The young man stands there, hair curly, unruly, in need of a haircut in the near future. He’s only in the 5th grade, yet so responsible, volunteering at the YMCA where his father works. His eyes are kind and curious.
He is not lazy, yet he cannot read or write basic 1st grade text. He’s been in school and had excellent teachers. He has not been neglected. He is severely dyslexic.
Although he struggles to read, he has many strengths. His people skills excel beyond my own. “Are you okay today?” He may ask, looking at you intently with those sincere, blue eyes. He makes art that is intricate and beautiful enough to hang on my wall. Math is a strength… he gets it. If text is read to him, he’s insightful, can see the whole picture and understands the characters. These thoughts race through my mind as I watch him this morning putting finishing touches on his report.
5th grade presentations are today and he stands before me ready and confident. He recorded his presentation on an Ipad a page at a time so that he would not have to stand in front of the class reading notecards, which he wrote, but cannot read or remember more than a notecard at a time. His report is about the book “Black Beauty” which he listened to on audio. He’s even added some of his beautiful artwork to the mix.
“Are you ready?” I ask as he looks at me and beams. He’s on his own, independent. “Let me know how it goes, ” I say.
He just smiles at me. “How are YOU doing today?” he asks.
“Fantastic!” I say.