Dyslexia Awareness Month :: Our Story

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month.

Dyslexia is defined as an unexpected difficulty in reading for an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader, and due to difficulty in getting to the individual sounds of spoken language, affects the ability of an individual to speak, read, spell and often learn a language.

Our daughter, Keilyn, is an incredibly social eight year old. She loves to sing and dance to the latest songs, create some sort of science experiment, and play with her friends. We noticed Keilyn struggling with basic letter recognition in preschool and Kindergarten. The phrase “She is young and will catch on” came up a lot during conversations. We weren’t too concerned, and we knew that different kids had different strengths.

She struggled through most of Kindergarten, just barely making it.

We did our best to give her space to learn and grow. By the first nine weeks of first grade, we noticed a significant difference in Keilyn. She had all A’s except she was failing reading. This was not for lack of trying; we spent HOURS doing homework. Red flag: hours of homework in first grade should not be happening, but I guess that is a post for a different time. Keilyn had a great first grade teacher who told us some of the struggles she was having during our first conference of the year.

I left that meeting in tears because I hated seeing my daughter try SO HARD and be so miserable. She would cry on the way to school. Hurtful words were used about herself …calling herself dumb or stupid. There was nothing I could say to convince her otherwise, I promise I tried. She had extreme anxiety about going to school and the little light of our girl was fading.

So, I did what ANY millennial mom would do, I Googled.

During my Google search, I came across Dyslexia. I had heard the word before but I did not actually know what it meant. The more I read, the more signs I recognized seeing in Keilyn. From there, I also learned that here in Baton Rouge, we have a great resource for Dyslexic children, Louisiana Key Academy. LKA is a Charter School that focuses on unlocking the potential of children with Dyslexia. We called the school to schedule a screening of Keilyn.

Once Keilyn was screened, we found out she indeed would benefit from the learning program at Louisiana Key Academy. Nine weeks into first grade, we transferred her to start at Louisiana Key Academy.

That was two years ago, today, Keilyn has learned how to code words, she has confidence that she is smart and able to learn, and she is reading! Some nights as she reads, I feel tears coming in my eyes. My heart just about explodes with how proud I am of how hard she has worked. More importantly than doing well academically, Keilyn’s spark is back! She looks forward to going to school and has relationships with her teachers that she loves to tell me all about. Keilyn is thriving!

If you have a child that is struggling with reading, my suggestion to you is early intervention. There is SO MUCH that early intervention can do for you and your child to succeed!

Tiffany is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Desmond. Together they get to play the roles of Mommy and Daddy to Micah, a gifted Math Wiz of a teenager who is always making people laugh, and Keilyn, a spunky, flower loving, dancing girl who will stop and talk to anyone she meets. She was born and raised in Baton Rouge and has Cajun blood running through her veins. She works full time outside of the home in business administration. She started the journey of motherhood young but wouldn’t have it any other way. Her children have taught her to laugh, play and that sometimes it’s ok not to have a plan! She has a passion for teenagers and is an active mentor in her church’s youth group. In her rare free time she enjoys shopping, coffee, and date nights with her husband. She believes that everyone has a story to tell and enjoys meeting new people, making people laugh, and spending time with friends and family.


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