Crusader Chat

Parents of Dyslexia Immersion Program Seeing the Benefits

by Mindy Boyd, dyslexia program director

A new school year is always welcomed with excitement….excitement of all things “new.” A new grade, a new teacher, new friends, and ultimately a new beginning!  A new beginning is exactly what the new Dyslexia Immersion Program at FPDS has proven to be for our second and third grade dyslexic students and their families.  

“October was recognized as National Dyslexia Awareness Month, so the past few weeks have been a great time to recognize our new program,” said Gary Herring, head of school.  “The Dyslexia Immersion Program at FPDS allows our dyslexic students the opportunity to be immersed in an educational setting specifically designed to meet their unique learning styles while enhancing their God-given gifts.”

“Seeing these students excel in the classroom and transform into confident learners has been the greatest reward,” said Mindy Boyd, director of the dyslexia program.  “Introducing the immersion model has allowed the school to provide dyslexia therapy everyday and enhance the connections of therapy to reading, spelling, and writing in the classroom.”

The parents of our students in the program are seeing the benefits as well:

 

“I cannot begin to express how much the dyslexia program at FPDS has benefited our family. Not only has it helped our daughter learn to read, it has changed her entire outlook on school. She has a new confidence that has her asking to go to the library, and turned what was the torture of homework time into her chance to show us what she has learned. I personally attended FPDS and struggled through class everyday; it wasn’t until 11th grade that I learned of my own dyslexia, so I am amazed and overjoyed at her ability to not just overcome her struggles but conquer them. We are forever grateful for not only the therapy she receives but the love that our daughter receives daily from the teachers in this program.” - Hays Collins

 

“I vividly remember the anxiety I felt each day at school from not knowing if I would have to read out loud in class.  If there was a possibility of having to read out loud, I would read and re-read the section we were studying before going to class. I was certainly not comprehending what I read - I was simply trying to make sure I could pronounce the words correctly and that I could read the sentences fluently.  When our oldest son was in first grade, I noticed him experiencing the exact same anxiety and reading difficulty that I once had at his age.  I told my husband we had to do whatever it took to help him because the thought of him having the same struggle that I did was heartbreaking. My husband and I sat down with several teachers at FPDS to discuss our options. It was then that I realized what dyslexia was and that our son was demonstrating signs of dyslexia.  Soon after this meeting, he began dyslexia therapy with Tori Williams, and within weeks we were noticing improvements. The therapy consisted of 45 minute sessions, three days a week during the school year and the summer. This was a great start, but we knew somehow that we had to incorporate these therapy strategies into every aspect of learning.  Fast forward two years, and we were told that FPDS was going to offer the immersion model where all dyslexia children would be in the same class during the academic portion of the day, and that this classroom would be tailored directly to our son’s needs. There was some fear that our son would feel inferior being in a "special" classroom; however, my husband and I prayed for clear direction, and our Heavenly Father made it very clear that this was the right decision for our family. After telling our little boy about the immersion model for third grade, we were relieved by his reaction of relief and excitement. Only three months into the new school year with the immersion model, our son has already told us several times, "I love my classroom because my teacher knows exactly how I learn."  As parents, we have noticed not only that the anxiety towards reading has subsided, but also that many other areas have been positively affected. Our little boy's writing skills and thought process has improved tremendously, and most importantly his confidence has soared.  Our family is forever grateful for the dyslexia team including Mindy Boyd, Tori Williams, Meredith Matlock, and Kristi Chovet. We are so thankful the Lord led us to FPDS, and we are thrilled to be a part of the new immersion model.” - Shellye Druey

 

“The education and framework is excellent, but our child’s confidence and a sense of our parental emotional peace is by far the greatest program blessing.  These children have a superior imagination and learn quickly, if only taught in the way that they learn best.  I am amazed at how my child thinks out of the box.  Dyslexia may mean work harder, but it also means talented and gifted.  My son has gone from being withdrawn at school and having low self-confidence, self doubt and tears with homework, to a confident, eager to get to school, happy and engaged child.  The way they reward the small accomplishments is wonderful.  I also love the fact that the word “easy”  is not allowed in the classroom.  This class is not only teaching our children to learn in their own style and flourish, but it is also teaching them to respect others’ differences and build them up.  I feel very blessed, like God opened the perfect door for my family to have found such a wonderful Christian environment to help my child reach his full potential.” - Heather Collins


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