Let's just get this over with. I have been agonizing over it, panicking and just generally freaking the hell out to even admit this, but here I go. She can't read. There, I said it. Call Social Services now. She is 9 years old, on the autism spectrum, home schooled and she can't read.
Ok, she can read a little bit. Like C-V-C words. Three letters, four. Not difficult combinations. So what the heck do I do all day, right? Since my kid can't read? And I am responsible? And I sit on the Internet all day? Whoah. Let's back the truck up, Jack. I have been homeschooling my children for 6 years now, and I am good at it. My eldest daughter is amazing, and gifted. My son has great spatial relations and comes up with some of the most interesting questions. And then? There is my youngest daughter.
If you have been reading very long, you know she is a complex enigma. She is smart. There is no getting around that. When she sits to do school work, I have to pry her away from it. She works really hard. She also has amazing imaginary skills. I would say she often lives in her imaginary world. Most of the time it works. We don't forbid her from doing what she likes, like playing with Playmobil and small figures.
But, she can't read. I used to think it was me...I was doing something wrong. I teach her the same way I taught my son. And teaching him was a challenge, because not only is he on the autism spectrum, he is also dyslexic. I had to learn a completely different way to teach. But it has paid off, for the most part. I was doing computer programs with my youngest, sitting together to read, doing a multi-sensory tile-based phonics program, and she still was not progressing. And that's when she told me.
"Mama, when I read, the words and letters move all over the page." Aha! I had long suspected dyslexia, now I had some idea that was part of the problem. I took her to her speech teacher (What? you didn't know she took speech?) and told her the problem. I told her I was thinking of eye therapy, and that we were headed in for an evaluation. She agreed that was a good idea.
The eye evaluation simply confirmed what I already knew. Her eyes have a difficult time tracking together, and her depth perception is off. Luckily, this can be corrected. It isn't that she cannot read because she can't...she can't read because her eyes aren't working together.
She sees her eye therapist every week. She sees her speech teacher every week. And with luck, and a A LOT of hard work (we have 20 minutes of eye exercises every day) her eyes will improve. When that happens, she will be able to read. I hope. Of course, there is a nagging fear that she will never know what it is like to pick up a book with ease and while away the afternoon. That maybe, though we are all good readers in this house, she will continually struggle and never really take off. That fear makes me want to curl into a fetal position and never move. But you know that's just not the way I roll. I will make this latest hurdle my bitch, the way I always do. And you'd best believe that I (along with her speech/reading teacher) will make sure she catches up. You will be one of the first to know when that happens.posted from my iPad