A reading intervention specialist shares the story of how her ‘little professor’ student changed his mindset about his dyslexia diagnosis.

Decoding supercalifragilisticexpialidocious with dyslexia


A reading intervention specialist shares the story of how her ‘little professor’ student changed his mindset about his dyslexia diagnosis

It was my first day with my group of Tier III 2nd-graders, and they were ready to go around the room and introduce themselves. It was going fine until one student said something surprising.

“I’m Jacob, and I can’t read.”

It was odd. I learned later that Jacob was a competitive gymnast and a smart kid, but he chose to identify himself as someone who couldn’t read well. I told him that I specialize in reading and that I’d help him fix that.

Related content: How to help identify dyslexia in students

Pinpointing the problem

It wasn’t long before I recognized that Jacob had the telltale characteristics of someone who has dyslexia. This 2nd-grader had an impressive vocabulary, but he was having trouble decoding the simplest words. It didn’t make sense. I talked to his mom about it, and she told me that Jacob’s uncle has dyslexia. Because dyslexia is hereditary, Jacob’s parents decided to go to the doctor for a formal assessment. The dyslexia diagnosis came back positive.

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