Jillian will do her part

The night of the IEP, Jill went in her room and pulled out four boxes of the Hooked on Phonics program and opened one up to see how to use it. She was showing me how she not only wants to learn how to read, but she’s willing to do her part to learn! It made me want to cry, because she needs a lot more than a Hooked on Phonics program to get her reading.

So as not to discourage her (I was afraid it was too difficult for her to follow), I got her set up with a tape-recorder to play the cassettes, and the flash cards. She bopped along with the tape, trying to move the flash cards along with the speaker. She shows such determination.

I think she realizes how important this is for me: that we get her into an appropriate program that will actually teach her the foundational skills necessary to read. She needs a lot of one-on-one, with a person modeling the sounds and waiting for her response, to make sure she’s “getting it.” No amount of Hooked on Phonics can do that.

And she needs a lot more drilling than typical kids. The way her brain works, she needs to repeat and repeat and repeat something until it’s hard-wired. We who learned how to read on our own take all this for granted. She needs much more time and attention to task than most people.

I hope the school comes to the conclusion that they need to provide this one-on-one type of teaching, and that we can’t waste any more time trying methods that will ultimately fail her. If they really team with all her providers, all the experts that have evaluated her, they cannot help but come to the same conclusions we have.

Right now, I’m optimistic that the school wants what we want: to provide her a teaching method that works. Please teach our Jillian how to read!

BTW, Jillian has made it patently clear that she does NOT want me to be the one teaching her. She wants me to be her “safe haven”: the person she comes to for comfort and loving care. If I could have been her home-schooling teacher, I probably would have started doing it a long time ago.

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