Rio Grande Learning Solutions has been a blessing for our family! We had concerns with our son Brody transposing letters, having trouble with reading bigger words, and frustration in general with reading. We suspected dyslexia but were running into roadblocks as far as having him tested. We tried tutoring but he continued to be frustrated, still didn’t like to even attempt to read and there were no long-term results. I contacted Melanie, after finding Rio Grande Learning Solutions online. Brody had a rough start but has really come so far! He does his daily reading and clay work, with absolutely no complaints. He actually looks forward to this part of his day now. I homeschool him, and we are slowly transitioning from me having to read almost everything in every subject to him, to him being able to read directions and do a lot of his schoolwork more independently. Brody just seems happier in general, which definitely has to do with his increased confidence level. Overall we are very happy with his progress!
My husband and I always knew Conor was very bright. As a toddler and small child, his imagination and ability to remember whole books was amazing. We were so proud to send him to school already able to write his first and last name. Our older son struggled in elementary school. We were looking forward to watching Conor excel, expecting him to get through school with ease.
Conor’s struggles started the first week of school. We watched it progressively become worse as we saw him fall further and further behind. We moved him on to first grade with the hopes that a new teacher and some maturity would bring him success. Conor is much younger than all his classmates, turning six on the last day of kindergarten. We enrolled him in a $300 summer reading program that had absolutely no impact on his reading ability at all.
His first-grade teacher was recommended as the best in the district to assist struggling students. She had many ideas and worked really hard with him. We put notecards with words all over the walls of our house, used shaving cream to learn words, danced around the house spelling words and every other trick I could think of. None of the tricks or games had an effect on his performance at school. Conor also participated in a title reading program at school that did not improve his reading ability.
I finally hit an emotional wall when he was placed on SAT or the Student Assistance Team and holding him back was recommended. I considered the idea as many of my colleagues told me that holding boys back has benefits, as it allows them time to mature. The longer I pondered the idea, the more I wondered what the school was going to do differently to help my struggling child master the concepts of first grade. I concluded nothing would change other than providing him accommodations, which are a benefit, but his dyslexia would not be addressed as there are no dyslexia specialists in our district.
I discovered “The Gift of Dyslexia” while researching this topic on the internet. I downloaded the book to my Kindle, devoured it in less than four hours and found myself looking for a provider in my vicinity. I was connected with Rio Grande Learning Solutions and Melanie Overbay. I felt it was divine intervention after we met with MS. Melanie during spring break. I was optimistic about deciding to participate in the program over the summer.
Conor’s week with Ms. Melanie was amazing. He was excited to get to work each and every day and bonded with Ms. Melanie. He has been like a new child, more patient and excited to learn. He enjoys Koosh ball exercise and Symbol Mastery which more than doubled his confidence. Conor’s progress brought me to tears when I learned to be his teammate on his last day with Ms. Melanie. I am so grateful for this program and Ms. Melanie. I am not sure where we would be without it. This is an outstanding program for anyone struggling to help their dyslexic child navigate reading and the challenges of school. For the first time in Conor’s academic career, I am looking forward to another school year, as I expect it to be a more positive experience.
My son is 10 and was diagnosed with severe dyslexia in August 2016. We tried to see if he would make some improvements with daily extra phonics type training and by the end of May, 2017 things weren’t much better. I made an appointment with Melanie and my son had his week of training and we are so thankful we did. Not only did he gain one grade level (IN ONE WEEK-with severe dyslexia!!), he learned the tools to keep it up. His confidence alone was worth the week. He now has hope that he will continue to grow in his ability to read. Melanie not only encouraged my son but having been in the same position, she was a great encouragement to me as well. I wish I wouldn’t have waited! Thank you, Melanie, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your help and expertise. Being able to read is priceless.
I started to homeschool my children 4 years ago. My 8-year-old daughter at the time was having difficulty in reading and writing. I had bought 2 different curriculums, with very little improvement. There was a great deal of frustration and tears. I realized after 2 years of her not able to memorize phonograms that this had to be addressed differently. I recognized I was having her draw what we read or she was making lap books after almost every lesson in order for the information to be retained. I decided we needed to work on her self-confidence and we waited patiently for the answers. I thought tutoring might be a choice. I bought a book, “The Gift of Dyslexia”, which seemed so perfect to fit in with working on her self-confidence. As I read this book I saw this is my daughter, every chapter it became clear, that this was the direction we needed to go. I called and emailed the information on the back of the book. The program was called The Davis Program. Within a few months, we found Melanie. After the first day, I saw my daughter sparkle with excitement because she was learning with clay!! She was recreating the alphabet!! After 2 years of her not knowing the difference between certain letters because they looked similar to her. She was able to tell them apart with no confusion. This was just within the first day. She started to believe in herself. By the last day, I sat in and listened to my daughter read without tears and frustration. She read without questioning herself. She was excited to read! She moved up 2 grade levels in 5 days. I was amazed by her quick growth. We are thankful for Ms. Melanie and this program she teaches, to this day we still implement these tools in her everyday life.
Mid-year last school year I was in a state of desperation… I couldn’t help my daughter learn! Helping my children with reading, homework, and studying had always come naturally for me. Helping Elyana who had been diagnosed as Dyslexic in 2010 was defeating. I had no idea how to help her and no IEP or its numerous revisions were helping. By a mere act of synchronicity, I came across Melanie and immediately enrolled Elyana in a week long session. I chose to have my child miss 5 consecutive school days (unexcused) and hoped for the best (I really had nothing to lose). IMMEDIATELY Elyana’s confidence grew a hundred times over. She had NEVER expressed an interest in reading, she always did it in private and would refuse to even attempt to read with any form of an audience, making it impossible for me to help her. Day 3 she asked if she could read to me. By the end of day 5 she was reading fluidly and at her expected grade level!!! Melanie guided me through the Davis Program and provided me with the tools necessary to empower my daughter. Melanie was able to motivate Elyana in a way I will forever be grateful for. Koosh ball, sweep-sweep spell and clay (symbol mastering) as prescribed by Melanie have changed our lives!!!!!!
I would like to thank you for working with Olivia. I have seen a big improvement in her reading! She is now just about where she needs to be in her reading scores ( 4 points away). Olivia’s confidence level has gone from a 2 to a 10! Olivia is most happy because she does not need to leave her regular class to get extra help elsewhere. Thank you for these life long tools to help Olivia overcome. You have Truly impacted our lives in a positive way. You are the best!