The Top Page

By:  Staci Stallings

My son is amazing.  He really is.  Even through all of the dyslexia stuff, he had a way of being able to express what was going on with him.  Like that first night I knew it was dyslexia…

As I lay there, putting him to sleep, I asked, “So reading is kind of hard, huh?”

He said, “Yeah.”

I said, “So can the other kids read better than you?”

“Yeah, they brag a lot.”


“They say, ‘I can read this. I can read that.'”

“And you can’t?”


Long pause.

“So when you read, do you guess a lot?” I asked.

He looked at me very puzzled.  “Mom, that’s all reading is is is a lot of guessing.”


He’s just like that.  He grasps things on a deeper level.  Like yesterday… Now that we have the underlying causes of the dyslexia handled (his vision problems), we are working diligently to catch up with where he should be in terms of grade level work.

One of the things that almost immediately snapped to attention was spelling.  He has gone from way struggling to being able to do 90% of the list on Monday–even if he’s never studied some of the words for spelling. (Yes, it is a miracle!)

Well, we were studying the four hard words:  since (confused with sense), been (that extra e was throwing him), through (those last four letters must be memorized for how they look not how they sound), and Christmas (silent h, and swallowed t).

We started with since and through.  I had him write them four times each the night before.  So we were going to see how well he remembered them.

I said, “Since,” and he started to write it incorrectly.  Then he stopped.

“Wait,” he said and stared off into space as if trying to read something really far away.

“What are you doing?” I asked to see if he could articulate how he was locating how that word looked in his brain.

To which he said, “I’m sorting through all the papers because it’s not on the top one.”

I kind of laughed.  “The top one?”

“Yeah, you know, on the top page in my brain.  Oh. There it is.  S. I. N. C. E.”

Then we did through.  Same thing.  He had to “search through the papers in his brain to find it.”  When he did, he knew how to spell it.

As I drove him to school this morning, we were etching Christmas down on his brain.  We did since, which he spelled automatically, and through which he also spelled automatically.

I said, “So why can you spell those now?”

He smiled, “Because they’re on the top page. I don’t have to go looking for them.”

I told him that my top page is really long, but under that I have file cabinets in my brain that I can go hunt for stuff that’s not on the top page.  He smiled.  “You must have a lot of stuff in there!”

I think we will get to the point that he has vaults of cabinets with stuff in his brain.  The cool thing is, even in 3rd grade he is learning to access it so he can use it.  How wonderful is that?!

Staci’s Author Central page is now live!  Check out all the awesome books…

3 Responses to The Top Page

  1. Dana Pratola says:

    That is awesome. Kids are so much more in tune with what goes on in their heads than adults I think =-D

  2. Oh my goodness! I am not dyslexic, but do struggle with ADD and auditory processing. I describe my issues like your son. Mine are files in filing cabinets. Sometimes misfiled. I had an acquaintance name, Ginger, once. When I tried to “pull up” her name, I would go through the spice file … Cinnamin, clove … Ginger!!!

    It’s boys like your son who help others understand these disorders because they can verbalize what is happening to them. However, it’s also Mothers, like you, who take the time to listen, who allow sons like yours the time to verbalize what’s going on. Thank you!

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