If you couldn't read:
- You couldn't drive because you couldn't read road signs and in any case you couldn't pass the written driving test.
- You couldn't follow the signs to a doctor's office or an emergency room.
- Store signs, including the name of the store and the open, closed and sale signs, would mean nothing to you.
- To go anywhere new, you would have to hear the directions; you could not read them.
- You would be baffled by labels on drugs and unable to figure out correct dosages unless told or shown.
- You would have to bring employment applications home for someone else to fill out.
- You couldn't read job postings.
- You couldn't surf the web.
- You couldn't read a rental agreement or any other legal document that you were asked to sign.
- The labels on food and recipes in books would be nonsense; you would be able to cook only if you were shown how.
- You couldn't read to your children.
- If you wanted to act in a play or participate in a ceremony, someone would have to read your part aloud so you could memorize it.
- You would miss warnings like "no loitering" or "private property" or "beware of dog."
- You would depend on other people to apply for any benefits you are entitled to, such as social security, and to fullfill any of your own obligations, like filing income tax forms.
- You would depend on other people to inform you about changes in laws and procedures, even to taking off your shoes for an airport scan.
- You would suffer through 12 years of utter failure in school and you couldn't find help on your own, because all the advice is written.
From this list it is easy to understand how some children with dyslexia and reading challenges could end up homeless, jobless or in prison. But the same children could also succeed brilliantly and creatively in many careers, some of them involving intensive reading. The difference is in the help they receive.
Windy Row Learning Center provides that help through one-on-one after-school tutoring. Steve Walker, the founder of New England Wood Pellet and one of those very successful adults with dyslexia, has said, “Out of the very many organizations I’ve seen, Windy Row Learning Center is possibly the most efficient and effective organization around.”
If you know a child with reading challenges, please contact us. Among other signs of a reading challenge, you may see:
- A refusal to read out loud
- Exhaustion when trying to finish homework
- An inability to spell or read a word the same way twice in the same sentence
- Trouble with directions (right, left) and putting things in order from first to last
- An inability to follow directions for a grame that other children understand
Children with reading challenges are not stupid or lazy; in fact, they are often very creative. Many of them are able to hide their reading challenge for a long time; often the problem first becomes evident in third grade. Not only can they be helped to read but once they have the skills and techniques to help themselves, they go on to great success.