"Before David went to the Children’s Dyslexia Center, he really couldn’t read much at all.  He hated to go to school because although he was a smart kid, the fact that reading just wasn’t working for him made him feel bad all the time.  He started getting help at school around the same time that he started the Children’s Dyslexia Center. He could tell that the intervention he was receiving at the Dyslexia Center was making a huge difference. His attitude totally changed. Instead of being anxious, he was excited about the progress he was making. He also attended summer school at his local school but they weren’t doing Orten Gillingham.  He would come home from summer school and say to me, “THIS is getting me nowhere!  Now, what they are doing at the Children’s Dyslexia Center -THAT’s getting me somewhere!"

"Words cannot express how grateful we are to Mary, Peg, Barb and the whole CDC.

Mary has exhibited exemplary teaching skills and amazing patience in teaching Eli, our son.

He has gone from barely recognizing his letters, where they go and how to space them on the page to ACTUALLY READING over the course of the last year.

We have struggled to teach him to read using conventional methods, with only tears to show.

Mary has taught him to read by breaking down language and grammar into building blocks.

She never talks down to him, but raises him up to the highest educational standards.

We are so appreciative."

- Ali K

"Where do I begin?!

My 14 year old son graduated from 8th grade last evening... in the midst of masked teachers cheering beside the car as we drove through the bus loop at his middle school. The very same middle school both my Dad and I attended.  A much different scene than either of ours. Yet, as my son stood in front of the building to have his picture taken with his certificate, I couldn't help but flashback to the early years of watching him tear through paper out of frustration, while he tried over and over again to practice his letters his kindergarten year.  The same child that, at 4, once begged me to help him: "she's being a miscreant", when describing his little sister pleading with him to play with her.  Yes, that vocabulary is still shocking me, but now, Liam is able to write and read aloud. Once upon a time, the mere idea of these tasks moved him to tears.

Liam's 1st grade teacher was the first to put forth the idea of him being dyslexic.  Not a huge surprise, really. My brother is also profoundly dyslexic and struggled his entire life because my step mother decided that the late 80's and early 90's were a time and the label of being "Special Ed" was a curse she wasn't willing to bestow on him.  It enraged me then. So I couldn't wait to have Liam diagnosed and enrolled with folks that could help him.  Three years later, we were still struggling to find something to open the door in his mind.  I think his dedicated teachers must have used over a dozen different versions of phonetics and other programs to no avail.

Thankfully, I'd found a program that existed only through the Masonic Lodge. It was a two year waiting list! Hardly a surprise when you know 1 in 5 kids is dyslexic and of those only 1 in 9 get the help they need. I called each month to check if a space had opened and after a year and a half, he began working with a tutor the summer heading into 5th grade! His IEP the fall of 4th grade showed a reading level of a 1st grader by the following fall, a mere 6 months after starting Orton-Gillingham, he'd jump 4 grade levels!! I still remember those tears of joy and disbelief.  We had a very quick and unexpected move the winter of 6th grade and I was terrified of him losing all his hard work, when generously, the Portland Chapter picked Liam up as a student the following summer! The warmth of the director, Barbara has always been so graciously given when I "just needed to pick her brain"... and she'd still take time to spend with me a half hour later.  Liam adores his tutor, Sarah... they often spend extra time together making each other laugh and I hear him confiding things to her "that nobody else would understand". Liam will graduate this July, having made it to level 4 of OG! He has so much confidence and a deep respect for the work done using OG.  Our family is forever indebted to the Center for all the skills, confidence and support we've received over the years. We look forward to continuing to fundraise and share the value of the program with anyone who ever mentions dyslexia.  For me, this mission won't end until I can encourage more OG certified teachers to be available in public schools and help ALL students in need of the gift OG is.

I cannot begin to express my gratitude and Liam will never again feel ashamed to share his dyslexia with anyone.  It is a beloved program."

- Lindsey M