There was a lady named Val who I visited once a week who worked in Special Education at the public school near my white-kid private school. She tried, like my parents and teachers, like all the other specialists, to get me to read. We’d have weekly treasure hunts where we would write out clues for each other and then hide them around the room for each other to find. So if it was her turn, I’d leave the room and she’d hide a bunch of clues. Then I’d go in and she’d give me the first clue. All the clues were written, and basically they were riddles that led to each other. I can’t recall if there was any kind of prize at the end.
She also did normal reading stuff with me as well, of course, and helped me with my spelling words which I had a weekly quiz on and which were a weekly reminder of how much dumber I was than everyone else in my class.
I say it was a good thing I went to private school during this time, though some people think the reason I was so far behind was BECAUSE I went to private school–but I don’t think that’s true because a lot of the boys and girls in my class were reading at advanced levels by 2-3 grade and there was definitely something wrong with how I learned.
The reason I think private school was good, Waldorf school specifically, is because, in that form of education, the teacher moves up in grades with the students. So I had the same teacher from 1st grade up until 7th grade, and that was when we got a new teacher because our old teacher didn’t want to do it anymore. But I was with the same class and kids, so I knew them really well. I’m glad I didn’t go to public school because I would have had to explain every year that I couldn’t read and then face all the questions from new kids each time and that would effect my self esteem a lot–or something. For instance, I had a really good friend in kindergarten, but when I went to private school in 1st grade and he stayed in public, we sorta lost touch. I still went over to his house from time to time, but I remember being in 4th or 5th grade and hanging out with him. His neighbor was a boy who was always around when I went to the public school and tried to read with that lady Val, and this neighbor must have told this friend of mine because he started making all kinds of fun of me for not being able to read. I don’t know why, since we were friends. But as I got older and then when I went to high school with him, I realized he was just an asshole.