Former WINSi Student
When I was growing up all through school I never felt like I was performing as well as I thought I could. I used to have to dumb down my writing and the things that I said because I didn’t want people to see that I could not spell. This was very frustrating because I always felt like no one truly knew that I was smart. Growing up I never really knew for a fact that I was dyslexic. I would struggle in school because my school and parents would say, “You are smarter than that” or “You just need to apply yourself.” I was placed in specialized classes to help me read better but they never really helped. When I was I the fifth grade, I told my mom that I wanted to be put back in regular classes. I was retested and allowed to rejoin my classmates. When I did finally make the jump back, I felt like I had missed a lot and I definitely felt that there was a gap between my classmates and me. I have gone to multiple tutoring services like Sylvan Learning Center and they didn’t help. They tried to tutor me, but that was not what I needed. I didn’t have the skills that I needed to read or decode words that I didn’t know. When I was I high school, I found a way to fake my way through class. I’m sure that many of my teachers noticed that I had difficulties, but just thought I wasn’t trying. I managed to make decent grades all the way through high school with out reading a single textbook. I found I was getting the information I needed from a class usually just by sitting in the front of a class and listening to the teacher. When I came to CU, I got to see just how much I was struggling with the big D. My classmates could study for an hour or two and that was fine. I would have to hide in the library for 4 to 5 hours just to do readings. Eventually, this started to catch up with me because I would blow off the reading. They where so difficult for me to do. I tried to get extra time for testing but the disabilities people told me that there was nothing that could do because I had no testing that said in black and white that I had a learning disability.
After the first week of winsi that I took in September I already felt much more confidant. I read one of the longest books I have ever read in my life for fun. This was probably the 7th or so book that I have read for fun. The program has not only helped me read and write better, it has also boosted my self-esteem. I feel like I am able to be myself and show people that I am intelligent. I have noticed that I am much more confidant in social situations. I no longer am the person holding my tongue because I don’t want to accidentally say the wrong thing. The program was also allowed me to see a lot of other things. I have a tendency to be very critical of myself and not give myself credit when I do something right. Except for the waking up at 8 o clock in the morning, I loved the winsi program. The staff are some of the nicest people I have meet since I have moved to Colorado. Normally, if I were to try and write a paper it would have about a thousand spelling errors and now every time I start typing I am amazed to see how few errors I have. This program has changed my life. Since I was younger I have delt with depression and I think a major part of it has to do with my disability. Everyday when I leave I feel like I have accomplished so much. It is almost too much to put into words the way my life has changed in the last 9 weeks. For the first time I am excited about the future. Dyslexia is a bitch, but I know I can deal with it and it doesn’t have to be a problem anymore.
To All the Staff,
Thank you for sharing all your knowledge, caring and support with [my child] and myself. They say having a child is like having a piece of your heart running around outside of your body. Thank you for taking care of my heart. For all you do, thank you.
Many thanks — and thank you again for everything you and WINSi have done for our son. We continue to marvel at the progress he has made, and continues to make. Don’t hesitate to use us as a reference if other parents are considering treatment at your facility.
We thought you might like an update on [Name]. She is doing quite well at Boys Town. It’s up and down, but she continues to make progress. The program is a very good fit for her. She is in high school there, and for the first time she is getting good grades. (Math is her best subject!) [Name] wants to go into law enforcement but wants to become a social worker first so she can help people (especially kids) with mental health issues. She seems very motivated, and we’re very happy to see that.
The sister of a former WINSi student
Meet my hero
A lot of people will tell you that a hero is someone older than that you look up to. While I agree that you look up to your hero, mine is younger. My little sister [Name] is my hero. I know her because I have been there ever since the day she was born. We are not all too close, but I love her a lot and she matter a lot to me. She is a very unique little girl. She will go to school five days a week at [School Name] elementary school, and even spend some afternoons at a different school so that she can learn better. She loves to do little projects, and find a strange sort of joy in cleaning the house.
My sister is my hero for quite a few reasons, but there is one main reason overall. She was born with learning disabilities, like dyslexia, and has overcome them, when it was very hard thing to do. To be able to learn better, my sister had to drop out of her third grade class so she could get better at school. She not only left all her old friends behind, but she went to school for almost the whole summer while my brothers and I enjoyed the break. On top of all that, she had to redo third grade, because she missed too much of the curriculum. For facing all of that in a year is extremely brave; she has been able to change the way she learns so that she gets the same information in her head, and she has been able to make new friends and keep the old ones too.
I have learned so much for my little sister. She has taught me that even when something is difficult, you can keep working until you succeed. I get to spend more time with her in a day now because she isn’t struggling over schoolwork. My life has been changed because I also take the time to appreciate the sweet things that she will do for others or me. She has packaged presents that she spent her own money on and given it the children’s hospital. After a long day I had complained a lot about how I needed to clean my room, when I got home after walking the day, I found that it had already been cleaned. I feel like I still have a lot to learn from my sweet little sister.
[Name] has inspired me to push myself to do well at school because I have no problems with learning, and if she is capable, then so am I. [Name] inspires those who barely know her to be nicer because she randomly does acts of kindness to those around her. My little sister [Name] is my hero because she has overcome so much, and she is so nice to others.
We were driving home one day from some activity and [brother] had asked [student] a question. I do not remember what the question was, but the answer made me pull over and ask her to repeat herself. She answered [brother’s] question correctly and [brother] told her she was right. Well, her response was overwhelming and MUCH overdue. She said, and I quote, “It is because of WINSI. I learned a lot from them and they taught me so much. I am glad I went there.” I immediately pulled over and asked her to repeat what she just said and she did and with a SMILE on her little beautiful face…I owe you all so much for all you have and will continue to do for my little angel.