Holiday Remembrances: Dyslexia and Christmas
Tears filled my eyes this morning as I watched the beautiful children of Mission Avenue Elementary sing Christmas songs with motions. I well remembered how my son Mark, now a successful 21-year old student at George Washington University in D.C., struggled with the most basic motions to songs when he was a child. Diagnosed with dyslexia and sensory processing disorder when he was in kindergarten, he had great difficulty with gross and fine motor skills. He couldn’t read or write.
My beautiful child was so verbally gifted, but he was at the bottom of his kindergarten class. During Christmas season of kindergarten, he was crying himself to sleep one night as he said “I’m stupid. I’m a loser. I kill myself.”
Terrified and heartsick, I comforted him as best I could and prayed to God. “If You will help me help my child, I’ll tell the whole world.” God answered my prayer for my little boy in so many wonderful ways.
Mark began receiving occupational therapy for gross and fine motor skills and vision therapy for tracking skills. I heard about a wonderful writing program called Handwriting Without Tears. Because Mark was so young, I was able to disguise the program as “magic writing from Santa;” this appeared under the Christmas tree. He loved it and his handwriting improved immensely. The school principal was so struck by Mark’s progress that he bought the program for all the kindergartens!http://Handwriting Without Tears
We went on to get many more services for Mark over the years: tutoring, therapeutic horseback riding, and more. Today, the little boy who couldn’t read or write or tie his shoes is in the George Washington University honors political journalism program–one of 125 applicants accepted out of 3,000. He hopes to be an attorney, and starts a job at the famed Brookings Institute in January, 2019.
Watching those children this morning brought back such powerful memories of the years of tears, struggle, and sacrifice–and hard work! God indeed answered my prayer–and tomorrow, my 6 foot tall young man comes home for Christmas to be with the family. Truly we have so much to be thankful for!
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