Our little miracle!...



When he entered high school, it suddenly appeared: "The dyslexic dragon".


Except for a slight reading difficulty, nothing had been noticeable so far, and so we fell completely out of the clouds when, in the fifth grade, there was suddenly pure chaos regarding spelling. A test certified dyslexia and from then on J. had to take part in a supportive course at school, which was an additional burden on him. Spelling rules were practiced here until he dropped. There were exercises for at home and criticism, when after two months no improvement occurred. We quickly saw no sense in this tutoring and looked for an extra-curricular support.


While searching for literature on the internet I learned that there is the possibility of being able to do a therapy in Hamburg. While reading it became very clear why classical tutoring could not achieve anything at all. I was immediately enthusiastic, recognized my child in most of the descriptions - and the most important thing: I finally understood J. I could stop being angry about his careless mistakes, his difficulties in dealing with space and time, his reading difficulties and my helplessness.


We made an appointment at the Dyslexia Institute in Hamburg and were very curious to see what would be waiting for us. J. was simply hopeful that there might be a chance to get his problem under control within a week.


The information meeting confirmed us even more that we were on the right track, and so we decided to register J. for therapy, especially since he was also highly motivated and willing to cooperate. Of course we also thought about the costs, but we felt that they were appropriate for the effort involved and firmly believed in the success, and that was more important than anything else. Taking J. out of school for a week was no problem at all. The school was open for this initiative. 


Half a year after the diagnosis of dyslexia, the time had come.


In the beginning, reading samples were recorded and small dictations were written, in order to have a comparison later. These were as we knew them: Full of mistakes! Now J. got to know different techniques and tools and how to use them. It was fascinating! From day to day the reading out improved and he made less and less mistakes in the dictations. I understood what happened and why it happened and how, but even today I still find it rather difficult to put into words what happened there with J. It is our "little miracle".


The cooperation of J. with Mr. Tzivanakis was very intense. I have never seen my child so concentrated, never so motivated and never so tired in the evening. :o) 

The reading rehearsals at the end of the therapy showed an immense improvement and the dictations showed hardly any mistakes. I now learned how I could continue to support J. with certain exercises on my own and we were released back into everyday life.


J. has changed a lot this week. He has become much more confident and was very happy to finally know what he has to do to defeat the "dyslexic dragon". We practiced for a few more weeks, but the continuing success encouraged J. to say at some point that he no longer needed the exercises.


Shortly after our therapy week there was a reading competition for all fifth graders at J.'s school. He finished as the best boy in his class and was overall third best in his class. I must emphasize again that this would have been unthinkable before therapy. J. would have gone into this competition with stomach ache and would have embarrassed himself in front of the whole class. There was of course a huge praise from the teacher and J. was very, very proud. His spelling in school improved little by little from the grade 5-6 to the grade 3, and it continues to improve, we are sure.

Many, many thanks to Ioannis Tzivanakis for his incomparably sensitive way, for his faith in J. and his abilities. I honestly don't know where else we'd be today...


Family M.U.




Note: All reading and spelling tests after the rehearsals were done with new, at least equally difficult, unknown and therefore untrained texts.