Our son always struggled with reading. However, what made it so complicated was that he was so charming. Because of that charisma and sweetness, he was able to get good grades while hiding his reading problems through clever tricks. I was aware that he was struggling. I asked the teachers if something might be amiss and I was assured that this was normal progression and he would catch on and catch up. This went on throughout elementary school as he continued to struggle with reading. Reading had become a chore, a hated activity. Each time I revisited whether we should have him tested, I was turned down by family and all his teachers. “He is making straight A’s!,” everyone claimed. “What’s the issue?” I again resigned my position on having him tested. I will regret this decision forever.
It wasn’t until an event occurred before his senior year that caused me to snap into action: he was attempting to open a bicycle lock and couldn’t get it open. He was transposing the numbers, using 21 instead of 12 which was clearly written in front of him. I felt that if he graduated and left our house and we never tested to see if something was wrong, we would have failed him epically.
I called Education and Testing Solutions and Dr Nancy Bell interviewed and tested him. He finally admitted the numerous ways he was able to avoid reading. He had become a master at this! He was able to keep up his good grades because he had wonderful listening skills and never missed an opportunity for extra credit. He was still very bright, but he found it all exhausting.
My son was profoundly relieved to learn that he had dyslexia. Following testing, Dr. Bell not only taught him new reading skills but also how to advocate for himself as he moved to his next level at university. He even wrote an essay about how grateful he was to Dr Bell for her dedication to his educational improvement, for which he was named a 2016 RiSE Scholar. Dr Bell has and will impact his lifelong learning skills in ways he has yet to comprehend.
My lesson has been this: If you have any doubts that something might be amiss, please have your child tested. Early diagnosis surely helps the child on his educational journey and the worst case scenario is that you find out “all is well” and gain a peace of mind. However, better to be a proactive parent and take charge early and listen to your gut, rather than be reactive in later years. However later is never too late!
— an ETS parent