3 Things the Reading Therapy Center Has Taught Me
Written by Past Student and Reading Therapy Center graduate Emily Chermak
When I was in 4th grade, my mom discovered that I was severely struggling with reading. Although my grades showed that I was a top performer, my standardized test score showed that I was in the 9th percentile for reading; I was reading at a near kindergarten level.
While attending the Reading Therapy Center for a few months, I learned three major things that had completely changed me then and helped shape me into the woman I am today.
1. I Have a Disability and I’m Going to be Okay.
One of the hardest things during this process was just learning that I had a disability; no one wants to be in the category of being less able than someone else. Reading was easy for me – I could read. However, I could not comprehend.
I could read you an entire page from a book and if you asked me a question about it afterwards my eyes would wander up as if I was thinking, but I had no idea. This was frustrating! I didn’t know why this was happening, but they gave me answers AND they helped guide and supply me with the tools to surpass this disability.
Although I originally didn’t want to attend the therapy sessions due to pride, I learned to not only like it, but love every second I was with my teachers. My teachers made learning actually fun and not a chore. They truly cared about my progression and I loved showing my mom the skills I had learned each day after my appointment.
2. I Re-Taught My Brain How to Read
Having a disability is hard, but overcoming it is something to truly celebrate. I can’t help but try to think about what I would be doing now if I didn’t correct my disability.
I wouldn’t have been able to take AP (accelerated placement) classes in high school, I wouldn’t be writing blogs for multiple companies, I wouldn’t be joining book clubs for fun and I most definitely wouldn’t have been able to succeed in college.
The Reading Therapy Center hosts a peaceful environment that makes it easy to learn and thrive in. I learned that it was okay to make mistakes along the way; after all, I was literally re-teaching my brain on how to read – it wasn’t going to be easy at first!
Through the different “drills”, activities and writing sessions, I was able to graduate from the RTC. I was reading, writing and comprehending at an 8th grade level by the time I finished. Not only did I correct my disability, but I was over-performing.
3. I Have a Renewed Confidence
I was diagnosed with a reading disability, but I didn’t let that define me. My teachers were very quick to remind me each day of just how smart I was, how brave I was for attending, how driven I was to fix my disability and how determined I was for wanting to return to my normal school schedule.
After I saw some of my improvements, (even after just a month) I realized that the therapy was working – this gave me confidence and even more motivation to work hard each day to complete my goal. After graduation from the program, I was able to confidently read out loud in class – something that I would have never done voluntarily. Knowing that I had overcome a disability that was once hindering me, my confidence soared because if I could overcome this, I could do anything.
The Reading Therapy Center provided a safe environment for me to learn and succeed.
Without their program, I wouldn’t be able to do some of the things that I love today: writing blogs, reading books for fun, speaking on podcasts, joining book clubs, speaking at conferences, learning a new language, starting my own business, doing marketing for other companies, etc.
Thank you, RTC – my future is so much different because of the impact that you had on my life – you gave me a chance when we (myself & mom) didn’t think there was hope.
You gave me a burning passion to continue to learn always – constantly seeking a new adventure and having confidence while doing so.
We are so proud of all of our students and love seeing where their lives lead after Reading Therapy Center. Emily has been so kind to provide us with a video testimonial telling her story with RTC. Watch her testimonial video below.
Reading is a challenge for as many as 20-30% of our children, or two or three children out of ten. A child can have average or above average intelligence but still struggle to read. Learn more about our therapy services and how we help students overcome their learning difficulties by clicking HERE!