Let me introduce myself and share my background. My journey has many dimensions. I am an individual with a diagnosed learning disability. I am the mother of three, now adult, children who have diagnosed learning disabilities. I am, as a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham, an expert in the instruction of phonics and ran a tutoring center for 7 years. I am a licensed School Psychologist in the State of Indiana and have worked for ten years in that capacity in schools. I have a PhD in School Psychology and am a member of the American Psychological Association. I am the inventor of Sounds First Reading System and have worked developing that tool over the past 10 years.
As a child I struggled with reading. I have a memory of not knowing how to read. When I learned to read, sometime in the 4th grade, it was limited. I was and am a very slow reader. I could not reliably decode words. Except for reading novels, which I enjoyed, I avoided reading. Reading was not a good tool for me to learn. Thankfully, I was able to get through school, including college, doing little to no reading for most of my courses. In college the best I could manage was reading the first sentence of each paragraph. I felt like a cheat, and would not have admitted it at the time. I never finished any timed tests but was often able to squeak by with barely passing grades. But I got through it. When I was in school there was no broad understanding of a reading disability. I simply saw myself as inadequate, but, I thank God, I was generally resilient.
When I left college I did not look back. School was what one had to do. I had benefited from education, I was just not very good at it. I did not worry about it until one day, when I was 37 years old, my son’s kindergarten teacher expressed concern about his lack of progress in reading. That was the day my life shifted, although as with most things, I did not know it at the time.