We first learned about the Fundamental Learning Center through my sister-in-law, Erin. My niece, Josie, had had a screening a year or so prior. Erin had posted a video of one of Josie's sessions of the Alphabetic Phonics program, and I knew right away that my daughter did not have the skills that Josie was learning, even though Adelynn is several years older.
We suspected a learning difference with Adelynn before she began kindergarten. I had worked with my older boys just as I did with her before they began school. However, she was not able to recall letters, shapes or numbers that we would study from one day to the next.
Once she began school and started to read, I noticed that Adelynn was memorizing the text and depending a great deal on the illustrations of the books to help her with what she thought the words were saying. We discussed this with her teachers, along with some discussion about issues with letter reversal, and they didn't seem to be too concerned. She worked hard, was good student and didn't get into trouble; so by all accounts, she was fine.
However, at home, homework time was becoming increasingly difficult and frustrating. At our request, the school agreed to complete an evaluation, and the results showed she has low Auditory Processing and low Working Memory. Finally, we were getting some answers, and the team who gave the evaluation set up a 504 plan.
Even with that in place, we ended the school year as we have every other school year, panicked because we are still dealing with the same issues and, in fact, the struggle was getting more difficult not better. I called my sister-in-law in May feeling very desperate about Adelynn's situation. She knew we were coming to Kansas to visit in a few weeks and suggested that I call the Fundamental Learning Center and see if they have an appointment available during our stay.
Fortunately, Connie (Thompson, director of dyslexia screening) had one opening while we were in town. After our appointment, we felt like we had validation, resources and a plan of action for the first time.
However, instruction on proven methods that help people who are dyslexia are not available in our town, Visalia, California. Thankfully I was able to take the Introductory Literacy Intervention Specialist class the end of July as a virtual student. Through this class, I now have the training to help my daughter and others who learn like her.
Since our time at the Fundamental Learning Center in June, my daughter started opening up so much more about the learning difficulties she faces every day. I really believe that because now she knows the reason why she doesn't learn like so many of her classmates, she feels confident enough to admit what is a challenge and knows it has nothing to do with her intelligence. She has always been smart, fun, athletic and creative, but now she is empowered with the right tools to help her achieve her goals in reading.