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Dropping your child off at school for 6 hours a day is tough. Dropping your child off at school for 6 hours and watching him struggle to keep up, make friends, understand simple directions, and always being left behind is in a whole other category of “tough.” I don’t know how many times a parent’s heart can break. In walks ECU’s Scottish Rite Dyslexia program. One night as I scoured the internet for ways to help my son I came across their site. At this point, we were homeschooling our so because he had digressed in every aspect of his life while attending a public school. I could only take him so far with his disability and needed help. The staff here has been a life saver. Not only is my son improving, he has gained self confidence and his social skills are also improving with each session. Their feedback and support have really helped complete our circle of learning.
In the past year Kobe’s reading, writing, and speech skills have improved greatly. Under the direction of Laura Frye, each clinician that has worked with Kobe has done a superb job. They are creative and very enthusiastic. Kobe responds well to each of them. He even comes home and tries to implement what he has learned with his little brother. They have also been very attentive to my needs as not only a mom but as his teacher. They give me ideas and encouragement all the time. Their positive feedback warms my heart. Kobe usually puts on the brakes in new situations and it takes a while for him to warm up. Here, he takes off around the corner without any hesitation. He loves the compliments he gets also. Coming from a school that only put him down, he feels like he’s on cloud nine here.
Words cannot express the lasting impression this program has had on our family. We will forever be indebted.
In March 1997, we adopted our baby girl, Alison from China at age 11 months. We had waded through the international adoption process for two years and as first time parents we were both expectant and excited to begin the parenting process. We read many books and articles and we had a shelf of children’s books and classical music CD’s to share with Alison. Although our daughter’s basic needs were met in the orphanage, she lacked muscle tone, so she could not sit up or crawl. She had also experienced chronic ear infections.
By age two, she had made up for the physical delays but her acquisition of language was slow and her vocabulary consisted of only about 15 words. Our pediatrician referred us to the Hanen Program in the Communication Disorders Clinic at Appalachian State University. The program was a resounding success and we have joked that the Hanen Program found the hidden ON switch in Alison and she never looked back!
At age 5, Alison enrolled in kindergarten. To help her learn to read, I had bought a book that was accompanied by a tape from Scholastic Books. I thought that Alison could be in charge of story time by following along with the words on the page and then turn the page when the beep sounded; however, she didn’t hear the beep on the tape at the end of the sentence. Again, I took her to the Communication Disorders Clinic for testing where she was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder. We then recognized that she still had difficulty learning complex language. For example, she couldn’t pick out rhyming words because all the word endings sounded alike to her. During first and second grades she visited the clinic twice a week to learn basic language and reading skills. Even though the sessions were exhausting for her, she soaked up what she was taught and immediately put it to use in school. She worked hard in language arts and by middle school she began to love to read.
Today, Alison is a junior in high school and an honors student. She has studied violin since 5th grade and will play in the Western Regional Honors Orchestra this spring. As a high school junior, she is investigating colleges and universities with plans for a career in the medical field.
Alison’s success is a result of her determination and hard work but also the result of opportunities afforded by the Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation and services provided by the Communication Disorders Clinic at ASU.
For this our family is grateful.
Ellen A. Cow