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Overcoming Adversity

Written by Tom K. Senior about his son and WRS Practicum Student, Thomas, Graduate of the State University of New York, Purchase, NY

My son Thomas was my Level I practicum student. Tom was born 13 weeks premature and weighed only two pounds. The doctors were certain he would require special attention throughout his life and prepared us for some rough roads ahead. Tom suffered a grade three brain bleed at birth. As he grew he was diagnosed with a learning disability as well as ADHD. He also has an episodic stutter. When I first attended a Wilson workshop I kept thinking of how this program could benefit him. Tom struggled with reading and was falling further and further behind in school. His struggle with reading began to affect his self-esteem. I was also a little concerned with his stutter as to whether or not he would be able to physically produce the sounds when needed for my observations, but we persevered. Tom’s tenacity ultimately made him the perfect Wilson student. When we finished Step 4.2, Tom wanted to keep going. When asked why, he said, “because reading is fun.” Eventually Tom went through all twelve Steps successfully. When he graduated high school two years ago he had earned a Regents diploma. This past May, he graduated from SUNY Purchase with a B.A. degree in Arts Management.

This story originally appeared as an article in the Autumn 2013 publication of The Decoder.