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Nile's Story

Written by Brenda Lee Tucker

I’m Brenda Lee Tucker. I’m a professional artist from Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada. I have a son Nile who has attended The Listening Centre for treatment with dyslexia. There are play rooms with professional attendants who set up the technical program for him. He puts on headphones. He’s connected with long cords between two rooms and he listens for two hours to Mozart music that is filtered in different ways at different levels throughout his therapy so at some points he’s listening to scratchy high pitched little sounds coming and going from one ear to the next and it’s actually like listening to a bad gramophone at times. But the filtering of the music stimulates the inner ear to select only certain parts of the music to open pathways in the brain.” 

“At the end of Grade three we tried for three weeks, that’s the teacher, EA’s, tutors, myself, we tried every method possible to get Nile to write a short story and he never finished the first sentence. In three weeks of all of us trying everything we could. The problem with Nile was he was so blocked, stranded,  first of all completely hung up with no ability to write and spell. Then, because of his insecurity on that level, he would say he had “no ideas, no ideas, no ideas” and be completely 100% inhibited and blocked on every level. At one point, I gave him a story. I said, “Let’s talk about our dog Arrow. Let’s tell things about her.” I prepared him. I gave him ideas. We weren’t supposed to do this for the testing but I so much wanted to see that fl ow come out of him and it never worked.” 

“Now, after a fifteen day therapy in the Summer and then a week break for September, starting school, and then therapy again in October, he started grade four. I checked in with the teacher after the first couple of weeks of school and said, “How’s Nile doing?” And she said, “Well, he wrote a short story.” My jaw dropped and I said, “What?!” And she said, “Well, he wrote a short story, a few sentences long.” He wrote a story about when he was one year old and he had poured a litre bottle of vegetable oil into the carpet. That’s a true story but I was ecstatic! This was beyond a breakthrough for us. Even though it wasn’t a monumental academic change, it was a flow that had never existed there before.

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