As a mom of 2 children, one of the hardest challenges I have faced is watching Gaige from having great confidence/self-esteem to watching it deflating week after week and him place false labels on himself. In Kindergarten I noticed Gaige was always behind in reading compared to classmates. When he entered 1st grade he came home saying things like “I’m dumb” “I’m the only one in my class who can’t read”, while crying doing his homework which consisted of reading for 30 min every night. I eagerly contacted the school and set up a meeting to find out what our options were. Showell Elementary started by putting him in tier 2 reading, which means he would be reading with a teacher student ratio of 1:8. Within a few months he went to tier 3 reading level with a teacher student ratio of 1:3. Jason & I bought everything we could to try to engage him in reading again.
To my surprise, his last day of school his 1st grade teacher, who was out on maternity leave for sometime, called & told me she recommended Gaige repeat 1st grade. I was speechless. I know how intelligent Gaige is and know reading is his only weakness. After contacting other staff member at Showell and crying many tears we made the decision to not hold him back & have him tested come 2nd grade.
After starting 2nd grade Gaige was tested using the Woodcock/Johnson IV, a 6 hour test, performed over a month. The test showed he was at grade level with everything, except reading.
Abstract Verbal Reasoning. Above Average
Verbal Concept Formation
Word Knowledge. Superior
Long Term Memory. Average
Letter-Word. Well Below Average (K6)
Broad Reading. Well Below Average (K4)
Reading Fluency. Below Average <K
The test showed Gaige is exceptionally smart but, in reading is not scoring well because a
phonological processing problem, manipulating language called Dyslexia. After speaking to the special educator and school psychologist at Showell Elementary they told me there are many times they had diagnosed children with dyslexia tendencies but never a profound form. Gaige was diagnosed with a PROFOUND form of Dyslexia.
Gaige has had private tutoring he has an Individual Education Plan (IEP). I am a member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), also an advocate for raising awareness for Dyslexia. I have researched and wrote letters to obtain grants/scholarships to no avail. Maryland has just recently acknowledged Dyslexia as a disability (learning issue) as of April 10, 2019 therefore, we have a long ways to go to assure every child is given the help they need.
I am reaching out because unlike most private school, schools that specialize in Dyslexia are 3x more expensive. On average it cost $30,000 for one academic year. The good news is once the student masters the skills they need, they typically return to public school. The Highland School of BelAir is $28,500 for one academic year.
Dyslexia is genetic, Gaige’s his grandparents on both sides had it. My prayer is for Gaige to fulfill his God given purpose and in our societies education-system reading is highly valued.
This journey has been long, hard, tiresome and heartbreaking. Watching your child loose confidence, cry all the time, not be able to read in 3rd grade, put false labels on himself, has left me with many sleepless nights. After pondering how the heck we could afford this ‘GO FUND ME’ popped in my head. I understand with the national pandemic we are currently undergoing there are many people out of work and barely able to pay bills. However, if there is any amount of $ you could donate we would appreciate it from the very bottom of our hearts. I will be sure to update everyone on Gaige's progress. Thank you and God Bless.
Jason & Jen Arthur