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December 2016

Susan Barton

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Worried Mothers

Dyslexia Is Not Rare

Dyslexia Symptom Checker

What Should I Do?

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I Feel So Guilty

 
Never In Her 13 Years Of Teaching...


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Worried Mothers

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Dyslexia Is Not Rare

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Yet some principals still tell parents that your child is the only one in the entire school who has dyslexia.

Nonsense.

Dr. Shaywitz summarized the scientific research on dyslexia to the US House of Representatives in 2014.  To read her statement, click here.

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Dyslexia Symptom Checker

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Thank you, Dr. Lisa Long, for this great graphic.  Click on it to enlarge it.

 

What Should I Do?

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I feel so lost and alone
from a parent in Virginia

Susan, I feel stuck, and I need some advice. My son is having a rough year in 5th grade. After reading some of the articles on your website, I am sure he has dyslexia.

He struggled so much in first grade that his teacher thought he had a Learning Disability. But the school said he was too young to test.

Over the years, he has made some improvement because he works hard, is a pleaser, and most of his teachers love him. In fact, he got straight A's in 4th grade -- with TONS of hard work.

But this year, he has had a one-two punch: a teacher who is not so great, plus he is hitting the "read-to-learn" wall.

I am getting nowhere with the school. They claim he tests "on level," yet he got a D in Reading on his report card which seems to alarm no one. When I went to his teacher with my suspicions of dyslexia, she said that in her 23 years of teaching, she had only known 1 kid with dyslexia.

The Principal (who has a background in Special Ed) said my son might have some decoding issues. So he set up a Child Study Team meeting. But the team said he was too bright to need help.

I tried to tell them that my 5th grade son just now, finally, learned to tie his shoes (using his own wacky, two-loop method), he cannot name the months in order, and he cannot play a game like Apples to Apples where he has to sound out a word in isolation. So they had the reading specialist assess him. She indeed found some "decoding" issues. She sent home a first grade chunk-matching game. That's it. I am dumbfounded.

I feel lost and alone with no way to help my son. I live in a town with TWO teaching universities, yet I cannot find anyone who tests for dyslexia, or any professional tutors who are certified in one of the good Orton-Gillingham based programs.

How do I advocate for my child in a school system that deems him too bright?

Since dyslexia affects 1 in 5 kids, I can't be the only parent feeling so helpless and so worried about middle school.

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Live Video Chats

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Susan Barton has started holding Facebook Live Video Chats to share important information. Each is 6 to 7 minutes, and the response has been terrific. Since they were recorded, you can watch them now even if you do not use Facebook.

Chat #8: Is it time to change schools?

Chat #9: When to stop Barton tutoring

To watch my first 3 chats, which include the 5 most important things teachers should do, click here.

To watch chats #4 and 5, click here.

To watch chats #6 and 7, click here.

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I Feel So Guilty

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I feel so guilty...
by Laura Kuster, teacher and parent

I cannot tell you how many sad, frustrated tears were cried by both my now 2nd grade son and me during his kindergarten and first grade years.

I knew in my gut that something wasn't right but kept hearing the all too familiar "it's developmental" and "he's doing great and reading at grade level" nonsense while I kept pointing out what appeared to be weak phonemic awareness and little understanding of how words are formed.

I refused to let their words appease me and kept researching, learning, and seeking professional input until my suspicion of dyslexia was confirmed.

It absolutely breaks my heart that the teachers at the ground floor of reading instruction in our area know so little about dyslexia.

I am a former high school English teacher who now carries sadness and guilt over the unidentified, defeated students I failed to encourage and help all because I didn't know. I wish I could contact each one of them now and put a name on the monster that plagued them and robbed them of their confidence and made school a miserable experience.

Education programs need to do more to train future teachers, and schools need to step up and acknowledge this very common learning difference.

I am confident that my little guy will rise above this and thrive, but I feel like I need to be a voice for the other three kids with dyslexia in his class of 20, and the many more spread throughout the building.

Thank you, Mrs. Barton, for making information about dyslexia accessible and clear. You have lit a fire in me that I hope will spread through our local school district.

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Never In Her 13 Years Of Teaching . . .

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Teachers are amazed at how rapidly Barton students improve even when they are tutored by a parent, as this mother shared:

Thank you so much for developing this program and your great informational videos and website. Without those, I don't think my daughter would have been diagnosed and gotten the help she needed.

I am currently working on Level 3 with my daughter. Since starting the Barton System, she has shown tremendous progress! Her teacher told us that in her 13 years of teaching experience, she has never seen a student have this much growth in one year! She credits the program and my commitment to it.

That teacher has been wonderful. She has allowed me to come into the classroom for an hour twice a week to do Barton with my daughter.

By the way, that teacher is now interested in using the Barton System with a few other students she thinks will benefit from it. So that is super exciting!

Jennifer Veras, parent
Modesto, CA

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