The importance of early intervention

If you have ever watched one of your own children struggle for years in school due to undetected dyslexia, you will step in faster when your next child starts to struggle – as this parent did.

Our story is so similar to other families I have met: the daily homework struggles, tears of frustration over a worksheet that takes other kids only a few minutes to complete, “wait and see” advice from some teachers, and “your daughter is too smart to be dyslexic” from others. I have never felt so helpless.

But when Lillian was in second grade, we were so lucky to have a teacher who pulled me aside and recommended we go outside of the school system to get a private evaluation, and lucky that the evaluator recommended the Barton Reading & Spelling System.

When we started the Barton System, Lillian was in the spring of second grade, reading at a beginning first grade level. We worked very hard to close the gap, tutoring 30 minutes every day (and increased it to an hour a day during the summer).


When Lillian took her state reading test in the spring of third grade, she scored in the “meets grade level” category – only 4 points away from “exceeds.”

Now, after her second year of tutoring, she is able to read books at her interest level, and we often catch her reading just for fun – which means more to us than any test result. The growth we have seen in her confidence and self-esteem is priceless.

I have also benefited from your program. It is so empowering to finally be able to understand how to help my kids learn to read, and to speak knowledgeably with their teachers.

But more importantly, I was able to avoid struggle and failure with my younger son Nate, who was 5 1/2 when we had his sister evaluated. Nate had almost every early warning sign for dyslexia. So I started working with him at that time (in shorter sessions), and he has learned to read solely through the Barton System. We had him privately evaluated at the beginning of his first grade year, and Nate was reading at a mid-second grade level!

Nate is a poster-child for the importance of early intervention. I recently spoke about my experience tutoring my own kids when I testified before the Oregon Senate Committee on Education in support of our dyslexia bill.

Thank you again for creating such an accessible, affordable program, and for being so helpful and available when I had questions. My kids now have a limitless future, and your program allowed me to give it to them. We are so incredibly grateful.

Theresa Sorensen
Happy Valley, OR

5 responses

  1. I have A 16 year old who is struggling, failing 3 classes. How can I help her? She was diagnosed with dyslexia in 4th grade. We have done tutoring, she has an IEP that allows retest and extra time to turn in assignments. But there is no help in school. I work nights and can not help her at home. But need something.

  2. I don’t know if the community you live in has any good schools to help dyslexic children, but you may want to consult an education lawyer if you child has and IEP and is still failing classes. I don’t know your facts or your states law, but a good lawyer should give you a free consultation to give you the basics and you options, you may also consider a legal aid office as some will help with IEP plans. Some state courts have forced public schools to pay private school tuition when the IEP plan has failed the child…it is a very case specific issue and I do not want to attempt to give you legal advice, rather I suggest you seek some.

  3. Hi!
    Was the Barton system easy to learn before you started working with your daughter? Did you buy each level as she progressed?

    Thank you:)

  4. Hi Janelle,
    When I ordered Level 1 two years ago, I was absolutely unsure whether I would be able to tutor my own kids. I have no background in education, and I knew it was going to be hard to be consistent about tutoring: “It’s a nice, sunny day!” “It’s almost time to make dinner!”, etc. However, the fact that we have very few available tutors in our area, as well as the enormous cost of private tutoring for both of my kids, gave me the incentive to at least give it a try. After we finished Level 1, I remember thinking “Well, that wasn’t so bad – let’s keep going…” and I ordered the next level. And the next after that…. 🙂 My daughter recently completed Level 10 and is now done with tutoring, and my son is at Level 7 and is the best reader in his class.
    There are several advantages to tutoring your own kids. Cost is obviously one of them. Convenience is another – we scheduled tutoring time in smaller, more frequent increments that I think really worked better for my kids than 2-3 hour-long sessions a week. I feel the largest advantage, however, is that you really learn alot about your own kids’ strengths and limitations, AND how to actually help them in a way that teaches them skills they can use to become independent and confident readers.
    The DVDs that are provided in each level literally walk you through each step of the lesson, and the lesson plans are scripted. If you ever have any questions, Susan Barton will call or email you with an explanation. I just can’t recommend this program enough!

    1. Theresa,

      Thank you for your input:)) I think I’m going to
      Give it a try! My son has done 2 sessions with a certified tutor and she is wonderful but im not sure how long I can afford to do it. I was thinking about doing what you mentioned breaking it up into smaller time increments. It’s So nice to hear all the wonderful comments about this program!!

      Thanks again!

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