Hi, my name is Michael Bates, I am a
parent, a teacher (BEd), Political Scientist (MA) and until recently, a federal bureaucrat in Ottawa for
the Department of Public Works. I never thought I would be writing a web
site on dyslexia, but life changes quickly when someone in the family
is struggling to read and so I've gone from serving Ministers to serving
parents and teachers.
I'm trying to build the kind of web site that I wish had existed when we first started looking for reading help for my stepson several years ago: A site that will help parents and teachers avoid the false starts and mis-diagnosis' we went through and to quickly arrive at that moment when you understand the real problem for the first time.
a moment of great relief when dyslexia is identified. Not
because it leads to a quick fix or a solution (there isn't any) and not
because it's a gift (it isn't), but because it's the moment when you,
your child or your student can begin to better understand who and why
they are the way they are: That they are not stupid, not lazy, not
incapable, just different. And it's the first step toward finding
treatments and programs that really work, the first real strides toward
improved reading and all the wonderful benefits that flow from that; most importantly self confidence and a sense of self worth.
also the moment when you discover you've been part of a big community
of people struggling with the same problem, shedding the same tears and
sharing the same triumphs.
The first pages of this site went live on June 3rd, 2013 and it remains a work in progress. I hope you'll help us make it all the better. I would love to hear from you.
My stepson is a great kid with a big heart, and he is a quick study for playing hockey or video games, but reading just doesn't come easy. The local schools he has attended have been caring places, providing an individualized education plan and some programming modifications and accommodations, but it hasn't helped improve his reading - at least not much.
Trying to better understand the problem we paid for a private 'psycho-educational assessment', but the report did not mention anything about being dyslexic or even 'a specific reading disability', a term sometimes used synonymously with dyslexia.
We turned to the local Kumon private school, but it didn't help, neither did a private summer school. We literally spent years and thousands of dollars before a eureka moment while watching a video on You Tube about dyslexia changed our lives. In an instant we realized that we had been on the wrong path all along.
How could his schools have missed his obvious and acute reading problem? Simple: most school boards don't test for dyslexia and wouldn't have the teaching resources it demands if they did. But the biggest problem is simply that most people (teachers, school administrators) don't understand what dyslexia is (especially here in Canada), never mind how to adjust teaching styles or find the right tools. As a result, some people don't discover why it is they are struggling to read until they are adults, or worse, never at all.
The good news is that it's never too late to get on the right path. It took a while, but we got there and you will too. This site will help you take the first steps in the right direction, wherever you live.
We want to help you understand dyslexia, get assessed and if necessary to find tutors, programs or schools that can help, regardless of which kind of program it is—because that is the kind
of help we needed when we started out. There just isn't one magic bullet for
every person; your solution needs to be tailored to your needs. We want help you find it.
We will, and do, review and recommend for and against certain programs, products, assessors and schools. We do this based on strict criteria including the consensus of existing independent science based research, the opinions of leading experts that we've come to trust and in many cases, feedback from people like you and of course, our personal experience.
Good luck and good reading!
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