A few months ago it dawned on me that my son might have dyslexia. A?whole range of symptoms suddenly made sense. After three weeks of intensive research, phone calls, and meetings with professionals who could help, the world seemed quite topsy turvy and the plethora of options overwhelming.
I found a wide range of internet sites that had excellent information, helpful advice and people who were only too happy to offer their guidance. (What did we do before the internet?) But where to start?
Which kind of treatment to choose ?to best help my son? ?Psychologists each have a particular path they go down, Occupational Therapists have another.?The Developmental Optomertrist prescribed glasses (which helped) and had yet another style of therapy to offer.
After a lot of thought, I chose the Alison Lawson Centre, who claim that they can cure visual dyslexia in 10 treatments.? It was quite expensive (AU$1650 all up, including initial consultation and assessment) and required A LOT of home work.
My son fell firmly into their ?we can successfully treat this? target population. ?They assured me that I would notice a big difference as we progressed through the treatments.? I was also informed that the biggest surprise would be in 6-12 months, when I would look at his work and be amazed at how far he had come.
We?gambled on success and off we went.
Assessments before and after dyslexia treatment
We attended mostly weekly visits to the Alison Lawson Centre in Hornsby, Sydney, and occasionally went twice a week.? Weeks 1-4 were incredibly intensive (especially with a not very compliant child). It required one-on-one therapy administered by me for between 1-2 hours every day (including weekends), and?twice daily half hour segments watching black and white TV. (Thank goodness for Horrible Histories!) This with?one eye patched and the other eye looking through a red lens.
For more information about the actual program click here.
After Week 4 my son no longer needed his prescription glasses and stopped wearing them.
Week 7 was another intense week.? We were both ready to give up. By that time, I was an emotional wreck.? I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed. The?volume of work required, making my son do his home work every day throughout the school holidays? (when he resisted every step of the way) and trying to run my business, run my home, my other children and still fit in all my other commitments.? I was exhausted and miserable.
The only thing that kept me going was witnessing my son?s week-by-week improvements.? That and the fact that he had started reading ?real? books at bedtime for pleasure! Diary of a Wimpy Kid?to the rescue!
In week 8 my son managed to transcribe an entire page of writing, perfectly.? His writing was neat, well spaced, perfectly formed, and perfectly spelled.? We were both so proud!
By the time week 10 came around both of us were once again completely fed up with the whole thing but pushed on, knowing that the end was near.
At our week 10 visit, my son had another assessment and the results were so very different to those first ones.? He could see the difference and was very proud of himself.? He was also very proud to take his achievement award and medal to school to show his teacher and classmates.
That was two weeks ago.
My son continues to read every night for pleasure (and sometimes during the day when he has nothing else on).? His hand-eye co-ordination and his baseball skills have both improved.? Spelling is now much easier and, when he?s not hurrying to get it finished, his writing is pretty good and improving all the time. His vocabulary is improving every day as well.? He can go cross-eyed at will (a big achievement for him) and can hold his focus steady for more than ten seconds at a time.
There is still room for improvement but I?m sure that will come with increasing confidence in his ability to keep up at school without having to rush all the time.
I can?t wait to see how things will be in 6-12 months? time!