From Struggling to Smiling
From Struggling to Smiling
- December 15, 2015
- Posted by: LSEM
When Mia was in first grade, I knew something wasn’t adding up with her learning.
As the sibling of a dyslexic, I was keenly aware of the patterns to spot in her spelling and learning. She struggled with identifying sight words, and her weekly spelling list was a huge source of frustration for the whole family. It would take her nearly a half hour to struggle through reading a simple paragraph. She cried frequently, and became sad about school. When she was finally diagnosed with dyslexia three years later, we feared that it was too late and she was dangerously close to “falling through the cracks.”
As a family, we saw Mia’s ability to process information differently as a gift, and prayed for better days with her classroom learning. We decided a change in her school environment would be the best option, and met with the principal at Trinity Lutheran School in Utica, Michigan. Trinity stood out because of its program for children with unique learning needs. We were introduced to Linda Moilanen and Cristina Taylor, Trinity’s resource room teachers, who reviewed Mia’s test results and previous IEP, and assured us they could write a learning plan that would help her excel at school. In doing my due diligence as a parent, I learned that Linda and Cristina were more than just special education teachers at Trinity—they were members of LSEM’s nationwide network of teachers. As I learned more about the ministry and its history, I realized that I had truly found a precious jewel and started sharing information about LSEM among my network of parents who have children with learning needs.
Mia started the fourth grade at Trinity last year. Prior to the start of the school year, we met with Linda to map out a plan for Mia’s learning. Mia now meets daily with Linda to take tests, read, and get extra help with her work. We keep in contact frequently with her classroom teacher, Karen Delmotte to adjust homework so that Mia is not overwhelmed. Both teachers have recommended iPad apps for us that help her ear-read her textbooks and help boost her comprehension. This team approach has made all the difference!
Linda and Christine, and the support network behind them, have brought out Mia’s talents that allow her to shine like the bright star she is. These days she smiles when she leaves for school, and isn’t sad about her homework. Trinity and her LSEM resource room teachers have reignited her love of learning—she enjoys reading again, and has discovered that she adores science. We have our sweet daughter back—the one who tells a joke that will have you in stitches and can figure out a craft like looming or intricate hair braiding like an expert just by watching a few YouTube videos.
While Mia primarily works with Linda, I also have to sing the praises of Cristina! She does a fantastic job of working with Trinity’s Talented and Gifted (TAG) program, which reaches children with unique talents in a different way. Her work with the TAG program students and partnering with mentors in the community to help with learning is inspiring.
LSEM continues to bless our family in so many other ways. This summer, I was praying to God to show me the right path for my career. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” I came to LSEM as Development Director knowing that God has extraordinary plans for me. Praise to Him for listening to my prayers and showing me the way here!
I am so excited to be a member of the LSEM family. As a parent, I see on a daily basis the good works our ministry brings to our families and the community. As Development Director for LSEM, I hope to share my story in the hope that it might bring those to our ministry to learn how it transforms lives and families. And I want to hear from you! If you have questions or would like to share your story, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.