“I am a parent of 2 children that have dyslexia. Our journey began in 2013 when my oldest wasn’t meeting reading milestones. When the dots still weren’t connecting after one-on-one tutoring over the summer, I started suspecting dyslexia. One phone call to Lexicon Speech, Language and Reading where Ms. Diana spent over an hour talking with me about my child’s personality and delays had me hooked.
My son was evaluated and determined to have a moderate-to-severe case of dyslexia and dysgraphia. Ms. Diana continued to talk me through my options and even encouraged me to reach out to his school first. The lack of knowledge the public school system had about dyslexia at the time was infuriating to say the least.
Our son has been going to Lexicon two hours a week ever since. Fast forward to this year where he is one of the best spellers, writers, and readers in his class. Lexicon not only taught my child how to read the way his brain needed him to learn, but it also gave him self-confidence and protected his self-esteem.
My daughter just started at Lexicon this past year and is reaching the exact same milestones. They go happily and come out even happier every single Monday and Wednesday. I will forever be grateful for Ms. Diana and her Lexicon team!! If you are a parent with a child who is struggling academically, I encourage you to not stress about it one more minute and make that same phone call to Lexicon.”
“For us, the story began in 2008....the year Harper was born. She was always a “quirky” baby. She struggled with sleep, chronic ear infections, night terrors and was all around an unhappy baby. Our first child had been a breeze and we just decided we were paying our dues with our second baby. She loved to be in motion, hated to be held and NEVER slept. I remember crying on the phone to my mom and saying “I just wish I had a baby who was happy.” She said “it will come.” So I waited.
From the time she started at pre-school there was always a lot of questionable behavior. She struggled with changes in schedule, she struggled with anxiety, she struggled with speaking and she cried constantly at pre-school. But, the most frustrating thing for me, as a mom, was her struggle to learn letters and the sounds they made. I can remember working tirelessly with her and refrigerator magnets, bathtub letters, books, flash cards and she just couldn’t grasp the concepts of sounds the letters made. She went from disinterested to frustrated to anger and back again. Her dad and I stayed frustrated wondering what else we could do, what we might need to do differently, where we went wrong and, worse, what could be wrong with her. I wondered if, because she was a second child, I didn’t devote to her the same amount of time reading as I did to my older child. I beat myself up on a regular basis wondering why my sweet little girl couldn’t recognize her ABCs.
The pediatricians told me things like “You need to relax. Every child develops differently.” “You can’t compare her to older sister” (who, by the way, was speaking in complete sentences at the age of 16 months). “She’ll get there.” So we waited.
Because she was a July baby we struggled with the decision to do one more year of pre-school, but decided to send her to kindergarten. A decision that would be talked about from teachers for the next couple of years. At that time, we thought her biggest issue was anxiety and we couldn’t see how one more year of pre-school would help her. We also knew that we were looking at the financial part of one more year of pre-school. We had had another baby and our oldest daughter had started activities. All of these things cost money and I am a stay at home mom. The decision to send her to kindergarten involved the hope that forcing her to deal with her anxiety would help her..... and money. I am not exactly proud of that, but it’s the reality of the situation. So we sent her....and crossed our fingers that magic would happen.
While in kindergarten some sensory issues that she’d been having since she was a baby appeared to get worse so I took her to an occupational therapist. During our time there, she said ‘she won’t qualify for OT, but this child needs speech’. I was floored. Speech? She spoke fine. She had a few quirks with her speech - she flipped letters around while speaking, but she was 5...didn’t all 5 year olds call nail polish ‘pay nolish’ or spaghetti ‘skapetti’? I had her evaluated for speech where they discovered she had the expressive language of an 18 month old. I didn’t even know “expressive language” was a thing.
We did 1 year of speech and, while I saw some improvement, it wasn’t enough for us to keep going and, guess what? She still couldn’t recognize letters. So we tried harder.
I watched her write all of her letters backward and upside down and from right to left instead of left to right. I asked about dyslexia and her kindergarten teacher told me that that couldn’t be diagnosed until the 2nd grade. She told me Harper was a ‘July baby’, a ‘late bloomer’, ‘maybe you should have waited a year to send her to school’ and ‘try not to compare her to her older sister.’ I was baffled when I looked at her work in the hallway next to her peers. It was night and day from most of them. But the comforting thing was that there was always at least 2 or 3 more that looked similar to hers. So I waited.
We worked on sight words. We worked on letter sounds. We cried. We got angry. We hated school. Not only was her anxiety in high gear, she was falling further and further behind.
I researched dyslexia and happened upon an article that had the top warning signs. Of the 22 warning signs she had 17. I asked her teacher again. Again, I heard ‘they won’t diagnose until the 2nd grade’ ‘she’s going to be fine’ ‘Just give her time’. So I waited.
She graduated kindergarten knowing 5 sight words and her 3 year old brother read better than she did. I knew there was something there, but I couldn’t get an answer from anyone at school and I had no idea who to call. At the beginning of 1st grade, like any other proud, social media obsessed momma, I put a picture on Facebook of something she wrote. I immediately received 2 messages from 2 separate high school friends asking if Harper was dyslexic. Neither one of them were local but they both encouraged me to find someone to test her. I asked at the school and they told me she’d been screened and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. So I waited.
We worked harder. We cried harder. We got more frustrated. We hated school. We had headaches. We felt stupid. Some of us felt like the worst mom ever. In January of first grade she knew 18 sight words. It seemed that all of her friends were reading and we still had that damn list of 1000 sight words. She knew eighteen.
I scheduled a conference and we talked to her teacher for an hour about how..... ‘she was a July baby’ ‘she’ll get there’ ‘it will click’ ‘stop comparing her to her older sister.’ I asked them to move her to the lowest reading group because she didn’t know what was going on in the reading group she was in. They did and 3 weeks later her teacher told me that was the best thing they ever did. She was doing amazing! I was so relieved. She really was just a late bloomer that needed a lower reading group. I quit worrying. I quit comparing. She was going to make it.
In April I was informed she had fallen behind across the board and she was being recommended for retention. I was devastated. Not because she was going to be retained, but because I had waited for so long for improvement and I thought we were there. I couldn’t grasp how in 3 months she had ‘fallen behind across the board’. So I prayed. I researched. I waited.
I met another mom at the gym where my children practiced Mixed Martial Arts. We were discussing our kids’ struggles and I mentioned that I was worried Harper was dyslexic. She said, ‘Luke is dyslexic. This is who you need to call.’ She gave me the number of Diana at Lexicon. That phone call was life changing for me and for Harper. Diana listened to me speak for over an hour, taking notes, asking questions and listening to our whole story. We set up a testing time and found that Harper, was in fact, dyslexic. We began therapy immediately. Harper has been going to Lexicon two hours a week since May of 2015. She is over halfway through the program and she is a totally different child. She still struggles with some anxiety, sensory processing and OCD, but she can read on grade level!
Diana, Meredith, and the rest of the staff at Lexicon have been instrumental in my child’s education since the 2nd grade. I bring every concern with the school to them first and they always help me work through it before setting up a meeting to discuss accommodations, oftentimes joining me in meetings to share their expertise in dyslexia. They are passionate about educating educators about dyslexia and shortening the wait for children across NWA.
I’m so glad that my child is no longer waiting to learn how to read. She’s being taught the science of reading which will in turn help her across the board educationally. Although, school is still a struggle I have a new found hope about her future and all she is going to accomplish.
Last week was ‘Dress as your favorite book character’ day. She dressed as herself because, in her words ‘I’m probably going to be in a book about famous dyslexics one day.’ She feels good about herself, about her school work, about how well she reads and her favorite subject is writing. Her future is so bright and we owe it all to Lexicon.”
“When Noah was in the first grade we noticed how he struggled in reading and spelling. I began to search for a place that could tutor him in these areas. I had other families recommend calling Diana Plattner at Lexicon Speech, Language, and Reading. I immediately called that very next day to get the help we needed.
Noah was tested to see what area that he needed the most help in. He is moderately dyslexic and needed help in reading and language. Noah has tutoring Tuesdays and Thursdays for a hour each. In the very beginning he was at a lower reading level than his peers, but now he is above them!
We absolutely love this place and would recommend it to any family that has a struggling child. Lexicon has helped him in so many areas. He is now reading on a higher reading level than his peers, loves to read, and can tell you all the rules of grammar more than you ever wanted to know.
Noah has become more confident in himself. We are so thankful for the tutors at Lexicon that pour into him every time he is there. He goes in smiling and comes out smiling. This is huge for a child that didn’t want anything to do with reading. I have told Diana many times ‘thank you’ for helping us and she always says, ‘Noah has done all the hard work’. She has helped him achieve his goals and so much more. We love Lexicon.”