Saturday, June 28, 2008

St. Jude Rocks!

St. Jude has answered our prayers once again. You may recall the desperate prayer to him on closing day, well he came through again. In a big way. At least I think so.

First a little back story. As you already know, Teen Son is planning on attending Franciscan University Steubenville in August and you may also recall that he is my severely dyslexic child. Through proper instruction (Orton Gillingham) he learned to read and through our special read aloud time together he learned to love reading. However, it takes him longer than most to accomplish the task. (It also helps if he listens to a BOT as he reads.)

So, when he took his ACT he was unable to finish the test. Even so, he still had a pretty good score, landing him an academic scholarship. But FUS is very expensive and we've been struggling to find more financial aid. We were told that in order to get a higher academic scholarship, he needed to bring up his ACT by four points.

Four points is big. St. Jude is bigger.

Teen Son felt confident he would get the score up, if he could just finish the test. Fortunately for dyslexics ACT allows them time and a half to finish the test. However, ACT is very strict about who gets such an accommodation (and rightfully so). Accordingly, Teen Son spent a day in the office of a neuropsychologist for evaluation. It cost a boatload of money, but we knew it would be worth it if it meant getting the extra scholarship.

The doctor came back with a 15-page report. In a nutshell, Teen Son is in fact severely dyslexic (in the one percentile of the population). The bad news, believe it or not, is that he has a superior intelligence. The doctor explained that according to the American Disability Act, accommodations are for those with average or below average intelligence. This made no sense to me: The ACT is an intelligence test. How could his intelligence be properly assessed if he can't finish the test because it takes him longer to read?

This is where St. Jude comes in.

We decided to send the report into ACT anyway. The doctor helped when he summarized his report, noting it would be a great disservice, not only to Teen Son, but to society to deny him this accommodation. After all, we should encourage young adults like him to perform to their fullest potential.

Teen Son and I did our part by praying. Prayers of desperation to St. Jude. We started with a novena and kept praying everyday after the nine days were up.

Weeks passed and we didn't hear from ACT. No denial, but no acceptance either. It wasn't until Teen Son reported to the local high school to retake the test did he learn ACT's decision. He got the extra time!

But that's not the end of the story. He finished the test and then we waited some more. And prayed some more. Now we needed four points.

The letter came yesterday. His score didn't go up four points. It went up five points! And he got a perfect score on science as well as one point shy of perfect in reading! How cool is that! St. Jude totally rocks and so does my kid!

Now, we've got to start doing some research to see who wants to give scholarships to nursing students (he changed his major again) with a perfect ACT score in science. I hope it's not too late. Oh gosh, what am I saying -- I've got a friend in St. Jude to help!

1 comment:

chrysd said...

So happy for all of you!