Sheri Edwards’ words are heart-warming & no doubt speak for other parents seeking accommodations for their child with Dyslexia… Enjoy!
“Our child neuropsychologist encouraged us to find a “reading specialist” for our 8 year old daughter after she was diagnosed with ADD and mild dyslexia. She recommended 4 hours per week of remediation using either the Orton-Gillingham Approach or Linda Mood Bell methodologies. We’ve been so lucky to have found Marisa Bernard!
It turns out our daughter had little trouble reading but an extremely difficult time with spelling and writing. Before working with Marisa she was getting only 7 or so correct out of 24 on her weekly school spelling tests. For the last several months that has improved to missing 5 or less! I really wasn’t sure what we could hope to gain from starting this program, but the evidence of its working is crystal clear.
Not only has her spelling and writing improved but the most remarkable transformation has occurred with her self-esteem. Being otherwise incredibly bright, my daughter felt that she must be “stupid” because everyone else in her spelling group was doing fine, and she was barely getting a third of them correct. Even after realizing dyslexia was the cause of her struggles, she still felt badly about herself. When she brought home that first spelling test, it’s hard to say who was more excited—us or her! Even her teacher has commented on her improvement and went so far as to get Marisa’s contact information for some others that are in need of help.
Marisa is also wonderfully patient with her. With ADD we have good days and not so good days, but no matter what she patiently re-focuses my daughter (sometimes several times) until she gets through the lesson.
Many people ask me what exactly she’s learning if she’s reading well already. The lessons learned are seemingly easy things that the average person tucks away in their head and takes for granted when they access them from day to day. We are taught as English speakers that there are very few rules in our language and always an exception. There truly are exceptions to every rule, but there are more rules in our language than I was ever taught! And when you know the rules, spelling and sounding out longer words becomes less mysterious. The method utilizes repetition after the student initially learns the concept using a “whole body” or “multi-sensory” approach.
If you notice your student struggling with reading, spelling or even writing, I would absolutely recommend getting them evaluated. Don’t wait! Even if they turn out NOT to have dyslexia, the Orton Gillingham Approach could be taught and used by anyone to improve their skills. The program is more effective the earlier it’s started. We’ve been involved with Marisa and the Orton-Gillingham Approach for about 6 months now. Based on her progression so far, we have a few more months before we’re finished. There is a financial commitment involved, but I believe the long-term gain is priceless!”
-Sheri Edwards (Parent)