In January 2014, Gabby K. from New Jersey completed Step 12 of the Wilson Reading System®. One of her tutors, Wilson Trainer Nancy Graham, shared that Gabby’s hard work, intrinsic motivation, and ability to now read accurately and fluently have resulted in her earning a grade of A in every subject area during the last two school years. Gabby is pictured above with her other tutor, Carol Brown (left), during a celebratory lunch. She is now entering high school. Gabby shared her experience:
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to not read like the other kids around you? Well, before I went through the Wilson Reading System, I was that kid from first through fourth grade.
I have dyslexia and before I started the program, I would always keep to myself about my struggles with dyslexia. I understood that I had problems, but I never shared them with my friends. I was embarrassed. I was always the person that kept quiet when it came to reading, and in some ways I am still that person. As I learned to read, I learned that I didn’t have to hide my struggles and that people would accept me for who I am. Now that I’ve finished Step 12, I don’t really care who knows about my dyslexia. Being open about it is now a part of who I am. I know that sometimes things can get hard, but I know now that if I tell someone about my problems that I will always have someone there to help me.
When I was in first grade, everyone was learning to read except me because I wasn’t being taught to read the way my brain would learn. I could read some words slowly but not fluently—I would memorize the words. When working in the WRS program everything started to come together for me. I can now read and understand what I read. I know how to make pictures in my mind, and I no longer read slowly.
Learning to read changed my life in so many ways. I can now accept myself and the struggles I have and be open about them. I learned that my brain is wired differently and needed special teaching. And, I can now finally read and use the skills I have learned in my everyday life. So many doors have opened for me because I can finally read and understand. I can’t imagine where I would be without the Wilson program, and all of this wouldn’t have happened it if weren’t for my tutors Carol Brown and Nancy Graham who spent so much time working with me and advocating for me. After two years of hard work I can now use what I have learned to be successful in school and in my future.
This story has been edited for length.