Dyslexia the Gift
At the tender age of five, I could spell my name and had perfect penmanship, but still wasn’t able to retain letter-sound correspondence, phoneme blending, or simple decoding and spelling with rigorous repetition. I didn’t feel smart and highly disliked school once I realized I didn’t learn like the other children.
I moved from private to public school with high hopes that things would change for the better, but it was by far the worst decision my mom could make for me! My mom was under the impression I would have more support, but boy was she wrong. My love for school quickly diminished and turned into dread.
In Seattle public schools, I didn’t have friends and not one teacher I connected with. It took almost two years for the district to assess me, and when they finally did, I hated school! Although I received an IEP (individualized education program) in 2015 for reading and writing, I didn’t get adequate services and still felt as if it was impossible for me to learn. Teachers and staff weren’t adhering to my IEP, which is a legal document, and the relationship was broken.
It wasn’t until towards the middle of second grade when I was diagnosed with dyslexia and finally able to put a name to my learning difference. By the time I reached the end of that school year, I convinced my mom to not send me back to public school. I was completely depleted and wanted to explore other options.
After lots of research, my mother found an amazing independent private school in Seattle called Hamlin Robinson. This school offers a specialized program for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. After one visit, I was sold! The school had everything I ever wanted in a learning institution. Although the cost is more than most of the colleges in Washington, I persuaded my mother to sign me up by telling her I would help pay for my education by selling my creations. The desire to go to Hamlin Robinson not only helped me with my self-esteem, but birthed my business, Creations by Jaylin.
As of fall of 2018, I currently attend Hamlin Robinson and have never been happier! Having my business has taught me the importance of not focusing on what I can’t do and more on what I can. I am an artist who is talented in many areas and not afraid to face the many challenges of life. I’m grateful for my mom, family, and school for giving me the tools to not only advocate for myself, but for other children with similar challenges.
Not being the best reader doesn’t define you as a person! Be the change in the world by being you—and I’m certain you’ll go far in life.