Jake wrote his first story today – all by himself!! I am so proud of him! H has been working so hard at school and it shows. I know that it is hard to read, but he did it himself. To decipher – it reads, “Jake’s Happy Day – One day Jake was happy. He was so happy that he was feeling good. Then he went to the store. What do you think he got?” The reason this little story is so awesome is that at twelve years old, Jake just started reading at the first grade level this year. He has some learning disabilities that make reading and writing very difficult. I noticed something was amiss when he was supposed to copy the word “Mexico” onto a map. He wrote it completely backwards – ocixeM – and the c was written backwards. We went to KFC for dinner and he asked what CFK stood for. He would open a book starting at the back of the book. He struggled with sounding out simple words – he couldn’t remember what sounds vowels made. It was necessary for me to isolate each word for him to read so he would not get confused by the other words around it. He could sound out a word at the beginning of a sentence and then have to sound it out again at the end of a sentence. And the strangest thing is that if I ask him to spell the word “pig” – he can sound the word out in his head and then write the word. If I ask him to read it, he cannot read it – even though he wrote it. Needless to say, writing this story and then reading it to me (he did make a few reading mistakes) is a real milestone! Even though his progress has been tremendous, I still worry about his future. How will he manage in a world full of written words? What about job applications? Contracts? Bills? What if he had to go to the airport and couldn’t read the signs? Oh, the anxiety of being a Mom! Of course there is a lot of time between now and then – time to practice and progress. Who knows? Maybe one day it will all click and the world of words will open up to him. Whatever happens, happens. Right now I’m just gonna celebrate his accomplishment! I am one proud Mama!