S1E21: Navigating Special Education Services - A Parent's Journey

word blindness Jan 04, 2024

If you're feeling frustrated because you've been trying to navigate testing requirements for dyslexia and still feel lost, then you are not alone! You may be constantly researching different testing options and feeling overwhelmed by conflicting information. You may also be experiencing pushback from schools or professionals when advocating for your child's testing needs. Instead of feeling empowered, you may feel even more discouraged and isolated in your journey.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Understand the complexities of dyslexia in the education system.
  • Explore the impact of assistive technology on dyslexic students' learning.
  • Navigate the testing requirements essential for dyslexic students.
  • Discover the range of support and accommodations available for dyslexic students.
  • Gain insights into effective advocacy and understanding for dyslexic individuals.

Demystifying Testing Requirements for Dyslexia
Navigating the testing requirements for dyslexia can be a complex and baffling process for parents. Confusion and frustration often stem from the necessity of repeated testing, lack of transparency, and perceived lack of empathy from the school system. This episode seeks to unmask the puzzling world of testing for dyslexia, providing listeners with more transparency on the process and clarity on how to best advocate for their children's needs.


Welcome to word blindness. Dyslexia exposed. I am Juliet Hahn. I'm here with my co host, Brent Sopel, and we are here to change the narrative. We want to educate, but we also want you guys to understand what it is like to be dyslexic and how things can change.

So join us every week for word blindness. Dyslexia exposed you. Welcome to word blindness. This is Juliet Hahn, and I'm here with my co host, Brent Sopal. How are you?

Top of the morning headstander I did for anyone that was wondering what he's talking about. I did a headstand in yoga today, which I was very impressed, but I've kind of lived like four days in. This is 1130 east coast, and I feel like I've done like a thousand things. Yesterday. You're like, oh, I thought it was Saturday and it was only Wednesday.

It was. I woke up going, I think it's Saturday. And then I was like, oh, no. Shit, I can't sleep in. Fuck, it's Wednesday.

It's not even like it was a Friday or even a Thursday. It was a Wednesday. Yeah, some weeks you have where those are bad and you just need everything to not. It's not like anything really is like. It's just weird.

That's the only thing I can say. Mercury grade Uranus, whatever the hell it's doing out there. Uranus, Jupiter or something over there. I'm so proud of you for even remembering. Yes, it is mercury in retrograde, and I don't think it has anything to do with Uranus, but I thought something about that.

I think it does because I don't know what's been going on this week. Okay, so we decided to hit record right away because last week or not last week, this week, but the episode that's going out, that went out last week, we really touched on a very vulnerable IeP last meeting kind of thing. And I received an email, I started reading it and I was like, oh, no, I can't be the only one that's reading this. So I was like, you know what? I'm going to send it to Brent, have him look over it.

He stopped at the exact same spot I stopped and decided to send it to him. Well, let's clarify. It's like three sentences into a twelve page document. Yeah. Right now someone could say, well, because you're dyslexic, finish reading it.

But it wasn't that. So to give a little context, if you're just joining and you're like, what are they talking about? What are they talking about? I'm going to give you a little context. So my oldest is a senior, and we have been going through, obviously, he was diagnosed young.

If you have not heard my story or my son's story, he went to Southport in Connecticut, which is a dyslexic school, for three years, but we went through the whole thing to get him there. It's been a long journey, but we've learned a lot as we've gone. And when, Brent, you and I connected because your foundation and because the interview I was doing, this has always been so close to my heart, obviously because of my dyslexia. But then going through it with family members, my own child, we really even connected deeper. And then word blindness kind of was like, we need to share our experiences to help other people not go through what we have gone through.

You being diagnosed at 32, but your daughter being diagnosed young and then having a different kind of path than you, it's just all these different stories and all of these different kind of skills we have collected on the way. And we're not alone in this battle. I'm not the one, the only one getting diagnosed late in life. You're not the only one getting early, going through this battle. So for you to share these experiences very fresh and raw, is obviously courageous by you.

But to show everybody else they're not alone in this battle, no matter what school district you're in, whatever state you're in, I think each and every parent, for the most part, is going through this. So you're not alone in this journey, no matter who you are, no matter who's listening to this. We're going to get into a little bit deeper of what this email said. But we tell it raw, we tell it fresh, we tell it gruesome. Funny.

The biggest thing is you're just not alone in this whole thing. And that's why we're telling it really raw. And obviously not me so much. It's the woman, the unicorn on the other side, that's vulnerable right now. So thank you for doing that.

But it's interesting. It is, and I have to say, but you have given me the space to be able to do this. Right. A couple of years ago, I only had a close amount of people that I would even share it with. I would send it like my husband.

I would always talk to my mom about it, send it to my husband, and he'd be like, I don't know. We don't know the laws, right? These are the things that. And we're educated people. So that's the other thing.

That's what always then gets me where I'm like, oh, my God, we're in this spot. And then I get angry because I think of the people that don't have anyone and they just sign a piece of paper because the school sends it to them. And again, the school is doing their job, but it's a business. And so it's not about your kid. Your kid's a number.

And so when you said to me yesterday, when did we record? When I was in tears. That was Monday morning. Monday morning? Yeah, Monday or Tuesday.

I think it was Monday. I don't know, whatever. It was the episode that went out last week. So you guys are going to get on the heels of this, because right afterwards we get an email and it's from, they call it now in New York. I think it's head of, what is it, like personnel services or something?

Pupil personnel services. And they changed it, made up special ed. I don't know when that happened. I don't know. Again, where Brent and I are coming from, these are our experiences, but we're learning as we're going.

So right now, I want to be very clear. We don't have answers to any of this, but this is what I'm going through. And so we're bringing it up because these are the kind of questions that I need to ask. And we're going to kind of bring it to the forefront for you guys to listen and kind of hear some of this, what happens and what parents kind of go through. Because again, I opened, I read four things and it basically said, once your son gets his diploma, and I think that's what it said, his region's diploma.

I just clicked on it. It's called a collaboration portal. Again, I don't know if that's. Each state has a different name for that. When you sent it to me, I'm like, okay, collaborationfrontlineeducation.com.

So that's new because usually we would get all of our stuff in paper form. So now it's all done over email, and it's a portal where all your papers stay. So like all of his ieps now, where they would send it, I have like a file, right? I would just shove it in. And it was just like a lot of the times.

Again, as a parent that has gone through all of this, and I shared in one of the episodes, coming from Connecticut, coming from a school that specialized private school. First of all, we were public, then private, then public, coming from and then different states, we had an ip that was like this big. Connecticut allowed you to say what your learning differences were, right? So we could put all dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, dyscalcula, whatever your child has, whatever you have, whatever your profile is. So when a teacher got it, they could say, oh, okay, I have some understanding, or I have no understanding.

But in New York, which we didn't know when we moved here full time, it just says ld. And when I saw that, literally the school, when he came into middle school, they were like, thank you so much for this work of basically talking about his strengths and weaknesses. And they shrunk it down to three pages and they handed it back to me. I said, well, wait, what is this? And they're like, oh, this is how we do ours.

And I said, so all of the great stuff that you just said to me, thank you so much for having it. And two people read it, or one person read it. Now, no one else is getting that. No one else is seeing the insides of his strengths. And it's like one letter.

It was so annoying. So let me ask you, I got a couple of quick thoughts. You just said one person read it. Who was that person? What was their title?

Yeah. And I have to remember back to this. So it was, I believe, the school psychologist in middle school, that's who we first went through. And then it was the head of special ed. Now, the interesting thing, and I'm not going to say what district I'm in if you want to find out, we don't know details.

Yeah, and I don't want to. I'm not throwing anyone under the bus.

We're not here to carve any school districts. We're not here to go down any teachers throats. We're just telling you our experience and what is out there. And I think you made a comment right before we started this, that your kid is a number. Now, how many people looked at us like, we have 65 heads when we said that.

And they've come back to us later going, you were right. Yeah. And it's sad when they realize it because I remember when I realized he's not a person to them. Correct. And it is hard on teachers when they do have a heart and they care and they go into teaching because they really want to really make a difference.

And then they realize the business side. I've had people on the podcast that have gotten out of teaching because they couldn't handle that. Right. It's the same in other professions, nursing, when you think, okay, I can make. And then all of a sudden it's about the paperwork and all these different things.

So it's things for people to think about, right? It's things about people. If you're someone that's maybe looking to go into a different field or whatever, these are the things to think about. So I believe it was a school psychologist that was the first person, and then it was the head of special ed. At the time, our district was.

There's been a couple of them. And I, again, didn't know when we moved here, I did have some people say, oh, you know what? I don't know. It's not always like, there's a couple of districts around that we were able to choose from one, they were like, that's going to be better for dyslexia and this and that, but then it's not going to be better for regular social. My kid's very social, so I was like, okay, we need to think about this.

I'm not sending him to the other one. Even though educationally it might have been better for him, socially it wasn't, and athletically. So we had to make a choice. And that's what it comes into this. Every kid is different.

Montgomery is different than Truman, Truman's different than Penelope. You're three kids. Lila's different than Jayla, and Paul's different than Jake. So each kid is different. So there's no copy and paste for each kid.

Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. So that's why we tell these stories in depth and in detail, so that you can take the information that fits for your kid and play it the way you need to be, or she needs it to be, or he needs it to be. And again, that's why we're doing this. And every time we've talked about, right, that we get on and we talk about, okay, what are we going to discuss today? In the last couple of times, we've been like, let's just push record, because things are just flowing right.

Things are just coming at us like, you need to talk about this. You need to talk about this. You need to talk about this.

In the last two weeks, there's been like six different things that have presented with different people that were like, okay, that's a topic. That's a topic. And the reason why, again, we started this and there's so many things coming that are going to come out of all of what you've been doing for years. And that's what I also want the listeners to listen. We're going to be at one point and I'm not going to give too much information, but there's going to be so much more to what we're doing now that is going to help and support.

So these are just the starting blocks. So I sent it to like again, I know my mom's going to have to look at it. My mom does not in to I need to find again someone in New York that's like, okay, if you sign that. This is what it's saying. I think I know what it's saying.

But what is your favorite thing? Assumption is assumption is death. So let me ask you the question. So it said that they're going to take away his services. That's on like the third or fourth line where we both.

That's exactly place stop. I'm like hold these horses. What do we got going on here? That's what I did when you had that meeting, whatever that Monday or Tuesday. Did they reference before I asked that?

What services does he have right now? He's a senior in high school. So for you Canadians, that's grade twelve. What services is he using right now? He has.

Yeah. And I can go off some of them because I probably should know them better, but they're on a piece of paper somewhere. But he gets untimed testing, he gets notes from the teacher. It used to be like he had preferential seating and stuff like that this past year and I think last year he was like can you please just take that out? Like I'm so done.

I'm fine, stop. And I was like fine. There's different things. He's allowed to use an appointment for the teacher now. Yeah, right.

Exactly. He's Mr. Personality, I'll tell you that. I wonder where he gets it from. Oh, I don't know.

Not you, your totally, totally. But those, so those are the kind of things assisted technology. But again, when he was in the private school, there was so much more of assisted technology here. We tried it. There's so many interesting things that he was allowed to.

This is, and I don't know if we've ever actually talked about this. He was allowed to do speech to text. So this is again, he went into middle school coming from a dyslexic school where they could do everything. Speech to text, which that was like easy. Everyone had a space in the hall, everyone had their own.

They could get out, they could do mood well around. Yeah, well that's interesting that you say that, because I can branch off that. When my daughter got diagnosed with dysgraphia, she got an iPad. And this was re, as she said, absolutely fucking not. Obviously she didn't say that in those words, but she goes, no, I'm not going to be the only kid in an iPad.

So obviously I'm dating myself. Now, most schools, all kids usually have iPads or computers, right? So that technology, she wouldn't. I don't want to be that kid. I'm not going to be that kid.

And that was a line I heard every single. She's a senior in college right now. I called her today, she was not happy with me. She was grumpy. I'm taking final exams.

I'll call you later. Sorry, just checking. But she's a senior in college. Obviously gone through it. But I'm not going to be that kid.

I don't want to be that kid. I don't want to be that kid. But you're funny. I've had a few people talk about voice to text. If you're not able to do what you said, spread out in the room, they're not going to use think we've talked about it.

Ava in Canada, she's not going to do it in the classroom because she's going to be that kid. So that voice of text doesn't work. And second series, completely racist, doesn't like the canadian accent, doesn't listen to me whatsoever.

Technology, again, might be my age is really hard for me. So again, every person is different. So you may be listening this. Oh, it's just a technology. Look at paper and pen.

And when you're talking about this portal or whatever you want to call it, I'd rather have this binder that I have here, outlet paper, and bring it in. And I'd rather drop this binder on a teacher's desk every year because they're going to look at it. It's a lot easier to skip over an email than paper for me. Yeah, no, and we talked about that, I think, three episodes ago that you print everything out. I've gotten better with technology, but this thing, I have to.

I know, I'm so good. I don't know if it's really actually three. So we'll just go with it. We'll sound like I'm on the ball. But I need to print this one out because I need to look at it and I need to go line for line, which I'm probably not going to completely do.

Once I get the understanding of what that means. I'm going to. No, I know you will. I didn't want to pass judgment when I read that. I'm like, okay, I need to stop because I wasn't in your conversation.

I wasn't a part of that meeting, so I wanted to get full clarity of what was. I know when you jumped on there, when we recorded last time, obviously we were talking about the anxiety and everything with it, so we didn't really dive into. You said it was a great meeting, so you didn't dive into, if they're taking services away, they're adding services. Nothing. You just said it was a great meeting anxiety.

So I didn't want to pass any judgments until I knew the right information so that I could take a look at, read that rest of the paper, which I will absolutely print off and highlight. But I want to make sure I had the right information before I started judging and getting really angry. No, totally. And I'm going to go back to a couple of things. That right there, though, is when people ask you, well, what do you do to keep yourself up on dyslexic stuff?

And you're always like, well, and you always said, and I was like, don't say that, because you do. You're like, I don't do anything. I don't go back to school and stuff like that. You do things like this. You're going to go through that all, and you're going to learn so much about what New York does, and you're going to be that person that is going to be like, okay, I got it.

And now I know how to handle New York. And that's what's amazing about you. And that's what a lot of times people don't see. You're going to do that. You're going to ask questions.

You're going to ask the right questions. We're going to find the person that we're going to need to ask those questions to, and then you're going to have that as arsenal for like, okay, I got New York. I get what they're doing. But you don't give yourself credit for that. Well, I appreciate.

And a lot of people ask me, how are you trying to better educate yourself in the reading area? And that's where I'm like, whoa, new my scars. Hockey was my life. That's what I knew better than anything.

Now, there's a couple of worlds that I know better now than hockey.

Mental health, addiction and dyslexia. Yeah. Like, I can sit with anybody in the world and go one for one on what the laws are. Each state is a little bit different. In Canada, there's differences but I can go down on emotional, I can go down reading programs.

Obviously, you go scientific. It just goes over my head. That's a whole different conversation. But I know this world. Yes.

I don't have a phd. I don't have a doctorate. I don't have none of that. I've got a kid asked me, coach, did you go to college? I'm like, yeah, college of hard knocks.

He goes, where's that? I'm like, somewhere hard. It's d one, right? My life. And you and I spent a lot of time on the phone talking about these things, and I can confidently say there's not too many people in the world that know more about these were mental health, addiction and dyslexia than I do.

It's true, and I love that you said that, and I love that you embrace that, because it's really true. So now I want to go back, and then we're going to get into this letter, but then I want to go back to the assisted technology kind of like where we were. So we had all of these different things, and that was part of his IAP. And then it was like, notes. When he was younger, it was like, okay, in math, you got things that were more.

Not just off the board. Doesn't need to copy off the board spelling. You don't take off of grammar. All these different things that are in IEP, but those are the ones I can remember. He also goes to a different place to take a test now.

I thought about getting tests given to him orally, but someone can read his test, so people read his test, and then he does it this way. I always wanted him to be able to go back and do it because of his dysgraphia orally, I had to fight and fight, and he finally was like, mom, it's fine. I'm fine. Just leave it be. As they get older, they're.

When he though. When he was diagnosed in the public school in Connecticut, before we went to Southport, he was one of the only ones that had an iPad. There was a couple other people, but the thing that was funny is all the kids were like, well, we want that. Why does he get it? So it was actually like, he's like, it's fine.

Everyone thinks it's cool. I don't love it. He didn't love it. But when he saw that there were some things that were easier, he kind of was just like, fine. But it was also a very, like, it was just a different time.

We also talked. I want to build you off that. How did you build him up on that portion.

I think I said to him, yeah, no, totally. And I'm trying to go back. I think it was just like, this is what you're going to need to make school easier. Let's just go with it and see how it is. And you're always going to need something.

I would always say to him, dude, I understand this. See, then this is where it's different because you didn't get to do this. I'm like, that's why I wanted to go with this for people. Yeah, I understand school is going to. It's never going to be easy.

I want to say that to you, and I know that's hard to hear as like 2nd, third. I think he was in third grade, third and fourth grader. It's never going to be easy. There's things that are going to be easier and these are the kind of things that could make it easier. So let's just try it.

Let's just see what happens. Let's see what does. Now, there was things in the technology world that he wasn't as comfortable with. He didn't grasp as much. And then again, but the voice to text, I would say to him, it's going to even the playing fields, you think that they're so good, these kids are so smart and stuff, and you are too.

It just doesn't show in the classroom. Right? And so this is going to even it out if you're able to use your voice because that's what you're so strong at. So again, we went to his strengths, right? And that's why I asked that question because I didn't say that to my daughter because I didn't know.

You didn't know. I'm like, what the fuck is dyslexia? So I never gave that support to my daughter. So I'm sorry. This is what we always talk about, that innate confidence that you've known for so long that it's been okay in your house.

I didn't know that. I didn't know it was going to be easier. I didn't know what it was. I'm like, I just voiced attack, what the fuck? Siri doesn't listen to me, so my anxiety guaranteed penetrated onto my daughter because I didn't know what it was, right.

I was still learning. So I didn't give her that assurance. I didn't give her that protection. I didn't give her that guiHahnce because I didn't have it. I didn't know what it was.

No, totally. And you were also very deep in your NFL. Sorry, your NHL. I'm so sorry, your NHL life that you were also surviving because you were like, if I have to get a real job. So you were in a spot that was a different spot as well.

And so just learning this because I think I said to you, well, wasn't that a relief? And you were like, no. I was like, just, I want my daughter to be okay. I'm in survivor mode and I don't even know what that means. I don't know what to do.

And so those are also for people listening to this that have a similar to you that maybe never knew about it. It's okay that you weren't there for your kid. The way you're like, oh, my God, I didn't do that. Right. Everyone's journey is different and we do the best.

When I work in counsel again, I don't have my doctor, but I counsel so many people. And it's your past trauma. As parents, you do the best you could with what you had. Every one of us could go back and change things. Yes, but we're doing the best with what we had.

And maybe it wasn't enough and we're all sorry and we all wish we could go back, but that's life. And embracing it and being okay with it. Everybody's like, oh, you mad at your parents? Because they didn't know, right. They were doing the best thing they could to change the world because dyslexia is not even a word set in certain states.

I'm almost 30, 47. In Canada, they didn't know what the hell that was. I went to school with kindergarten to grade eight in one building.

No, I'm not mad. My parents did the best they could with the resources they had, and I wouldn't have embraced any help anyway. It's because I didn't know what it was. I've been in survivor mode probably for 45 years. I probably was in survivor mode my whole life.

Till I met you. No, but it's so true because we've given each other the space and we've given each other the space to ask questions, right? I sent that to you and I was like, I don't know. I need you to look at it. You've asked me like, hey, can you just look at this?

Because we're comfortable knowing that we're not going to judge each other. And I think that's what everyone needs, and that's so important. But. So now I'm going to go. So in 7th grade, when we moved out, here he had all these things that he was able to do at Southport.

And I remember I was like, he has to do the voice to text. And finally one day he came home to me and he said, mom, I can't do the voice to text. I go in the hall, so I'm missing the instructions. I also am the kid that's going in the hall with his computer, right? He goes, and then anyone that's walking by says, what are you doing in the hall?

It picks up on my thing. I have to talk to them. I can't focus. He's like, I cannot. But he and I fought about it for a little while until he was able to explain to me that exact thing, because I was like, okay, you just don't want to do voice text because you feel weird.

I get it. But can't there be a space? And I would fight with the teachers, can't you give him a space? Why can't there be a space? And they're like, because we're teaching and we're talking as we're writing.

Which, again, that's like, brings me back to being like, oh, my God. Can keep the notes. I can't walk and chew gum, never mind talking, right spell. Totally. But it wasn't until then, I don't remember if it was 7th or eigth grade.

I feel like we had a whole year where he was supposed to be using it, and then they would keep bringing it back. He's not using it. He's not using it. I would say to him, why aren't you using it? Is it because you feel weird?

Was he in the middle school there in York when you went there? Yeah. So that was 7th and 8th grade. So that's all. It was only 7th and 8th grade for most people.

I'm new to the middle school. I never had a medal school, so I asked that question. I never know if it is a middle school. Certain know, some are six, seven, eight. Some are will, I will never assume.

Yeah, yeah. So we took that off, kind of. But I said to them, can we keep it? But he does not. Because then they were trying to force him to do it in the class.

Like, this is on your thing. And then he was like, oh, my God. Right? So then it was like a shit show. But he was like, I literally.

And then when he started, because again, he was new, so he's like the kid that's different and new, but he does have a personality, so he was able to kind of figure it out. But it was an interesting time. Right, exactly. So then it's like, okay, I don't want to be the kid in the hall. But then when he did start making friends, then any kid that was out in the hall again would stop and talk to him, and then it would pick all up, and he didn't realize it was picking all up, and he couldn't take what he wrote.

And then he's like, mom, it's making it all harder. And I was like, oh, okay. Thank you for explaining to me again. Thank goodness I have a kid that can communicate. And thank goodness I have a kid that felt open enough to tell me because it could have been not.

And he just stuffed it. And then it became like a self esteem issue, right? Because it's like, oh, my God, I can't do this, and this sucks. And whatever. Finally, he was like, I'm not doing it.

And that's the two dyslexics right there, right? You guys understood it. That's that connection. So parents, mom or dad, whoever, if you don't have it and your kid does, take that second, listen to this, because you're right. He had the openness, and you guys had that comfortability and the ability to communicate and talk it through to get to that resolution.

Yes, it took some time, but a lot of times, as a parent that doesn't have it, trying to ask or trying to figure out what's going on can be really hard. So don't think you're alone. So ask questions. Continue to ask questions. Reach out to a dyslexic.

It's crazy. A lot of people. Oh, I've never heard it said that way. It's just said in a dyslexic way. I guess we have our own connection, our own language type thing.

So take that time and try not to get frustrated. Right. Because it's hard for the parent that's not dyslexic, too. 100 million%. Yeah.

But when he said it, I was like, oh, yeah. Oh, that's really annoying. I'm so sorry. I was like, I wish you told me last year. He's like, well, I tried, but he couldn't put it into words why he was frustrated.

Right? So it's like, again, these self exploring things. He also found teachers that he was able to do things. I mean, he's learned a lot, this kid. He's got a lot of life lessons in 18 years.

And it's interesting. So we did have this last meeting last week, and it was very emotional. There was no talk about this paper that was going to be sent. So it wasn't like, hey, we're going to be following up some. I'm going to.

I have to ask my husband because maybe I missed it, but I don't think so. Hahn was on there with you? Hahn was, yeah, he was in doesn't. And it's so funny there. I was like, parents, do you have anything to say?

He always kind of looks at me and I have a lot to say. And then if he has a question, he'll ask, but he usually just listens, so. And I haven't even touched base with him because he was traveling yesterday to be like, hey, can we look at this together? Because what I think is once he gets his pump, I think they're talking about at the end of the year. And I think this has to do with the.

Yep. But I'm, again, not going to assume. I think this has to do with the retesting and I'm not going to read it to you. Talk to Hahn and give me what he heard because I want all that. I don't want to judge because I'm already.

No, totally. I'm four lines in and I'm fucking angry, ready to jump off the 14th floor and fucking right to the airport and get to New York and beat the shit out of anybody. So I want that information before I go down this. No, but the thing is that I think is so funny is you said right before we recorded. So I started reading and then I stopped and I go, oh, my God.

I know exactly where you stopped. But wait, I'm going to let you say it because I don't want to assume. And you said, that's when I stopped and that's when I sent it to you. Right. Basically.

And I was like, I'm not signing anything. I'm not signing anything at all. I think it has to do with the testing that some colleges require to keep your services. So you have to get tested in the public school. And I know this tweaks you in the public school, you have to be tested every three years to maintain the services.

We are learning more about this, so we are going to give you more information on this because this has been something that has really come up because again, the test, every time tweaks me because I know that they have to take him out of class. I know that they have to ask him these questions. I know he has to do a test that's hard. And it's like these shapes thing. I think it's this drawing shapes things, which I always go back to, because I remember doing it and I couldn't draw.

And it brings me back to a really bad, really bad place. Just the word test. I don't know if I've shared this on here or not. Like last time I went to the DMV, I had to do a written test, and my oldest son looks at me, you just broke out in fucking hives. I'm in hives.

I would have been maybe mid thirty s. I still playing hockey in hives. I had to do a written test. I'm like, test. So I don't care if it's a drug test, any written test, I tweak well.

And that's what Hahnielle's going through right now. She's like, the test. And I was like, okay, honey, this is your. She's like, oh, my mean, she's having full on anxiety because of the word test. And that's what you have to get tested to keep services.

And let's talk about quick briefing every three years. I don't get it. I guess so we can tell the listeners, I've been tweaking over this for about a year now. So I don't understand why you have to retest every three years. Dyslexia just doesn't.

All of a sudden you're born with your right brain wired differently. Just all of a sudden, I had four Red Bulls and I got wings now, and my brain is unwired. It doesn't fucking work that way. Right? So I don't understand why every three years you have to.

I don't understand who gives the tests. I don't understand who writes the test. I understand who made the test. So, listeners, I'm diving into this in a very in depth way for understanding, because not one of the things on this thing is okay with me or right in my mind. And we have, I know Brent said it's been on his mind for a year.

We have dove in and asked questions around that. We know a couple companies that offer these tests, but that doesn't make sense. So we need to find, you can't get a copy of the test. So we've tried to get copies of the test. We can't get copies of the test because only someone that is certified in giving the test can give it, and they can't let it go outside of the building.

And basically the kid gets taken out and it's hours, and it's usually over a certain amount of time where they have to go through. And my understanding is the reason why they have to give it. It's all funding. So it's like, okay, if you've hit a benchmark, because that is all on the IAPs. If you hit this benchmark, that means the school has done their job and that means that you are now and you still have dyslexia.

This is what's so frustrating. This is why I think one of the things that I love is you're so black and white and so there's a lot of gray in this testing and that tweaks you because it's like, well, no, just tell me the fricking answer. This is not okay. It's funding. Agree.

I know it's. We all know it and we know it's funding. It's got to do with this. But Nikki obviously low Peyton. She just had her test.

So she's got the same thing about. She's got the whole bam. But she's gone up 30 grade points in reading. She's doing better in everything because of the services. She did her three year test.

Now they want to take her services away. So now Brent. Grandpa Brent. Daddy Brent. I don't know.

My dyslexic kids starts fucking losing my mind because she got to that point because she has the services. So her confidence has gone up. She's a confident young woman. It's amazing. Watch her.

She's in grade six right now. She can hold a conversation, can hold herself, hold her chest high, hold her head high like a little woman. But you're going to take that away from is help you. What the fuck does. So, right.

So that is the thing that it is really maddening. And it is every time. And it's funny because I said to Montgomery, okay, we might have to do that retesting. And he was like, it's fine. And I'm going to share this.

But he looked down when he said, it's fine. And I was like, yeah, he's stuffing. But I didn't say anything. I didn't say it because again, we've talked about, no 18 year old boy wants their mom to be like, let's talk about feelings right now, later in life. And it's those things.

But it's the test. It is those things. And I said, and we talked about this last week, so I'm not going to go too much in depth. But when they were like, okay, he's up on his three year. And I said, well, okay, wait a second.

Because again, I get super tweaked on it. But what they told me, which I was like, okay, I appreciate it. They're saving us from having to go outside to get it if a college needs it. And this all comes from the federal government, right. You have to have things on paper, and it's the whole disabilities act, and there's a number to it.

I know my daughter had to do neuropsych for the ADHD. I understand that. Yeah. So the school is the same. They're coming from there.

So they're basically said to me, he's got to do it because there's going to be some universities that require it to give him his services. Others have said, we just need his paperwork, like the IEP, and then we're fine. We don't need that retesting. So it depends, again, on the state. So in Pennsylvania, a school that's looking at him for, you know, they were there yesterday.

They were meeting with someone in special ed. That was the first thing I said to my husband and him, just make sure. Do we need to do that? Because it's not up until April, so we have a little bit of leeway where I don't have to get it. Now.

His one teacher did say, I'm the one who's giving it, Juliet. And I went, okay. And she's like. And I'm not going to say exact because it's personal, what she said. I don't want to say it over under the bus, because I really, really like her.

But I was okay. Okay. So I felt better. But I know at other know, it's, again, you're taken out, you're doing a test that's hard. It's showing you all your weaknesses again, it's throwing them in your face.

All the things that you can't do. So just think about that. It's really hard, and it's like, you have to keep doing it. I know that there has to be some sort of systems, right, to make things work. You can't have it.

The wild, wild west, we know that the best in this space. That's what we're trying not to have. But we need the understanding of, is there something that can be put in place that is better for the child and their mind and their psyche and the parent? But you talk about it's funding. I get it.

Okay. So everything that you had mentioned, voice record, notes given to them, tests read to them, you tell me where in the fucking God's green earth that costs money, right? And I think it's because. I think it's the person that's giving it has to have a certification. But again, I'm not going to assume I don't either.

Know that. And again, that's why we're exploring. That's why we haven't. Now, let's just say there's some certain reading programs. Now, if you had to hire a reading specialist for a year at, let's just say 75,000, just using numbers.

Okay, I see that cost, but everything that you've mentioned, and for my daughter, they did have to do that. They did have to hire. And at that time was Wilson reading. So they did bring. So I get that.

But every kid has an iPad. So voice record, notes given, not taken. If you got dysgraphia not being marked on the spelling. Okay. I'm still having a hard time seeing where a dollar figure is matched to this.

Correct me if I'm wrong again, folks, I'm just trying to get a full understanding. I want a dyslexic life. I started the foundation because I never wanted kid to feel the way I do every day. Help me understand this, because to me, it's not making well. Peyton was the same thing.

I think she had voice record. She had test read to her. Again, where in that? Is there a that? And that is a teacher having to get out of a classroom.

So they have to hire someone for the classroom. So that is a person that has to be certified or qualified to do it. Or an aid, because I think there's an aide that does it qualified to read. Yeah. Okay.

It's a space, Juliet. I think it's a space. Sam drove 10 miles. Juliet drove six in her great blue volkswagen. You got to be certified for that.

No, it's the time. It's the time that teacher has to be taken out. And so they have to have another person to be able to do that. So I think it's an aid. But again, these are all the questions they're asking because we don't know.

Right. And I'm just assuming that. Correct. But even there's an aid. Again, this is all assumption.

I'm just not fully understanding. There's other aides in there, right? There's other teachers in there. All right. We need somebody to read that sentence to Truman today or to Brent to just not.

I know it's all funding. I know it comes from federal government. I'm good with that part. Just give me a why. Right?

And the other thing that we wanted to jump into, and this is going to open a whole nother can of worms. So I'm going to throw it out there and then probably be like, we'll talk about it a different. But my, someone was telling me back in the day in New York, when you went into the gifted and talented pool, you got tested once and then that was it. And a lot of parents had a hard time because, say, your kid just wasn't at the par or whatever, then they can never be tested again. To get into the gift and talented.

But when you learn different, you're tested every three years. I think it's a state thing. And so we're going to throw it out there. If anyone knows that, we would love to learn a little bit more about that. We're also doing our back ended research and we didn't want to come with, like, little pieces.

These are the questions that we've had altogether. We have a lot of the answers over here, but we're not going to throw them out yet until we have the whole kind of puzzle together to share with you guys. But it just brings us back the canadian listeners, too, doing the same thing in Canada also. Canada, yes. No, exactly.

Because this is something that needs to. It's a very broken system, and it's every day we are shown how broken it is. And again, this is going to be really where we have an organized area where we can share all this with you guys going through the college process. I mean, that's another thing. There's the naviance app that we use here.

That's what the kids today. Oh, you did from the mom in Boston. Okay. So if you need, you can pick my brain, because I've finally figured it out. And again, someone might be like, oh, it's not that big of deal.

Friends that I've talked to, they're like, oh, my kid does it all. I don't do any of it now. We've talked about on other episodes. I had a lot of trauma around my senior year and college, so I'm going to bring it in when my child's doing this. So the common app, there's all these different steps that we don't know.

They throw up on the kids. They literally give them one day of all of this information where it's like hours of, okay, this is what you guys need to do. This is what you need to do. Now. The school's like, well, we did it over days.

And Montgomery was like, okay, I got some of it. Some of it. Maybe I wasn't there, whatever it is. And they probably have also, as we said, I think there was probably an email that went out that said, we can train the parents on it. Whether I missed or I couldn't make it.

I don't know, but I definitely wasn't on that. I didn't do that. So yes, the school offers things, but it's still very complicated. It's very complicated. And this is what it is.

We talk about collecting other dyslexics as we go along, right? It's like we're dumb and dumber. We're dumb and dumber in the van. Let's pick them all up. Come on in.

We're better looking than Dumbo and dumber, by the way, but go ahead. Yes, we are. I don't know why I had to say that, but I was like, wait. I pictured them all, but I was like, wait a second. Okay, I see the reference, but I don't know that I think we're way better than dumb.

And talk about the hitchhikers in the van.

Aspen, California. Such a great movie, but let's go. That's such a good movie. Oh my God. So good.

Not dyslexic. You'll never understand. So a lot of the people in power, and what I mean is a teacher, principal, a dean, a superintendent, Washington in Ottawa, in the parliament in Canada, they're not dyslexic, so they don't understand what we're talking about. So this may seem right and logical to them, and it may end up being that way. I just don't have all the right, like, I'm not like Juliet who likes to ask not.

It's not making sense to me. You were going to say you were curious. You got the curious George hat for sure. You know what you're getting for your Christmas and birthday? Curious George hat.

Except the episode that just went out with Dr. Tim Odegaard. He says, brent, that was a very curious question. And I think I sat there with the biggest grin on my face. I was like, thank you, Tim, for recognizing of his curiosity.

Yeah, but so these are all the questions, right, that we're asking, that we know other parents are asking, and we're going to take it back to that document again. We literally got down five things and it said, once you get the diploma, it really didn't say once you get diploma. So like, is it at the end of the year? It could have had a date. Once you get this, then your services are gone.

Unless you do x, y, and z. There's no explanation. It's just like, it literally says, once you get that diploma, it's kind of like we're out, you don't have our back. And so I need to ask more questions on that because there's so much more behind it. And then I think there's one line that says, what was the name of the diploma?

Well, that's a regents diploma. So people in New York, don't even get me fucking started. Don't even get me fucking started. I will lose my shit. That's a whole nother.

And I forgot about that. So you just went off. Now I'm like, why didn't it just say diploma? Why does it say, so? My question was, is there other diplomas now that you're going off and tweaking?

Yes, I do remember that. So Brent's foot in the. Oh, I literally could fucking scream. But yes, he is getting that diploma. The regents one.

But okay, that's for a whole nother episode. Any of our New York listeners or anyone else, that's like, what are they talking about? Yes, in New York, there's something called a regents test, and it's a lot of your grade, and it's a test. And you heard how we talked about tests. And so there's certain combinations they can do, certain ones they can't.

It is awful, New York. You need to change that. It is awful. And I know so many people like states that have that. Juliet.

No, I think New York is the only one. And I could be wrong. Should I put my surprise face on? Right? Yeah, don't.

Don't even get me started. So, yes, it does say that in there, right? When he gets his regents diploma, then the services are taken away. And so it is like, okay, wait, what? And again, it's probably semantics, because then I think in the COVID letter, it was like, we've so enjoyed having your son, and he's done such a great job, and we're so excited for his next four years.

Whatever. It's these things that you have to be educated, you have to have knowledge, and there's so many people that don't, and there's so many parents that don't, that then start little parent groups in places. And it's just maddening because again, we're going to learn a lot from this. And I'm excited that we kind of got it, even though. And I'm so excited that I read at least four lines before.

I just was like, oh, let me just find this. I love how you and I, my older life, hit a certain part, and then that's actually getting a real good email. So that's going to be real bad. I'm not going to finish. I'm just going to go.

I literally did that and you did it exactly at the same time. I mean, it's brilliant because it didn't make sense. It's like, but say someone that it's maddening. There's no context behind it. No.

Like at the meeting yesterday, you're going to get this letter. It's going to say this, don't panic. This is what it means. So now I'm going to call them and be like, what does this mean? And can you guys be better?

Set the parent up again. Now let's take this. You're right. But the problem is, again, why we talk about your kid is just a number. School is a business because look at our traumas.

You see us tweaking. We talk about this is because those people that you met with don't care. They do this all day. School was easy. You've never struggled.

You're never worried about that. Right? So we're coming at know as people have struggled that school sucks. All this stuff is we're trying to affect change first we're trying to educate the parents so they don't have to go through. Then, you know, obviously Juliet knows and we'll fill the pieces in later.

What I mean by that. But trying to make, you know, the documentary I did here to change world because that's my goal. And so that you don't have those feelings that you have, I can prevent other parents from having. Exactly. And that's why we're doing mean.

Stay tuned for part, probably 5678 on this topic because we're only halfway through this year and there's a reason why I'm going through this now, right? There's a reason why Montgomery is going through this now and the reason why we all gone through our stuff. But the reason why we've connected is because we want other people not to have to struggle as much in this. Yes, you're still going to have your own struggles because everyone's different. Everyone has their different, the way districts and schools and approach things.

But if we can give you kind of the armor to be like, here are the questions I need to ask. Here's the knowledge that I have, because knowledge is power. Once you have knowledge, you have power and you can handle something. You can change something. You can ask that right question.

And what did I say that when I made you stump and we never really got back to it. But you can be one question away from a different life. You can be one question away from changing a trajectory of a situation. So if you have that one question when you're going into that IAP meeting, it could change your kid's life. And I know that could sound corny, but it's totally not.

So we want to give. We want to give you that question. We want to give you that question to you go in. You're powerful. You have the education, and that's why we do what we do.

That's why you have the Brent Sobel foundation. That's why we started wearing blindness. That's why we're going to be doing so much more stuff. Like, we're not going away and we're not going to leave you guys out there being like, we're just not doing. That was great.

We're badass. I would say we're badass bitches. Rebel without a cause, but you have a cause. 100%. Right.

Rebels with a lot of cause. That's the thing. As you said, we're collecting kind of our dyslexic troops behind us and next to us, and aside from us, in front of us. And we're on a mission, just like your mission, which has been, and you've set that pathway for us to be able to kind of put this together and these puzzle pieces are coming together. So thank you for what you always do and thank you for having that document.

And I will get you some. A little bit more context and then we'll be able to come back to you guys and give you more context on that. So thank you again for listening to word blindness, dyslexia exposed rate review you and share. Again, you do not know who needs to hear this. Seriously, this is important stuff.

This is life changing things that can change the trajectory of someone's life. So please share it with as many people as you know. Thank you, Brent. Once again, always. Thank you, curious George.

I'm going to start calling you curious George. I gotta get you a nickname.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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