The Gift of Reading

anita 2By Anita K. Greene

“Your son may never learn to read.”

The statement caused my heart to contract with pain. I had no words—not even to ask questions. My son had almost completed second grade, and he still did not know all the letters of the alphabet. Two summers earlier, between kindergarten and first grade, he had been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Beneath the umbrella of autism, my high-functioning little boy also struggled with dyslexia.

He started school in the early 1990’s. To understand PDD, I depended on doctors, therapists, teachers, and educational specialists for information. I did not have the World Wide Web to help me. What I did have was an awesome God. Prayer and perseverance carried me. And just as in the past, when I reached the end of myself, and all that I could do, the person who could help me entered my life.

Two weeks after hearing that discouraging statement, a mother approached me in the school parking lot. Her daughter, who was in my son’s special needs classroom, also attended a local program that she highly recommended.

I met with the director of the Edison Tutorial. Upon hearing my son’s story, Mrs. B. said, “Let me have him for two weeks.” Even as I prayed she could help my son learn to read, I didn’t dare hope that this program was the answer to my prayers.

Each morning, my son worked with Mrs. B. for two hours. I didn’t ask about his progress. Fear held me back. On Monday of the second week, Mrs. B. asked me to come into the classroom—just for a few minutes. My heart tripped as I sat in the chair she indicated. I braced myself for the ‘I’ve-tried-everything’ speech.

“Just listen, Mrs. Greene.” She opened a picture book and placed it in front of my son. For the first time ever, he read to me. Not just one word. Not just one sentence. He read the entire book. I couldn’t see past the tears of joy. How grateful I was for Mrs. B. and her method of teaching. She gave my son the gift of reading. My son has grown to be an amazing, big-hearted young man who loves the Lord. I still marvel how God continues to lead him and work in his life.

(This post has been read and approved by my son.)Anita Greene

An avid reader, Anita K. Greene spent her teen years filling notebooks with ‘fan fiction’ before there was such a term. As an adult, she took an ongoing short story workshop to see if her dream of being a writer was even a remote possibility. After writing dozens of short stories, she took the plunge and wrote her first novel. She is now living her dream in Rhode Island with her husband, her son, and a spoiled Belgian Malinois. Connect with Anita on Facebook:  Anita K Greene Author  Her website can be found at

14 thoughts on “The Gift of Reading

  1. Anita, what a wonderful story! As the mother of two special needs kids, I know what a blessing those breakthroughs are. And I laughed when I got to the line about the article being approved by your son! Another sign of how he’s overcome his challenges.


    • Thank you, Jo. Yes, along with the special needs, God showers us special blessings. I’ve always tried to be sensitive to my son’s feelings when sharing HIS story. Any time I do write about it or use it as an example, I’m sure to get permission. 🙂 Thank you so much for leaving a comment. Have a great day!

  2. Congratulations, Anita, to you for all your hope and effort along the way, and especially to your son for all of his hard work along that uphill path. How proud you must be of his efforts to reach the poin he has today. May you both be blessed for your efforts.

  3. I think it’s admirable that you’ve stuck up for him and worked to have him treated equally over the years, but also that you continue to advocate for him whether it be because of an article you’ve written or not. He’s blessed he has all of you watching his back.

    Jeanine (JD) Spikes

  4. Anita,
    Thank you for sharing your story. May God continue to do amazing things in both of your lives. Your son is such an amazing caring person and I hope this story encourages others.

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