A Middle Schooler’s Dyslexia Success Story

middle school student reading

As former staff, my husband and I believe in Arthur Morgan School and all of the amazing ways that it supports kids. When we were there, we experienced first hand how the school helps middle schoolers grow and become confident young adults.  I wanted to provide that same experience for my kids and am grateful for the character building life skills AMS gave them. The biggest surprise to me was how it also helped them thrive academically.

Three years ago, when Arthur Morgan School called our house two weeks before school started and suggested we send our youngest daughter a year earlier than we had planned, I panicked.  I wasn’t ready, not just because I didn’t want my youngest child to leave home yet.  Part of my apprehension was because Ruth is dyslexic.  She is not a strong reader and her spelling is atrocious. Besides first grade, Ruth had always been homeschooled. She didn’t like writing at home. In her own words, she says, “I hated it!” We found a way to make it work though.  Placing her with Orton-Gillingham tutors helped a lot. So I worried what would happen when Ruth went to AMS.  Her older siblings did fine at AMS, but they liked school. Would Ruth be as successful?

middle schoolers readingMy husband and I mulled it over for a few days and realized all of our reasons for keeping her home another year were for us, not her.  In the end, we left it up to her.  Two weeks later she was headed for AMS following in her older brother and sister’s shoes.  Soon thereafter a friend asked me how I was, and I burst into tears. Ruth, however, never looked back.

Expressing Yourself with Dyslexia

As Ruth begins her 9th grade year, I feel so much gratitude for all that the school has given her.  AMS staff see her strengths and are unfazed by her weaknesses. Their Montessori style classrooms provide Ruth with one on one attention and let her work at her own pace.  The school found a Orton-Gillingham tutor to help her. AMS appreciates her for all the things she CAN do, instead of focusing on all of the things she can’t.  If you have a child who can’t spell, you might be able to relate to how happy I felt when in her Language Arts evaluation, her teacher praised the content of her writing and reminded Ruth, “You can use language to express yourself without worrying about the confines of spelling.”  

dyslexic middle school student writingBuilding Confidence with Dyslexia

This fall I again felt incredibly grateful to AMS when Ruth told me in a phone conversation that she wants to learn to write research papers, and Jenifer, her Language Arts teacher, agreed to help her learn.  AMS has made Ruth believe in her academic abilities enough that she is taking on the challenge of writing a research paper by choice. This was not an accomplishment I expected when she left home. As Ruth finishes up experience at AMS, I am confident she will be successful, both in high school and in life.

-by Rachel Carpenter, Parent

For more information about Arthur Morgan School’s accommodations for dyslexic students, contact us.