This was posted on a homeschool Facebook page. The parent gave me permission to share it here.
I am celebrating tonight.
I have a child who was diagnosed as profoundly dyslexic at 9 years old. We went through 7 levels of the Barton System while I homeschooled him.
He is now in a college-prep, private high school. At the recent parent-teacher conference, his teacher was shocked to find out he is dyslexic. I did not tell the teachers in advance because I wanted to get a true measure of his capabilities.
He has excellent grades. The teacher said he even volunteers to read Macbeth aloud in class.
I almost cried! This is the same kid who made me ask our youth pastor to not call on him to read out loud … ever.
So stick with it, homeschool parents. It is so worth the years of hard work.
Allison Gentala, homeschool parent
With the right type of tutoring, even children with severe dyslexia can succeed, as this mother shared:
My son and daughter completed Level 10 of the Barton System a few months ago, and I want to thank you for the many ways you have helped our family.
My children were diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD right before 2nd grade. Even though we had a dyslexia diagnosis on paper from an excellent children’s hospital, our public school district claimed they were not legally obligated to recognize dyslexia as a learning problem. Therefore, they were not obligated to provide services.
So we decided to homeschool using the Barton System.
Just after he was diagnosed, I found my son sitting on the floor, staring at an open book, crying. I asked him what was wrong. He said books and words didn’t make sense to him, and he just wanted to be able to read like everyone else.
Frankly, there were times when I didn’t think he would ever read well enough to order from restaurant menus.
He now reads Sherlock Holmes books for pleasure. He can do all his high school academic reading on his own, and he competently writes his own essays with minor accommodations.
My daughter is doing equally well. She has no problem reading her high school textbooks and absolutely LOVES to read. She has now read hundreds of books of her choosing for enjoyment. She also loves creative writing and writes her high school essays with minimal support.
As parents who knew absolutely nothing about dyslexia before our children were diagnosed, the support through your website, videos, google tutor group, email and by phone has been invaluable.
I don’t know where we would be, academically or emotionally, if the Barton System did not exist.
So thank you for being an expert on dyslexia and sharing your knowledge with so many who need it.
Michelle Raine, parent
Susan loves getting emails from parents, like this one:
When I first contacted you, we had already tried Orton Gillingham, Lindamood-Bell, a private school for dyslexic students for 2 years, vision therapy, tutoring at a Score center, and the Sound Reading program. Nothing had worked.
Truly I was at a loss when I turned to you. Thank you for the Barton System. It is the ONLY program that worked for my son. He loves his Barton tutoring sessions, and he now feels confident, creative, and gifted.
Sky has finished Level 9 of the Barton System and is doing so well in school.
He did concurrent high school and college enrollment. After the first month, he stopped using all of his accommodations (textbooks on audio, recording of lectures, and extra time on tests). He got all A’s and B’s on his college assignments, and A’s on his final exams.
He just graduated high school, in 6 months he will complete his Auto Tech Certification, and then he will continue on for a college degree in Automotive Engineering and Design.
The Barton System is fabulous, concise, flows and builds on itself, and most importantly, it works.
Thank you for creating this system and being an advocate for dyslexia.
Meri Seibert, parent
Los Angeles, CA
When students finish Level 10 of the Barton System, there’s no stopping them, as this mother shared.
While I was homeschooling, I took both of my sons through all 10 levels of the Barton System.
Asher, my older son, is finishing his first year in a traditional school as a Freshman, with straight A’s. His teachers often express amazement at how little his dyslexia is hindering him.
Alex, my younger son, found out he won an essay contest with a $150 cash prize the same day he finished Level 10.
From a boy who struggled to write more than a few sentences 3 years ago to an essay winner!
Many thanks to you and the Barton System.
Maureen Becker, parent
Redwood City, CA
My son Kody completed all ten levels of the Barton Reading & Spelling System. He is now a Junior in high school. He recently wrote this paper for English class. I wanted to share it with you.
Being 17 years old and having dyslexia may not seem like a big deal. But what I’ve had to do to this point in my life may be hard for others to comprehend. For most people, when they hear of someone that has a disability, they feel bad and look down on them.
People do not understand how hardworking, motivated and determined we are.
From the beginning of elementary school to third grade, I was always behind in school and not progressing like other students in my class, no matter how hard I had worked. I was then tested for dyslexia.
Being told I have a disability by my mother was really hard to accept in the beginning; however, it may have actually been one of the best parts of my life.
I finally had an explanation as to why I wasn’t doing as well in school. Teachers finally would stop saying that I “wasn’t trying” or that I just needed to put more effort into school.
I knew that having a disability was not going to cause me to give up. I knew that I would have to work twice as hard as everyone else.
I pushed myself throughout the rest of elementary school and through middle school, trying to get on the same level as my peers. I tried many things — such as doing different reading programs (some that had helped amazingly, the Barton Reading & Spelling System, and others that did not), working with my teachers one-on-one outside of school, and spending every night doing four to five hours of homework when other kids would get their homework done in class.
The one goal I wanted to achieve by high school was to avoid standing out from everyone else. Going into high school, I was finally on the same level as the other kids in my grade.
Having known and experienced just how hard it can be to have a disability, I have insights as to what other kids are most likely dealing with. It may be peers making fun of them, being told they can’t do something just because of their disability, or teachers not understanding how they learn best.
For me, the most stressful part of class was being terrified I was going to be called on to read out loud and then being judged by my peers.
When given a writing assignment, I would sit by myself, away from everyone, so no one would be able to see my writing and laugh at me.
Being someone with a disability, I know that there are always going to be people who will never understand the journey that I, along with many others, have faced; nor what I have done to get to where I am now. I hope that sharing my story will help others understand not only the negatives of having a disability, but also to see the opportunities that are possible.
Through all the struggles I’ve faced and experienced, I have always pushed through and thrived. The biggest advice I can give to someone with a disability is not to be ashamed of it or let it label you as “abnormal” (compared to whatever “normal” may be).
In my case, I would never say, “I’m a dyslexic.” I would say, “I am a person that has dyslexia.”
A disability is one part of who you are; it’s up to you to show the world how you want to be seen.
Koby Koblitz, Barton Graduate
When you catch dyslexia early, children catch up faster — as this parent shares.
My son Nicholas is in second grade at a private school. We took him out of the public school system when they failed to identify his dyslexia — even though the public school in our town is one of the best in our state.
We had him tested privately. He has moderate dyslexia. They recommended we tutor him using the Barton Reading & Spelling System.
Nicholas is about to start Level 4 in your system. His reading grade was a C in the first quarter, went to a B in the second quarter, and in the last quarter, he got an A. My son is excelling in the Barton System. He is even volunteering to read to his classmates.
We are very proud of our son’s success. Your system has been critical for that success.
Gy and Cynthia Kern, parents
Notes like this is what keeps me energized and willing to work so hard:
Susan, I just wanted to thank you for all your help over the years. I have called you several times for advice, and you even reviewed our neuropsychologist’s report on our kids, Michael (9th grade), Patrick (8th grade), and Nicholas (6th grade).
All of them are severely to profoundly dyslexic. I never thought they would read, and even half way into Level 3 of the Barton System, I didn’t think they would ever read for pleasure.
But they all read now. Two of them read for pleasure every single day. And all them are doing well in school.
Our biggest problem is convincing teachers that they are actually dyslexic!
I can’t imagine what their life would be like without you or the Barton System.
Mary and Matthew Crandall, parents
I love getting emails like this:
Five years ago, my son was struggling terribly. He was in third grade and could no longer mask the difficulty he was having with reading fluency.
Homework drove him to tears. It had gotten so bad that he would hit himself in the head and call himself “stupid.” It broke my heart.
Today, Nolan completed the Barton Reading & Spelling System with Janis Garcia, a wonderful Certified Barton Tutor. He proudly received his certificate signed by Susan Barton.
Nolan is excelling in school, but perhaps more importantly, he has regained his self-confidence.
I can’t thank you enough for all you have done to drive awareness, to advocate, and to provide resources for addressing the needs of children with dyslexia. It has made all the difference in the world for our family.
Kim Shinmoto, parent
When you are going through the long process of tutoring, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I wanted to share this message that was posted on a Facebook page for parents of children with dyslexia. This parent gave me permission to share her post.
A message of hope for all struggling students and parents:
My daughter was 3 years behind in reading in 3rd grade.
At the beginning of 4th grade, testing showed she was only reading at the 4th percentile.
So we found a tutor, and over the next 3 years, my daughter went through the Barton Reading & Spelling System at her pace, and she learned to read.
The Barton System claims to be able to bring dyslexic children up to a 9th-grade reading level, and boy, did it deliver.
I just received my daughters results from the high school placement test where she scored … drum roll please … 95th percentile. That means she scored higher than 95 percent her peers.
She has gone from hating to read to reading a book a week. It has been quite an amazing transformation.
Thank you Susan Barton, my wonderful Barton tutor, and my amazing hard-working daughter who never gives up. Tears of joy flow freely.
Kristen Day, parent
This parent got Barton tutoring for her son in kindergarten — and it quickly healed his emotional scars.
Susan, I heard you speak about dyslexia in Appleton when my son was 5.
At the beginning of kindergarten, he was already saying that he hated himself because he was stupid — because he couldn’t read like the other kids. I was shocked to hear him say it with such strong emotion at that young age.
He’s now had a year of Barton tutoring at the Dyslexia Reading Connection Center.
If only if you could have been a fly on the wall at his last parent-teacher conference. He’s starting to read and is proud of what he’s accomplishing. He’s happy, confident, and a leader in his Montessori classroom.
And best of all, he WANTS to learn. That spark was not extinguished.
We are amazed and so deeply grateful for his progress.
Things are going really well, and I believe he’s going to continue having the school experience every child so deserves — where they feel safe and accepted, even if they learn differently.
And I’m so grateful to you for dedicating your life to dyslexia awareness and education.