How to Help Your Severely Dyslexic Teenage Son Avoid Struggling in School

I know exactly what you are going through, as I have severe dyslexia. I can explain how to help your son get through high school and life. I’ll start with my story.

Wanting to Escape

When I was in seventh grade, I wanted to get out of special education so that I could take my best subject, which was history. The school district would not allow this, so my parents went to a neighbor who was on the school board. With their assistance, I was mainstreamed for history.

Escaping special education

During my eighth grade year, I was the top student in my class, getting 100s on every test and quiz except for one. I even won the history award.

Hitting a Roadblock

In high school, I was mainstreamed in all subjects, even attending Advanced Placement history classes for both American and European history. My history teacher had earned a Ph.D. in history from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and told me that I should not go to college – not until I could write decent short answer essay questions. Mine were almost unreadable, with horrible spelling and grammar. 

Like countless dyslexics before me, I had to solve my own reading and writing concerns, which took almost a decade. Then I found the advantage of being dyslexic, solving a major concern in graduate school. 

Finding the Missing Piece

My graduate school research program was funded by SUNY Center at Buffalo in the amount of $15,000. This was followed by funding from the New York state government. My first program increased highly-motivated, dyslexic, high school students’ writing skills by 6-8 grade levels within one academic year. I presented the results of my NYS-funded study to the New York City branch of the International Dyslexia Association in 2006.

puzzle piece being placed in the brain

Sharing the Boon

Since then, I have presented numerous times at the Everyone Reading Conference in New York City and at conferences sponsored by the Learning Disability Association of New Jersey. I have also been a reviewer for reading programs for the International Dyslexia Association’s annual conference since 2020.

I am sure you do not want your son to go through this. However, there is a simple solution. Researchers at Yale have found that dyslexic students excel in articulation and word analysis (see Overcoming Dyslexia).

I found that word analysis really means using a thesaurus and summarizing a universal theme. We do this by using specific techniques to boost a dyslexic student’s articulation skills. Thus, dyslexic students can quickly bring their reading and writing skills to grade level and beyond.

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