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Story of a Child

​Dawson, a twelve year old boy from rural Iowa, was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 12. He tested near genius level in math, but his reading was below third-grade level. He was having a very hard time in school despite being a well-behaved, responsible son at home who cooked, cleaned and cared for his younger siblings while both of his parents worked.

Dawson also had dysgraphia (trouble with writing). He could calculate complex math problems in his head, but lost all train of thought when forced to write out the same problem. He was getting an F in math because his teacher would not accept his answers without the written work.

Dawson attended a dyslexia learning center in West Des Moines, Iowa for a year. Within 12 months he was reading three and four syllable words correctly, and doing well in his Orton-Gillingham dyslexia reading program. Because he lived two-hours away from the tutoring center, they provided online tutoring via services like Skype and Facetime, with Dawson coming for in-person visits every two months.

Dawson liked the program and was successfully beginning to acquire grade-level reading skills. He began listening to audio books for school work and his grades began to improve.

Dawson and his sister noticed their younger brother Carver, 8, was also having a hard time reading. His family had Carver tested. His family could afford Dawson's tutoring, but they were struggling to decide how to afford tutoring for Carver. Dawson's mom works in the dental field and teaches dental courses, and his dad works full-time in public works.

Funding dyslexia scholarships will help middle class families like Dawson's. Dyslexia is heritable, and children have a 50% chance of inheriting it if it is in the family tree.

The West Des Moines dyslexia learning center mentioned in this article has several families that struggle when they learn a second child has dyslexia. Because schools do not offer the evidence-based reading programs that remediate dyslexia, families are forced to go outside the school system. Your donations go directly to families like Dawson's!

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