Testimonials - Kristi

When my daughter, Kati, got to her freshman year in high school, I saw a dramatic change in her school work. She was studying many hours each night on work I deemed much easier and should not take that long. I chalked it up to being distracted by her phone, television, or any other thing more important to a 15 year old. She went from loving to read and write, which she was very good at I might add, to hating both. This was the child who loved to read historical fiction and wrote in a journal every day. Now, getting her to read was almost impossible. Again, I attributed it to her being a teenager. Her grades were still close to straight A’s, but I knew the amount of time she was spending studying, so it was expected. What I came to realize her junior and senior year in high school was that she was not on her phone, she wasn’t watching television while she was studying; it was simply taking her hours to complete her homework. I really had no answer, just that she was meticulous with everything she did and had a great work ethic. She is a little strong-willed and does not give up, so she worked hard to maintain the grades she knew were vital to getting a scholarship. Fast forward to fall of her freshman year in college. She called me one night in tears saying, “Mom, I just can’t do all this reading. I read and reread and it takes so long, and then I don’t remember what I read.” After speaking to Kris, it became apparent there was something causing these difficulties. All these years Kati thought she was not smart enough or that she was slow and so it took her longer to do work than other students. We had Kati tested in December of 2015, and she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Some people would think a 19 year old would be upset at this diagnosis. Not Kati, she now knows that she is not dumb or slow; there is a reason she takes longer to do things, and this explains all of those long nights of studying. She now receives accommodations recommended by Kris at college, and her grades have improved this semester. She has more confidence in her abilities, and she is becoming a great self-advocate. Now she is just as excited about class as she is competing on the track and field team. What a blessing that testing was. Thank you Kris for all of your help!


As long as I live, I will never forget the moment I heard the words, “Your son has dyslexia”. A dozen thoughts and emotions whirred through my mind. There was relief that we finally had an answer. There was shame and regret at all the times I said (yelled) things like, “You’re not trying” or “You need to focus”, and of course the tears shed by both our son and me at the mounting frustration and seemingly unsuccessful attempts at schoolwork. There was anger that my son was just shy a few weeks of turning 17 and now being diagnosed, not with a tendency towards dyslexia, but as I call it full-blown dyslexia. We could have not navigated through the diagnosis and remediation without Mrs. Kris Smith.

Rather quickly my husband and I came to the conclusion that our son would best benefit from private lessons, not group therapy at school. However, we worried about his resistance. School had become such a burden and source of frustration. About the only way we could get our son to do schoolwork was literally by sitting down next to him at the kitchen table and threatening him with every possible thing you could imagine.

Our son is what some people refer to as a man’s man. He can talk for hours and hours about anything relating to hunting, fishing, engines, or truck accessories; however, he doesn’t exactly relate to married women who major in the education field. My husband and I just assumed our son would fight us every step of the way with private dyslexia lessons and we had already decided bribery might be our only way out.

Fast forward 6 months…. not once, repeat NOT ONCE, has our son ever resisted or complained about going to dyslexia lessons. It remains one of the biggest surprises of our life! Our son immediately had a brighter outlook on school and frustration began to subside. Mrs. Smith with her encouragement, can-do attitude, and understanding has captured the mind (and heart) of our son. For the first time in his life he is beginning to think of himself as smart and capable in regards to school. You know your teenage son has gone through a major overhaul when he has a 10-minute conversation with you about the difference between the pronunciation of “tin” and “ten”. Think about that for a moment.

If I could pass on any wisdom to parents of children struggling with school it would be this…dyslexia is not about switching numbers or letters. As a matter of fact our son rarely does that. If I would have known what dyslexia really entailed, I could have diagnosed our son in first grade. As Mrs. Smith was going over his tests results I wasn’t surprised at what he missed… I just didn’t realize THAT was dyslexia. Second, dyslexia is a complicated process to unravel and remediate. While there are people who have basic knowledge of dyslexia, Mrs. Smith has dedicated her life to understanding and helping students with dyslexia. She has multiple endorsements, licenses, and degrees dedicated to dyslexia. If your child has dyslexia, take the time to seek out the best in your area. Mrs. Smith is one of the best, but you cannot have my child’s spot with her until he is done with remediation!




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