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Noémie’s Reading Challenges Are Also Her Superpower

Noémie (a French name pronounced No-Amy) Doyle was just a kindergartner when her mom, Isabelle, discovered something unexpected. When reading books together, Isabelle would review a simple one-syllable word, such as bat with her daughter, but Noémie would quickly forget what they discussed.

“She was at a French immersion school, so she should have been more advanced with language,” Isabelle said. “But it was as if she had never seen the word before.”

As with many children who have dyslexia, Noémie developed “superpowers” to cope with her reading challenges. She could memorize entire short books for children and easily repeat them verbatim. This common coping mechanism, although evidence of a great memory, didn’t help her read.

At Isabelle’s request, Noémie was evaluated and received the proper intervention. Noémie was quiet and well-behaved, so it appeared her learning was on track. After Noémie’s evaluation in the middle of second grade, her reading challenges were evident. By mid-third grade, Noémie was paired up with Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist (W.D.T) Kay Pereira, a reading tutor in the Holliston, MA, school district. Kay quickly noticed her new student was behind in decoding and would often transpose letters.

Beginning in September 2019, Kay met with Noémie three times a week for Wilson Reading System® (WRS) lessons, working for an hour each session. Even during the most intense phase of the COVID-19 lockdown, the two continued their lessons in person with masks, meeting twice a week without fail.

During the pandemic, Noémie and her family moved to Waltham, a 45-minute drive from Holliston, where Kay was based, but they continued to meet. Meanwhile, Kay began the WRS Level II Certification process . She chose Noémie as her practicum student.

“Noémie is very diligent, bright, and friendly, and I was fortunate to have her as my practicum student for my Level II Certification,” said Kay.

Noémie completed Step 12 of the WRS program in March 2021.

“Noémie is truly a success,” Kay said. “She’s not afraid to try. A lot of times students are afraid to get a word wrong, but she’s not. She’s very curious and loves to find out new things.”

Noémie is particularly eager to learn new words, especially Latin- and Greek-based words. Naturally, a love of words is beneficial and helpful when learning to read. And learn to read she has! Now a rising sixth grader, Noémie is reading at grade level.

Noémie is a fan of the Harry Potter series and the Roald Dahl collection of chapter books. She also likes playing the web-based word guessing game, Wordle. 

“She enjoys reading much more than she did before,” Isabelle said. “If she’s reading fast, she might have some problems. The difference is now she can certainly cope.”

Noémie’s other “superpower” is a rock-solid work ethic, which Isabelle attributes partly to the structure and rigor of the WRS program.

“She learned the importance of education, of structure, of organization because those are skills she needed to succeed in the program,” Isabelle said of Noémie. “In this sense, she’s far ahead for her age. 

While spelling remains challenging at times, Noémie’s friends and family have no doubts her dream of becoming a marine biologist will happen one day.