not memories of joy and curiosity. One of my earliest memories is trying and trying to learn how to write my own four letter name, I remember everyone else in the class seemed to learn the task but I was stuck. I was lost from the start, learning the letter sound and even worse trying to print letters that were dancing all over the page. It was almost impossible for me to write or copy letters because they were reversed, upside down, transposed and illegible by the time my mind tried to decipher them. Most students learned to write their names in kindergarten. In first grade and beyond, I was not able to write my name unless I had an example to copy from, even in second grade and beyond I would focus and concentrate so hard on the shape and the direction the letters were facing, yet I would still transpose or reverse the letters. This constant failure just made me hate school and despise writing. Every time I tried to print, it was a like writing upside down and backwards while looking in a mirror, holding my paper and pencil using my big toes. The big change in my writing came in third grade with the introduction of cursive. Cursive was easier to learn and made more sense in part because it connected all the letters and it used muscle memory.
Teaching me phonemic awareness and letter recognition was like trying to drive a car from the trunk. Three years of phonics and even more phonics didn't get me very far. Trepidation wasn’t the word I was feeling when initially evaluated for a learning disability but more a sense of relief that my charade was over. Finally, I was going to learn how to read. My happiness died quickly when the reality of more phonics was the prescription. I realized very quickly I was alone in my journey to learn how to read. I just could not make the connections between the sounds and the letters. None of the experts had a clue what to do except more of the same.