Monday, April 23, 2012

Of Diet and Dyslexia - Part One

As I sat with my mother at her optometrist appointment a few weeks ago, we started talking about an article on gluten sensitivity that was published in our local newspaper, The Oregonian, that I had brought along to read...a full-page spread in their Living Section on gluten sensitivity issues. My mother has always been interested in nutrition and has tried to follow my train of thought on our discovery of gluten intolerance with H-Bob after her dyslexia diagnosis. It seems so foreign to her that wheat…the substance of America’s breadbasket…could be so offending. It was then that I realized that was my exact sentiment nearly a year ago, and it would seem that I should share our story. I wouldn’t have believed where we are today from the viewpoint of a year ago. Not one tiny shred...even to the point I would have bet my bottom dollar on it.

 As I previously blogged in Overcoming Dyslexia and It's Dyslexia...So Now What?, H-Bob’s learning difficulties seemed to stem from a dyslexic situation that I finally allowed myself to follow down that particular rabbit hole. After all, who wants to admit their child has a learning disability. But the evidence was there, and I had been choosing to ignore it.

She’ll grow out of it.
Just a delayed learner.
She’ll catch up next year.
But it never happened. So hang on. Here’s our wild ride.

January 2011 

I had scheduled a vision screening at H-Bob’s charter school for her realizing that part of her reading difficulties could be based on her visual tracking. We had a similar experience with Camo Queen back when she was in sixth grade that was easily resolved with vision therapy. At the end of the screening, it was apparent that we were on to something. H-Bob’s tracking was off as was her ability to cross and uncross her eyes. And quite a bit at that. Her initial appointment with the optometrist revealed that her visual processing speed was at that of a kindergartener. He was amazed that she was reading at all. In her world, the words would be overlapping, dancing on the page, and coming in and out of focus. No wonder our attempts at reading were stuck at the beginning Bob Book levels. At this time H-Bob was nearing the end of third the age where the effectiveness of reading intervention hangs in the balance scales. After several months of therapy, H-Bob had been working hard at the different exercises that were prescribed. They were hard, strained her eyes, forcing them to behave in the way they needed to. But there was progress. Things were going to work out.

Well, things have a way of working out, but perhaps just not the way you envision.

Next forward to June 2011 and an encounter with another life-changing book.

Links to part twopart three, and part four.

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