Thank You Cookies

Tonight my daughter completed her final craft of the year (and week) for school: chalkboard cookies for her teachers. For many of us, junior high was a time to grin and bear it – to be over and forgotten. For my girl, it has been a huge  growth experience and it was made all the better by strong educators who walked beside her and urged her on.
High school is looming – and I cannot believe it! My friend and I were looking at my daughter’s choir performance on DVD, just wondering where that little girl went. She was so little, not so long ago. I am reminded of a poem called “Counting Backwards,” by Linda Pastan:
Counting Backwards
“How did I get so old,
I wonder,
my 67th birthday,
Dyslexia smiles:
I’m 76 in fact.
There are places 
where at 60 they start
counting backwards:
in Japan
they start again
from one.
But the numbers 
hardly matter.
It’s the physics
of acceleration I mind,
the way time speeds up
Exactly. That’s it. The feeling I have tonight, as one school year closes and new adventures begin.
Our work for our kids goes on; and our hope for all kids with dyslexia. Just take a look at this article: about the push for a dyslexia law in Rhode Island:
Apparently, an organization, the convening and governing body that should put the interests of kids first –  the Rhode Island Department of Education – doesn’t believe that dyslexia warrants specialized instruction. And even the governor seems to think that students with dyslexia can be given “school choice,” a specialized, separate place for instruction under the law — rather than an equal education, a level playing field with peers. How far we have come in Texas!
I wish I could bring all the concerned parties to a classroom here in Texas – to see the success of students with dyslexia. We understand here that when kids are not identified and given appropriate instruction,  those children can fall further and further behind, and become severely disabled over time.
 The kind of instruction that could prevent and address dyslexia is so much simpler, so much better, than that result. It is sad that the educators quoted in the article can’t see that. Hopefully, advocates will be helping them to understand – and go to school on dyslexia.
Why? Because there is inevitably “the physics of acceleration, the way time speeds up.” This is true for the impact of unremediated dyslexia, and so true in the life of a child.
Both of my children have dyslexia. Both received remediation services through their public school. My kids still misspell words, but they can spell. They can read, and navigate their educational landscapes—and my girl,! she can express her gratitude in chalkboard cookies made entirely on her own from start to finish, by hand. All she needed was the right materials, the right recipe and the know-how.
The little girl who could not is gone. How much more she can and will do is something her Dad and I look forward to watching these next four years, while we try to slow the acceleration of time as much as we can – at least, we will try!
Happy end–of–the–school–year to all of you. Savor this time.
When you can, do whatever you can happy-1199941_640to ensure kids with dyslexia are found in time.
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