The D Word

The smallest one in our home, aka Little, has been on a reading journey. Big began reading around age four. I’m not totally sure when exactly happened, as it seemed to burst forth from nowhere, one day she could read. Boom.

Six years later we are starting the journey again. Except the younger child seems to have no really interest in reading. Sure, no problem. Four is young to start, no worries. We get through kindergarten, nope. 1st grade, nope – which to be fair, is super normal in Waldorf Schools. Her teachers were fairly casual, but would mention it at conferences or check ins. We did some work in “extra lesson” (more about that later). We began to hear things like she favors one side of her paper, she’s not remembering words we practice at school. She writes her d’s and b’s and 2’s and 5’s backwards. On and on.

By the end of 2nd grade last year our vocabulary changed and the word Dyslexia has become a frequent topic of conversation.  The easy-going relaxed teacher suddenly became a little more concerned. Now as we wrap up 3rd grade with a new teacher and a new school, this is what we know. She appears to struggle with phonemic awareness. She is continuing to write certain letters backwards. She can’t sequence words front to back. Spelling is frustrating.

Something a friend had said to me when my daughter was about three suddenly resurfaced. Her eyes might not be working together. Sure enough, we brought her to a specialist recently, and her eyes don’t track together.

I was floored. How could I have lived with this child for every day for nine years and not realize she has a vision problem? I now suddenly understand the frequent clumsiness, the intense dislike of games with balls, or other things potentially coming toward our face.

This has completely changed our summer plans. We will be spending most of it in intensive tutoring and vision physical therapy work to see if the dyslexia is caused by the vision, vice versa, or unrelated. We are in week one of the work, it’s a long road ahead, but I am so hopeful that we’ll get there.

Right?

Peace and light,

-CM

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