We tutored an 8th grade boy who had totally given up on himself and his belief that he COULD learn. He has dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, an auditory processing problem and a low IQ. He has been in special day classes 100% of his school day in a group of 12 other special education students. He never turned in any homework, totally tuned out in class and was reading at a 1st grade level in 8th grade. Math wasn’t much better. After one month of twice per week sessions with my husband, who has been Teacher of the Year for Chavez Middle School, this student connected with the tutor (my husband) in a really meaningful way that has changed his whole attitude about school. He now tries his best in class at school, comes in smiling and happy to come to tutoring and is making more progress than his teachers have seen in the past two years (6th or 7th grade) combined. His entire attitude about himself l has also done a complete turn around and he is making real progress in school for the first time in years.
A 2nd grade student who was way behind in reading skills already came to tutor with Sunny. Hers teacher and other tutors had the belief that she was not trying at all in school and it was a behavior issue, where she refused to cooperate. Because things were so difficult, Susie often shut down and just gave up. She was reading at the end of kindergarten level. After tutoring with Sunny, she discovered that she had what appeared to be a very unuual and difficult to diagnose learning disability where there was a disconnect between what she wanted to write (for example she would say she was going to write c-a-t, cat) and it would come out different letters when she tried to write them. Sunny wrote a letter to the school for the parent, explained the processing problem she had figured out and they asked for a special education assessment to be done. It turned out that she HAD exactly the learning disability Sunny had picked up working with Susie in tutoring. She stayed in tutoring for 3 years and ended up on grade level by the end of 5th grade, something that would never have been possible without the extra help and expertise tutoring provided for Susie and the school.
We have had MANY cases of students who come to tutoring with us at an early age, and with proper scaffolding and early correct tutoring interventions, have been able to test out of and remove a learning disability. For example, Dino came to Sunny Day Tutoring in 2nd grade with a significant learning disability in the area of auditory discrimination and processing. The school just thought he was ADHD, not paying attention and not trying his best. He was receiving constant negative reinforcement from the teacher. The tutor picked up the fact that he actually had a learning disability in auditory discrimination and processing, wrote a letter to the school for the parent as an advocate for the family to make the school do the testing they did not want do. Testing was finally done by the school before the end of the year, and he qualified for Special Education with exactly the disability the tutor had diagnosed just working with the child one-on-one. After 4 years of tutoring, he had remediated the disability to the point that he NO LONGER had the learning disability, and was exited from Special Education in middle school
We have had many students in high school failing math classes. These failures can be traced all the way back to elementary or middle school. By working with a tutor to learn the underlying, missing foundational math skills, the student can then pass the high school math classes. Case in point, Tim, who was failing Integrated Math 2. He had managed to pass Integrated Math 1 with a D, but was failing after that. When a math assessment was done by Sunny Day Tutoring Services tutor, going all the way back to 4th grade math skills, they discovered that he could not do basic factions, decimals, or even addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts. We went back to reteach these missing skills while supporting his classwork and he was able to pass the Integrated Math class with a B. He went on the following year in math, needing no further help. Tim was successful in math after that and able to graduate from high school with his peers.