Arizona Literacy & Learning Center

Improving Literacy in Arizona Since 1987

(602) 212-1089


Meet Our Kids

Meet Our Kids

Wow, She’s Reading

The 10 year old girl, held on to her mom’s hand as they approached the evaluation room. “You’ll wait for me, won’t you?” she said. Her mother longingly looked at her knowing that she had already waited outside many doors hoping to find an answer to her daughters learning problem. “The school just doesn’t seem to know how to help her,” the mother quipped to the therapist; I hope you will be able to see her need.” Not only did ALLC find her need, Patricia was enrolled in the Texas Scottish Rite Dyslexia Reading program and is now in her 2nd year of coming to the ALLC Center. Although, she falls into the 10% of the children whose brain wiring is resistive to automatically learning to read, her mother reports that she is now reading the paper, magazines, restaurant menus, and BOOKS. Still a slow reader, Patricia, goes to library to check out books and is becoming a “lover” of the written word.

What, I‘m Really Smart?

The tall, 6’4” 56 year old athletic looking quiet man stood in the learning center hallway saying, “Hello, I wonder if you could help me. I was told that you might be able to test to see if I have a learning problem or that I really am stupid. I dropped out of school at the 4th-grade when the others were making fun of me for not knowing how to read. My teachers said I was lazy. I guess for a minority guy, they just made a judgment and I thought they might be right. All these years, I have wondered how come I can think and reason. I feel like I do know more, but I can’t seem to learn to read and write. My brother said you have helped other adults and thought you might be able to test me.

Ed. Note: Hal was evaluated and found to have an IQ in the Superior Range. When he was given the alphabet sequencing test and asked to put the 26 letters in order, he severely struggled. The test was stopped at 3 minutes when the tears were streaming down his face and he had randomly placed seven of the 26 letters. Although, his hearing acuity was excellent, his auditory processing of sounds needed for blending of words fell at the severely impaired level resulting in great difficulty identifying middle and final sounds in words. Trying to hold sounds in memory was very difficult. As the evaluation was completed, Hal displayed classic characteristics of dyslexia. He was referred to our Learning for Life Adult Program at Rio Solado College.

It Runs In the Family

Over a five year period, the stair-step Castro siblings were referred for Speech/Language and Dyslexia Reading intervention. First it was Fernando, who had a severe speech delay and had been seen by the school speech pathologist, but needed much more intense one-to-one therapy than what the school could provide. ALLC’s therapist intervened with more Speech instruction and as the years went on moved Fernando into the Dyslexia program. As new siblings were born, Mrs. Castro became more aware of the genetic patterns for Speech and Dyslexia delays and recognized that her next two children also had the same delays.

The Mayor’s Award

When Chris’s family placed him at the ALLC for early reading readiness intervention, no one knew how far he could go. As a William’s Syndrome child, with sensory physical issues, heart problems, and learning problems, the odds were that he would never read. His family would never give up. Chris attended the ALLC for nearly six years, and displayed remarkable progress in learning to read. Through the Texas Scottish Rite Dyslexia Program, a technique using small, cumulative, sequential, linguistic, code based phonics and literature instruction his needs were met. An outgoing young man, Chris soon became the spokesman for the ALLC. He was later recognized by the City of Phoenix, Mayor Rimsza, as an outstanding student who had conquered the “handicapping” odds. Chris is now in high school and continues to show that he can conquer just about anything.

Beautiful & Smart

“We’ve been to public school, a charter school and now we are home schooling. No one can help my daughter,” said Ann’s mother. During the 8th-grade, Ann was diagnosed by the ALLC’s Team and found to be gifted in mathematics, but a severe Dyslexic reading at the 2nd-grade level. Now a high school student, she attends the ALLC’s Dyslexia Reading and English Writing Classes. Ann is an individual with superior range cognitive analysis and synthesis (reasoning) skills, but as a severe Dyslexic, she is gaining reading and writing skills, but fluency may never be on a par with her peers. Ann’s evaluation reflects fluency and phonemic awareness/memory issues that would no doubt be evidence of the need for accommodations in public school or when she reaches college. She is active in dance and fine arts. There is no doubt that she is on her way to college.

A Believer
Early Childhood & Professional Training

A Speech Pathologist in the Tempe area, commented during the ALLC’s Literacy Leaps 5 week summer camp for children and teacher/speech pathologist training, that she had never thought of emphasizing explicit alphabet sequencing exercises. Following the camp where Kindergarten and 1st-grade at-risk children not only used alphabet body exercises and timed practice to improve fluency in alphabet recognition, she commented, “Did you see the difference in those children? The reversal patterns diminished in most and I would never believe how fast some of the children became. Did you see Jack go from 7 minutes to 25 seconds? These were simple techniques that cost very little.