volunteering in the classroom puts you front and center so that you can see how the teacher and the other students interact with your child, the LD student.

By volunteering, you will also see how your child responds to others.  OF COURSE, the first few times will be awkward so set some boundaries before you walk into his classroom.

LEARNING DISABILITIES: Understanding the Problem Managing the Challenge: is a book that will help you understand the IEP process.  The book was written by Etta K. Brown, a licensed educational psychologist.

She says this about the book,

"Parents are encouraged to empower themselves with the step-by-step information needed to meet the challenges presented by the child with learning disabilities, and to solve problems and find solutions during the design of an appropriate individualized education plan. The parent advocate is advised what to do and how to do it, what to say and when to say it, questions to ask, and what to do if you don’t get the right answer."


Do you need help with your LD student?  Don't know where to turn?  Call Rene at 785-845-1201 between the hours of 8AM and 8PM CST (central standard time) for a FREE CONSULTATION.

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