One Child. Two Perspectives
One Child. Two Perspectives
- January 5, 2014
- Posted by: LSEM
Follow the story of one student’s path to success through the eyes of both her teacher and her mother. Maddy is an example of how early intervention combined with creative instruction and loving support clear a path to a bright educational future!
By Sharon Messmann
In 2003, Maddy was a bright first grade student that made me smile everyday. However, learning to read was a very difficult challenge. Maddy struggled with all aspects of language, including oral expression, reading, spelling, and putting her thoughts into words on paper. Maddy was diagnosed with dyslexia. Over the next several years, I met with Maddy three times a week. I focused on multi sensory instruction where Maddy moved magnetic letters to make and break words; we drilled with flash cards, and read stories together to master reading strategies.
Early intervention was effective. By the intermediate grades, Maddy became a proficient reader and grew to LOVE reading! Written expression fell into place more slowly. Maddy learned to speak her stories into a tape recorder and then listen and write the words onto the paper. Maddy learned to use a visual organizer (story map) to organize her thoughts and then follow the “map” as she constructed paragraphs.
Dyslexia is just one word associated with Maddy. She is also intelligent, creative and has a beautiful singing voice. Maddy was a motivated student and did well with the accommodations she received in the general education classroom and the extra support she received from the LSEM program.
Where is Maddy today? Maddy is a tenth grade student at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. She travels with the school choir and is involved with theater productions. And the creative little girl I met ten years ago is now producing videos! And best of all- Maddy is an honor roll student and is functioning in high school without extra support and accommodations. Early intervention paid off — she became an independent learner!
By Nichole Sharp
My daughter Maddy was enrolled in St. Paul Lutheran School at the Kindergarten grade level. My sweet natured little girl was so excited. She practiced her ABC’s and her
123’s. She packed her backpack every night and every morning woke up ready to learn. However by the age of 7 it was obvious there was something holding her back. As the year progressed it became apparent that there needed to be some sort of intervention. Maddy had several different diagnoses and all contributed to her problems with oral communication as well as written communication and her ability to hear/blend sounds into words. St. Paul School was very pro-active in helping me get the resources my daughter needed to be a successful learner.
It all began with LSEM. Sharon Messman, LSEM teacher, and the St. Paul teachers were able to take the extra time to not only meet with my daughter, but also with me to help educate me on her learning disabilities. My daughter is dyslexic, actually so severely that we worried she would never be able to read. Her oral expression and her reading were very delayed. Maddy worked one-on-one with Sharon, as well as a speech therapist and occupational therapist from the 1st grade through the 4th grade. After the 4th grade, Maddy was still seeing Sharon but we were seeing tremendous growth. My daughter is very artistic, and since she struggled so with reading and writing, it really surprised her father and me when she took up filmmaking at the age of 10. I believe this is partly due to the way she was treated and praised at school for her attempts. No longer was she embarrassed to show others her work.
Now at the age of 15, Madeline is attending The Fort Worth Performing Arts School where she has successfully tested out of the special education program and receives no more classroom modifications. She has also been on the honor roll for the last year. While this is a huge accomplishment, it is truly hard to grasp unless you went on our journey to see just how much work and effort were put into this student. I believe without early intervention this would have been impossible to do.