Once dyslexia is identified, and a child gets the right type of help, they can finally reach their potential — as this parent shared:
Susan, I had to share my daughter’s story with you and tell you how much of a life saver you and your programs are.
Prior to starting Kindergarten, we had no idea that McKenna had any issues. She seemed so bright, well-spoken and when I’d read to her at night, she’d take the book and read it back to me, or so I thought.
Once school started, however, it was a different story. I was contacted by her Kindergarten teacher telling me that she was sending McKenna for some extra testing and that she thought McKenna needed therapy for fine motor skills. The Guidance Counselor called me and told me that she didn’t even bother finishing the oral testing because McKenna was just too smart for it and didn’t even understand why McKenna had been sent for it. I figured McKenna was behind due to not going to preschool, being a lefty, and being younger than the other students.
But her struggles continued. We’d work on homework forever, she could never remember her spelling words even though we were constantly showing her flash cards, and forget about the concept of “sounding out words.”
We hired a school teacher as a tutor, and McKenna stayed after school several days a week.
In second grade, McKenna came home and announced that she had enrolled herself in extended day reading classes, and that I’d need to drop her off early twice a week for extra reading help. Despite all that, we’d still work until 9:00 pm on homework. Yet she’d only bring home C’s and D’s — after all that extra work.
I requested a parent teacher conference after EVERY report card, trying to figure out what was going on. All I was told was that I needed to make her read more, read more, read more. I cried after every single report card. They didn’t understand my concern since she was not failing, and she seemed to always “pull it up” by the end of the school year. They had NO idea how hard she was working, just to “pull it up.”
She was doing well in math until she got to third grade when it all became word problems with gigantic words like parallelogram.
In third grade, we added extra days with the tutor to prepare for the dreaded state testing. Based on that one test, they determine if a child is retained or promoted. McKenna was so terrified and had horrible anxiety. The night before the test, this third grader asked me if this test was going to affect her college applications. Then came the dreaded news that she did not pass.
When I gave her the results at home, she immediately ran to her room and locked the door. All I could do from the other side was tell this poor crying child that she was wrong to say that she “is stupid.”
She hated reading, so when she came home telling me about a book that she liked (James and The Giant Peach) I ran right to the book store to buy her a copy. She decided that since she had to attend summer school due to failing the test, that this was the book she was going to read. When she came home from summer school and threw the book away, I was confused. She told me that when the teacher walked by and saw her reading it, the teacher loudly announced, “You know you can’t read that book, so why are you pretending?”
I couldn’t take anymore and decided to research on my own instead of trusting the teachers. I also started discussing things with her pediatrician, which got the ball rolling with some of the testing. After months of testing, we were told she had ADHD with a visual processing disorder. Not really understanding what that meant, I took her to an eye specialist. Everything was normal, of course.
It wasn’t until I found your website and watched your videos and read all the parent accounts that I understood. I was blown away!!! I felt like the stories were being told by me.
I decided to have McKenna tested for dyslexia and reached out to you for testing centers. We found someone to perform the test, and I prepared myself and McKenna as much as possible for the outcome. I was so worried that I was wrong about her having dyslexia and would have to start over. Yet she fit all the descriptions so perfectly, and it felt amazing to be able to put a name on this problem that I’d been trying for years to describe to all her teachers.
I even asked McKenna if she’d be upset if she was diagnosed as dyslexic. Her answer broke my heart. She told me that she would be upset if she did NOT have dyslexia because that would mean she was just stupid.
Her diagnosis came back as dyslexia. We had an answer. Now we needed a plan. Back to your website I headed.
I ordered the first part of the Barton Reading System while also beginning to work with the school on getting interventions into place. That took almost an entire school year, and they did not offer any sort of remedial help that would actually help with teaching a dyslexic how to read. I was so frustrated, but I knew what to expect from my research.
I simply let every teacher know that some of her regular homework would NOT be done because I was substituting that time to tutor McKenna with the Barton Reading System.
Fast forward a couple of years. McKenna has gone from being retained in 3rd grade and hating school, to straight A honor roll in all advanced classes.
And in her 7th grade year, she received an invitation to participate in the Duke University TIP program (Talent Indentification Program) due to some of her high test scores.
McKenna took the ACT in February and got amazing test results. Not only was she awarded by Duke at the state level, but she received an invitation to go to Duke University to receive recognition on the national level.
The irony is that the portion of the ACT that she scored highest at the national level was the reading portion!!!!!! McKenna scored higher than 90% of high school students who took the test and she was only in 7th grade.
I couldn’t be prouder of my little dyslexic wonder kid. She has embraced her dyslexia and is her own greatest advocate at school. I let her direct her IEP meetings for the most part and only offer help when I need clarification.
I cannot thank you enough. I heard your story about your nephew and loved your determination to help him. I can tell you that I understand the desperation you must have felt. I was so lost and desperate until I found BrightSolutions.US. Once I began researching on that site, I couldn’t stop talking to people about it.
I used to cry and tell my husband that school and homework was destroying my relationship with my daughter. I just knew that she hated me because I kept pushing. I simply did not understand what was wrong. I was the mom who told her she wasn’t trying hard enough and that she needed to read more — because that’s what the teachers were telling me.
You’ve helped me help my daughter, and that is such a precious gift. She absolutely knows now that she isn’t “stupid.”
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Christina Vitali, parent
New Port Richey, FL
Parents often discover dyslexia late in their first child. But they catch it earlier in their next child, and early intervention makes such a difference — as this parent shares:
Nate is one of those rare dyslexics who has never had to “prove” his dyslexia through failure. While his older sister was going through the evaluation process, and I was busy reading everything I could get my hands on about dyslexia, I realized my younger son, Nate, had many of the early warning signs you discuss in your videos.
So when I started tutoring my daughter using the Barton System (in the spring of her second grade year), I also started tutoring Nate, who was 5 1/2 at the time and not yet in kindergarten.
Because of your program, from the time he entered elementary school, Nate has always read above grade level.
He has never had to be pulled out from class to go to a “special reading group,” he does not require accommodations, and his teachers consistently remark on his self-confidence and leadership qualities within the classroom setting.
When I meet with our school principal and other teachers to discuss dyslexia, I am proud to be able to point to both of my children as examples of what appropriate intervention can achieve.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to learn how to tutor my own kids, on our own schedule, for a fraction of the cost of private tutoring for two children.
I am proud that I taught my children to read, and I continue to use the skills I learned when we read together.
Happy Valley, OR
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.
I love it when schools spend a year doing a pilot program using the Barton System – because I know the results will be great. And next year, the school will expand the program, as this teacher shared:
Susan, with your help and guidance through our first year using the Barton Reading & Spelling System, we have had students soar with growth.
We have seen discouraged, defeated parents turn into encouraged and hopeful parents. Students beam when they feel and see how much they have accomplished over the year.
For instance, a 4th grader started the year reading at a 2.9 grade level. After seven months of doing the Barton System, she is now reading at a 5.1 grade level.
We want to thank you so much. We will be forever grateful to you and your program.
And it’s only the beginning!
Valena Taber, Education Coordinator
South Columbia Family School
Most children with dyslexia LOVE reading books — once they can read easily and accurately, as this mother shares.
My 13 year old daughter is severely dyslexic. She is getting one-on-one tutoring from a Certified Barton tutor and is near the end of Level 6.
My daughter now loves to read. She carries around books to read. She reads during breaks at school. She reads before she goes to sleep. She begs us to buy books for her, and she is so happy to be reading.
She even volunteers to read out loud at school from 7th grade textbooks and other materials — and she’s good at it.
She finally understands the amazing world of printed words, and it is a dream come true for us.
The Barton System and her tutor have been such a blessing to our family.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Claudia Vierra Allen, parent
El Sobrante, CA
The reading skills of children with dyslexia will greatly improve when they get the right type of instruction, as this parent shares:
I am a homeschooling mother of six, and I have been tutoring my ten-year-old fourth grader Aidan for two years now using your program. We are currently on Level 6, Lesson 12.
Last month, my children and I met with our Florida Certified Home School Evaluator. She is both a Florida teacher and home schooling mom as well. She has been evaluating Aidan and my other children over the past three years for our annual evaluation due to the county.
She was so amazed with Aidan’s progress. She asked him to read from her testing materials, and he read and comprehended all questions asked of him for grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. She believed he could probably have continued reading through eighth grade and above as well!
As I sat listening to him, I was brought to tears.
When we started two years ago, Aidan was the one in tears, and I was at a loss of how to approach his needs.
Aidan is now able to read all assigned book report books for his Seton Home Study School Curriculum, and he is independently reading all instructions and lessons in his workbooks on his own
I must admit that when I read the reviews on your website and ordered my first level of materials, I was skeptical. Now that I have taught the Barton System and have seen my son excel using your system, I have been recommending it to other home schooling mothers who have children with dyslexia.
You have truly created a program that works! I guess the best way to describe my overall experience is that I feel like my child was deaf or blind and can now hear or see.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Mary Beth Cyr
Words cannot express my gratitude for all you do for children with dyslexia.
I contacted you last fall when I was having difficulties with my two children in school. Your patience, gentleness and compassion gave me the hope that my children would be OK, and you gave me the courage to take their education into my own hands.
I read everything I could on your website, all of your links, your newsletters, and everything everyone posted. I came to realize that my children would not reach their full potential in a traditional school environment until after they completed the Barton System.
So my husband and I purchased a 20’ x 12’ shed with a loft. We turned it into a one room school house, where I spend every day educating 2 of my 4 children. We use the same curriculum that the school they previously attended uses, plus 45 minutes of individual Barton tutoring, 5 days a week.
The day we brought our children home, we made this video for our own personal benefit. I had watched and loved “Sophia’s Fight Song,” and I wanted my children to have a video like that of their own.
The progress they have made in just 7 months is truly astonishing! So today, we made a second video. If you watch them both, the progress they’ve made is undeniable.
I have NO regrets on taking your advice to do it myself at home. I have NO regrets for deciding to home school, and I have NO regrets that a 20’ x 12’ shed is sitting in my backyard instead of the built-in pool we had been saving for.
We have time again to laugh, play, and have fun! We had lost that for a little while to tears, arguments, and the frustration of (not) learning while trying to complete endless worksheets that did not make sense.
My husband and I thank you, my children thank you, and I know we are just one of many families who have been blessed by you.
Kimm Pasmore, Homeschool Parent
Spring Hill, FL
P.S. I never intended to show these videos to anyone outside of family. But so many friends have asked about my children and their progress, and I felt like they did not believe me when I told them how far my kids have come. So now I show them these two videos, and they can see it for themselves.
It takes a lot of courage to pull your child out of public school and start homeschooling. And it requires a lot of work. But most parents of children with dyslexia will tell you that homeschooling was the best thing they ever did.
This homeschool parent’s story is so typical.
Susan, I just have to share what that my son’s (homeschool) teacher posted today. We are on Level 4 of the Barton Reading & Spelling System. He is in 4th grade.
Last year, in public school, he hit the “brick wall” and cried every day. He hated school. He hated the fact that his little sister could read better than he could. His self-esteem was nonexistent. The school refused to do ANYTHING even though we had a diagnosis of dyslexia.
So this year, in an effort to salvage whatever self-worth he had left, we decided to homeschool.
Today, I received this email from his homeschool teacher. THIS is what happens when you use EVIDENCE BASED methods that are proven to work with a dyslexic child!
Subject: Music to my ears
My son: I’m going to have to read all the way home because I want to know what is going to happen next. Can I just read it now?
Teacher: No, that’s homework.
My son: But I want to know now.
This is coming from a boy who has NEVER enjoyed reading in his life because of dyslexia and the use of ineffective reading methods in the past. Now he can’t put his book down. Proud teacher moment!
Susan, thank you for everything you do to help our kids, and to educate us and guide us in advocating for them along this rocky journey. You are an angel to many.
Homeschool parent in CT
As you may know, Susan Barton started in this field by tutoring adults with dyslexia. So emails like this make her heart sing.
My first adult student was diagnosed with a ‘learning disorder’ in kindergarten. She graduated from high school, yet she could not read. When I met her, she was 26, fighting to recover from addiction, and had lost custody of her kids.
When I first started tutoring this woman a year and a half ago, she was in an adult literacy program at our local library. A friend of mine had volunteered to work with her using Laubach, but they were not making much progress.
When my friend had to move, she was worried about this woman, who was at such a vulnerable time in her recovery. So my friend asked me to take over. I was hopeful that the Barton Reading & Spelling System would work as well for an adult as it had worked for my younger students.
When I first met this woman, whenever she would try to read something, she would look up after EVERY word for confirmation from me that she had said the correct word. We are now in Book 4. Yesterday, she read an entire chapter in a real book with confidence — without looking up at me, and she was able to self-correct when necessary.
Long story short, my adult student can now read, and she has her kids back.
I am amazed, thankful, and thrilled with my success with such a “hopeless” case. Never ever give up on adults !!!
Barbara Suit, Certified Barton Tutor
Many people who attended my Screening for Dyslexia course last week have asked for a copy of this letter.
Dear Mrs. Barton,
My name is Nathaniel, and I have dyslexia.
This past week, my mom has been attending your Screening for Dyslexia seminar to learn more about dyslexia and how to help others. Each night when she returns to our hotel room, she shares a few highlights of her day. She told me about the emails and letters you are sharing to remind the group why they are there at your seminar.
I wanted to share one more.
My story is similar to many other people with dyslexia. My early school years were filled with much pain and emotional trauma. My first tears, and adding the word “stupid” to my vocabulary, started in Kindergarten. I was only 5 years old.
The phrases, “Try harder,” “Practice,” “Read more,” and “Why can’t you?” were engrained in my head during those early years by teachers.
I had bruises on my fingers from trying so hard to write sentences, and I was pulled out to attend a class for slow readers.
Recess was my favorite part of the school day until 3rd grade. I was punished and humiliated during 3rd grade. I was forced to sit on the wall during recess while all the other children were allowed to play . . . simply because I could not finish my work in class on time. I had to sit there watching my friends play with my incomplete piece of paper. Yet I still was not able to complete it because I could not read it.
After weeks of sitting on that brick wall, I snuck my papers home and tearfully asked my mom to help me complete them so that I could have a couple of days to play during recess. Needless to say, I never returned to that school – thank goodness!
After that, I was finally told that I had dyslexia, and I began homeschool. In fourth grade, I was reading and spelling at a very low first grade level.
But today, I am proud – MORE than proud – to share that I am just weeks away from completing Level 10 of the Barton System. Not only can I now read and spell, but I know LATIN !!!!
I just finished 8th grade at a public school where I received awards in Academic Excellence with a 3.9 GPA. I won first place in our social studies history project, and I have been accepted for high honor classes in high school next year. My test scores show that I am proficient (and even advanced) in math, comprehension, and yes, even reading !!!!
While writing is still not my strong area, mostly due to dysgraphia, my computer sure makes it look like I am a whiz. I still hate to tie my shoes, my “other right” is a common joke, and I occasionally reverse my numbers and letters when I am tired. At times, the Franklin Spelling Ace is still my best friend, and my favorite inventor is the man who created the digital clock.
Now I can spell words like “purely exhilarated” and “euphoric joy” to express my gratitude, but my word is “happy.” Those first spelling rules, like the Happy Rule, changed my tears and fears into a HAPPY, confident and successful dyslexic student.
Thank you, Mrs. Barton.
Your forever grateful and proud dyslexic student,
Colorado Springs, CO