Success Stories

In short, YOU ROCK!

I just want to take a minute to express how grateful I am for the Dyslexia Center of Utah.
Since she was in Kindergarten, my daughter, Calypso, had trouble reading.  I asked the teacher, the principal and the school counselor to have her tested for dyslexia, but they refused saying that dyslexia wasn’t a “real” disability.

In third grade, she changed schools and, there, I again contacted her teacher, the principal, the counselor AND the special ed teacher to request that they please test my daughter for dsylexia.  At the time, she had not progressed past a first grade reading level.  Not surprisingly, they also refused.  They gave me a copy of the first 600 Fry’s Words and told me that if she memorized those, she’d be fine.

Despite being a single mom on a very tight budget, I began looking into private companies that might be able to help Calypso read.  I knew very well that if her reading problems weren’t identified soon, she’d spend the rest of her school tenure WAY behind grade level – and that her difficulty in reading *really could* shut down a lot of opportunities in her life.

Unfortunately, the companies I found were either outrageously expensive, or didn’t address dyslexia specifically … until I came across a coupon from the DCU offering their assessment at a discounted price.

I made an appointment for an assessment with Shelley.

Shelley was incredible.  She instantly put Calypso at ease. Calypso reported that she just had “the most fun of her life” during the assessment.  When Shelley consulted me regarding the results, I mentioned to her that I probably couldn’t afford regular tutoring.
Shelley smiled and told me that, through generous donations from community partners, the DCU had scholarship opportunities available.

I immediately applied, and was granted a scholarship for Calypso.  She began tutoring a few days later.

Calypso has now been hanging out with her DCU tutors, Susan and Michelle, for the last six months.  She LOVES those ladies so much that only twice has she complained about having to go to tutoring – even though it’s right after school two times a week!

Since she began receiving services from DCU, Calypso has graduated out of STAR reading (a remedial reading program), and has begun scoring well on her spelling tests (even with an occasional 100%).  What is the coolest, however, is that she now “casually reads,” meaning that she idly picks up and peruses the cereal box during breakfast; she picks up pamphlets and browses through them when we’re waiting for appointments; she randomly picks up books and reads the backs to see what they’re about (shoot — the fact that she willing picks books up is a feat in itself); and she stands over my shoulder to read my emails.

This is amazing considering that the girl wouldn’t come within 10 feet of the written language just a few months ago!  I couldn’t be more pleased!

With all of that said, THANK YOU Shelley, Susan, and Michelle.  YOU are helping my daughter re-open long-term life opportunities that had begun disappearing.  YOU are playing a critical role in shaping her lifelong growth, happiness, and sense of well-being.

In short, YOU ROCK!

Warmly,
~Liberty Mason

It truly is an easy fix with expert help

I am a grandmother of one of the students at the Dyslexia center. I want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly
give a top recommendation for this center and what they can do for struggling students.
Children with dyslexia are bright and intelligent but they are made to feel otherwise
just because they don’t learn in the same way as their other classmates.

The techniques and methods that the center uses helps to unlock these children’s
abilities to be as successful as any other student. All of a sudden they don’t view themselves as
“dumb,” “slow,” or incapable of reading or spelling. They can finally “get it.”

This program may seem expensive but it is far cheaper financially, socially, and emotionally to fix
these learning problems now before your child has to endure a lifetime of not being able to live
up to his or her potential just because they learn differently. It truly is an easy fix with expert help from
the Dyslexia center. It will be the best money you will ever spend on your child.

Laura Lee Anderson

Gage’s Progress in 1 Year

A one year comparison showing just how much Gage has progressed!

Click on each image to zoom.

Gage Before Gage After

“I don’t know what we would have done without the DCU”

Our daughter’s reading has improved drastically since starting regular weekly sessions at the DCU, two years ago. Shelley is amazing! We now have a 5th grader with all A’s at school and almost reading on grade level. Not to mention her comprehension which is now above grade level. Thank you DCU! Sharon P.

“I CAN”

Hello everyone!  As you know Matthew entered the Inspirations contest at school and wrote a paper titled “If only I didn’t have Dyslexia”.  He won first place in the 3rd-5th grade division.  He gets to represent his school in the Regional competition.  Below is a copy of his paper.  He dictated the sentences to me and I typed for him.  I helped him put the sentences in paragraphs but kept his words just as he said them.    It is done so well and you just might tear up!  Thanks for all of you who care so much about him.

Thanks for all of you who care so much about him.

Sincerely,  Kim (Mathews mom)

 

“If I didn’t Have Dyslexia, I Wouldn’t Have Ever Met My Tutor, Shelly”

If only I didn’t have Dyslexia it wouldn’t be so hard for me to read.  I wouldn’t feel so much pressure when I have to take a timed test.  I like spelling words but it’s harder for me.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to grip a pencil.   It is hard to learn over and under and left and right and yesterday and tomorrow.    Cleaning out my closet feels like too much.  I feel under pressure and don’t know where to start.  When I read and reread and still don’t understand it doesn’t feel too good.  If someone says “dude, you’re not a good reader”  I really actually feel quite bad.  Sometimes when I’m really worried about something I have stomach aches.

But if only I didn’t have Dyslexia I wouldn’t have ever met my tutor Shelley.  She has taught me that only e, i, or y come after a k or with ck at the end of the word.  She has taught me about final stable syllables like ble, dle, tle, stle.  There’s a lot of them!  And stle says “sul” like castle.

I wouldn’t have gone to a new school in 3rd grade and I wouldn’t have met all my friends. I had to learn to talk to my teachers about my Dyslexia so they could help me.  It made me nervous but after I would say “hey, I did it”.  It’s really cool that I have to struggle so that I can know what other people feel like.  It helps me want to help people more.  The way I learn is different than other people because I have Dyslexia but it’s ok.  It’s ok because I’m still a person.

If only I didn’t have Dyslexia I wouldn’t have learned that if I take one thing at a time I can get the whole thing done easy.  I wouldn’t have learned to say “What? I have Dyslexia. It’s no big deal dude”.   Even though I have Dyslexia I have a lot of potential.  I am smart.  If only I didn’t have Dyslexia I wouldn’t be me!

Written by Matthew Bulpitt

 

Porter’s Story:

Porter was in 2nd grade at our public school.  Porter had loved attending school and was excited to learn.  This excitement soon dwindled and was replaced by sorrow, sadness and an unwillingness to return to school.  Porter felt “dumb” and was being ridiculed by his teachers for not keeping the pace set in their curriculum.  Porter came home one day and asked if he could quite going to school.  His little heart was broken and he felt the pressure was too much and Porter had finally given up.

As a parent I was devastated that my little boy felt so discouraged at such a young age.  You see with dyslexic children.  They learn how to adapt so they appear to be functioning at the same level as their peers.  We saw the warning signs that Porter may have dyslexia, but we were told by the school that he was not dyslexic and would NOT need further accommodations.  Finally, in 3rd grade Porter’s world came crumbling down.  He could no longer hide the signs of dyslexia and he was failing.  When the school finally tested him he was reading at a 1st grade level and comprehending at a kindergarten level.  He was 3 years behind.  How was he to catch up?

We found Shelley Hatch, and the Dyslexia Center of Utah through a friend whose child also had dyslexia.  He gave such high praises for Shelley and the work she had done with their son that we were eager to see if Porter might share in the same success.  We were delighted when Shelley saw us and explained how Porter’s brain worked.  Shelley allowed me to understand how to communicate with my son without all the frustration.  Porter is now thriving in school.  His English skills have improved to the point that he is now reading 3 grade levels above his grade.  Porter doesn’t feel “dumb” anymore.  In fact he enjoys his time at Shelley’s and always walks away with a smile.  Porter feels loved through Shelley’s process.  Shelley is a dynamic, loving, enthusiastic teacher of children with dyslexia.  Shelley loves them through their process and encourages their growth.  Shelley is like a 2nd mom to my son.  We will always be grateful for the gift that she has given my son and our family.  We have our son back.  Porter is an energetic, confident boy who now knows that dyslexia is not a curse, but a gift.  When dyslexia is channeled properly it can create dynamic learning abilities.

My son is a standing testament to that experience today.

WE LOVE YOU!! Thank you for taking our family in!

Warmest Regards,

Becca Giessing

Administrative Assistant

Utah Fire & Rescue Academy

 

We as parents do have a voice and they are listening…

To whom it may concern-

I am a mother of 3 boys.  I have some concerns about Bill 150 and if it will pass.  My 9 year old Cordell, now in 4th grade, has struggled with reading since kindergarten.  I noticed in first grade that he never tried to sound out the letters in the words he was reading.  I also noticed that his sight words were often confused.  saw and was, for and from, he could never read the simple word “THE”.  This word was on nearly every page and he would miss the word every time he came to it.

I knew something was wrong. We both  continued to get frustrated when we read together.  I often  compared him to his older brother who neither accelerated nor was behind in reading at his grade level. Cordell’s older brother could sound out the letters to words beginning in kindergarten and was pretty successful by first grade.  I know siblings do not have the same reading skills but something was off.   Cordell knew the sounds of each letter but could not put the letter sounds together to form a word.  He usually guessed the word depending on the beginning letter.

Cordell was placed in the school’s “STARS reading program” during the summer after first grade.  He really seemed to excel ending the program at a K reading level.  But when second grade came around he was placed several levels down at a D.   “Mom, I’ve already read all these books, why do I have to read them all again” he would plead.  Because of Cordell’s high intelligence he had memorized most of these books by reading them once months prior.  I pleaded with his teacher, asking why he was re-reading all the same books.  She stated that this was the level he was on.  I began taking him to the local literacy center twice a week where they would work with him.  I didn’t see a lot of improvement.

The finally straw was a test he took at school and brought home.  The test had 15 questions on it.  Cordell was to read a few sentences and answer the questions.  He got 2 of the 15 questions right.  As I read the questions I knew he was smarter than what the test showed.  I read the sentences to him and then asked him the questions again.  This time he got them all correct.  I then asked Cordell why he didn’t answer the questions right the first time he took the test.  “Did you read the sentences and the questions” I asked.  He said he read them but that “sometimes the letters on the page go straight up and down and sometimes they go like this.”  He took his hands in cupping shape and twisted them side to side like twisting a door knob.

As I began to vent my frustration with friends, it was suggested I have him tested.  We tried to go through the school test system and were told Cordell did not show enough disability to be tested through the school.  I decided to have him tested privately using my own funds.

What a relief.  We finally had an answer to our reading frustration.  Cordell was found to have a processing disorder and slight dyslexia.  Cordell was exceptionally high in a lot of areas but his reading and writing was well below grade level.  We enrolled him in a private tutor 2 times a week in the middle of his 2nd grade year, again at our own expense. Because through the IEP system, Cordell did not have low enough scores to be helped.

Cordell has continued with this tutor for 2 years now.  Finally this last report card he brought home all A’s.  He has exceeded this year in spelling (getting 100% on all of his tests) and has continued to increase his reading level.  Cordell is a very bright boy. He excel socially.  He enjoys conversing with adults and can keep them well entertained while holding his own in the conversations.   Had Bill 150 been in place when he was in 1st grade he may have been held back 2 grade levels by now.  Holding him back  would not have helped him.  Cordell needed specific instruction that he could not get through the school “Special Ed” program.  And remember, Cordell did not qualify with his IEP scores for special instruction.

Studies  have proven that  85% of learning disabled children who receive the correct intervention before 3rd grade can be caught up to grade level by the end of 3rd grade and will remain on or above grade level the rest of their educational career.   I am very anxious to see this statistic hold true for Cordell.

I sincerely hope that Bill 150 will not pass with the current wordage.  I think we will do a great disservice to the children, like Cordell, with a learning disability that are not given the proper interventions through the school system.

Sincerely,
Jodi Hall RN
& mother of 3

 

Open Letter to Jodi Hall

Jodi,

Thank you for the email expressing your concerns with SB 150.  We have heard from others with similar concerns and have addressed them in an amendment that specifies “appropriate intervention” and also includes an exemption for a child “who has been determined to have a learning disability, including dyslexia, by an independent qualified practitioner.”  That includes children who have learning disabilities, but not an IEP or 504.  I think you may be more comfortable with this amendment to the bill included as many others have been.  We will also have intent language that follows the bill that will specify the types of interventions that are “appropriate.”  The amendment itself will be made public online sometime later this morning and you could access it at le.utah.gov

Representative Becky Edwards
Utah House District 20

 

TRUE STORY: Jets Coach Rex Ryan Reveals He has Dyslexia

By Tim Graham
ESPN.com June 18, 2009

Jets head coach Rex Ryan has revealed he has dyslexia.

New Jets’ Head Coach Rex Ryan recently <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/jets/2009-06-27-rex-ryan_N.htm>revealed he has dyslexia in a noteworthy story to the Associated Press. Ryan stated that he was diagnosed with dyslexia a few years ago, after his oldest son Peyton was diagnosed with ADHD. It’s a stunning admission by a man who has exuded so much confidence and bravado since becoming the Jets coach in January (of 2009).

Ryan often jokes about how he’s the mental dud in a family of brainiacs. His mother, Doris, earned her doctorate from the University of Chicago and was vice president of New Brunswick University. His famous father, Buddy, was a two-time academic All-American, before becoming one of the NFL’s greatest defensive minds. (although his spike in the classroom coincided with meeting Doris). Rex’s brother Jim has an MBA and is an attorney in the St. Louis area.

“I remember skipping school when I was a kid all the time,” Ryan told the Associated Press, “The only way I would go to school would be like if there was floor hockey or softball or something like that. Then I’d stay. I was embarrassed. How come I was struggling? I’d get a spelling test and it was ridiculous. I couldn’t even get in the ballpark. So that was really frustrating.”

Motivated mostly by athletics and his desire to be a football coach, he graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State and received his master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky. He explains that he deals with his difficulty in processing such an avalanche of information as an NFL head coach by color-coding his materials. The Jets also help Ryan with TV and radio commercial spots by reading the copy to him and letting him repeat it before taping.

“If you talk to me, I can pick things up better than I can just off a white piece of paper and black letters,” he said.

“I’ll tell my players anything because I’m not ashamed that I have this,” Ryan said. “It’s something that I overcame. By far, I’m not a perfect person and I don’t have all the answers. But if I can relay a story that’s happened to me or a situation that’s happened in my life that I think a player possibly can benefit from, I’ll be more than happy to share it.”