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September 2017

Susan Barton

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How A Teacher Handles It

More Than Just Reading

Teach Kids To Be Kind

ADD, Dyslexia Or Both?

It Is Never Too Late


Screening For Dyslexia

Find A Way To Help Others


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Screeners and Testers

How A Teacher Handles It

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More Than Just Reading

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Thank you, Understood.org, for this great graphic.

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Teach Kids To Be Kind

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To the parents of kids who don't struggle
by Jules Johnson

As I'm scrolling down my Facebook timeline, I see your photos. I feel your pride. And I'm a little bit jealous ....just a little ...

"Johnny is in ALL honors classes this year!"

"Sally made the BETA Club!"

And the comments roll in under:
"Of course! I knew she would! YOU are a GREAT Mom!"

Don't get me wrong, my kids definitely aren't failing school or anything. But my oldest has severe dyslexia and my youngest has auditory processing disorder.

Honors classes? Let me tell you the HOURS we put in just to make it to regular classes! I mean....the fact my oldest only has one resource class (English Language Arts) is HUGE.

But will I put that on Facebook? No. No, I won't. But I will tell you I swelled with the same pride when I only saw the one modified course, all others smack dab good ole average gen-ed. It's been a lot of work.

My kids are both smart. They have to be to compensate in an academic world that thrives in printed words. It's like going to school in a land with a foreign language. Reading just isn't their medium. But they overcome that challenge every single day.

So, I'm not writing this to get you to stop posting your photos. You should be PROUD of your kids too!

But will you do something for me?

Talk to your kids.

Talk to your kids who don't struggle about kids who DO struggle. Explain that some kids don't read well, but it does NOT mean those kids aren't smart. It just means reading is one area that is hard, just like XYZ may be hard for your child.

And don't just stop there! Talk to your kids about "socially awkward" kids, and kids in wheelchairs, and kids who have holes in their tennis shoes.

Talk to them about kids who can't catch a ball or trip over their own two feet.

Talk to them about kids who are different.

Different is not less. And by embracing the diversity of all aspects of the human race, we will help to create a kinder and thus better generation.

ADD, Dyslexia Or Both?

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Susan Barton holds 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 #16ADD, Dyslexia or Both?

Other popular chats include:

Chat #3Which Intervention Programs Work?

Chat #10Penmanship and Typing

Chat #14Reading Comprehension

To view all of Susan Barton's video chats, click here.

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It Is Never Too Late

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Once dyslexia is identified, and a child gets the right type of help, they can finally reach their potential -- as this parent shares.

Prior to starting Kindergarten, we had no idea that McKenna had any issues. She seemed so bright, well-spoken and when I'd read to her at night, she'd take the book and read it back to me, or so I
thought.

Once school started, however, it was a different story. I was contacted by her Kindergarten teacher telling me that she was sending McKenna for some extra testing and that she thought McKenna needed therapy for fine motor skills. The Guidance Counselor called me and told me that she didn't even bother finishing the oral testing because McKenna was just too smart for it and didn't even understand why McKenna had been sent for it. I figured McKenna was behind due to not going to preschool, being a lefty, and being younger than the other students.

But her struggles continued. We'd work on homework forever, she could never remember her spelling words even though we were constantly showing her flash cards, and forget about the concept of "sounding out words."

We hired a school teacher as a tutor, and McKenna stayed after school several days a week.

In second grade, McKenna came home and announced that she had enrolled herself in extended day reading classes, and that I'd need to drop her off early twice a week for extra reading help.

Despite all that, we'd still work until 9:00 pm on homework. Yet she'd only bring home C's and D's after all that extra work.

I requested a parent teacher conference after EVERY report card, trying to figure out what was going on. All I was told was that I needed to make her read more, read more, read more. I cried after
every single report card. They didn't understand my concern since she was not failing, and she seemed to always "pull it up" by the end of the school year. They had NO idea how hard she was working, just to "pull it up."

She was doing well in math until she got to third grade when it all became word problems with gigantic words like parallelogram.
In third grade, we added extra days with the tutor to prepare for the dreaded state testing. Based on that one test, they determine if a child is retained or promoted. McKenna was so terrified and had
horrible anxiety. The night before the test, this third grader asked me if this test was going to affect her college applications. Then came the dreaded news that she did not pass.

When I gave her the results at home, she immediately ran to her room and locked the door. All I could do from the other side was tell this poor crying child that she was wrong to say that she "is stupid."

Read or listen to the rest of this story here. It DOES have a happy ending.

Screening For Dyslexia

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Susan Barton has conducted her live, in-person 6-day Screening for Dyslexia seminar twice each summer since 2002. Sadly, she is no longer able to offer it in person.

Susan started converting her Screening for Dyslexia seminar into an on-line course.

But you know the saying: Life is what really happens while you are busy making other plans.

Sadly, due to the needs of several family members with worsening illnesses which require Susan's loving care and attention, the on-line course will not be completed for quite a while.

Meanwhile, you can learn how to spot dyslexia, and how to help, by watching these videos:

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Find A Way To Help Others

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Find a way to help others
email from Liz Taylor

I'm a parent of a dyslexic 4th grader. Our son was diagnosed in 1st grade. He is now in a wonderful and supportive school that allows his Barton tutoring during the school day. He has made remarkable progress in the past 2 years. It hasn't been easy, but he is doing the hard work and moving forward through your program.

I am an illustrator and I wanted to use my abilities to share his story, and the story of so many courageous dyslexic kids, in a visual way. So, I created this illustration. It was a wonderfully fulfilling project, and my wish is to share it as much as possible if it can be a help to parents, students and their teachers. 

This by no means captures everything that it means to be a dyslexic student in school, but my hope is that there is enough here to help parents and students to facilitate productive dialog with the professionals working with their children. 

I saw you speak once in the early and blurry days of his initial diagnosis and I remember you saying that once you are through the fire, find a way to help others. This is my hope with this illustration. I hope you enjoy it as the labor of love that it is and I would be overjoyed if you shared it with parents who might find it useful.

Thank you for your life's work. It is important and good.

Best,
Liz Taylor

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