Pediatric Stroke and Spelling Success

Gregory Stories of HopeWhen Gregory entered kindergarten at age 5, he could barely write the letter “G” in his name.  It took the first two years of elementary school, intensive practice at home and school using a specialized writing curriculum, and hours of occupational therapy for him to consistently remember how to form the rest of the letters of the alphabet.  In first grade, when he finally took his first spelling test, he used a letter grid that allowed him to point to each letter/sound he heard in order to highlight his spelling skills without penalizing him for his writing challenges.  At that time he was 6 ½ years old and was spelling 2-3 words each week, ones such as “he” and “me,” “so” and “no.”

Having survived a stroke at birth, followed a few months later by a rare but serious epilepsy syndrome, visual and cognitive tasks such as writing and spelling came extremely difficult to Gregory.

Fast forward to the current school year and Gregory is an almost 11-year-old fifth grader who aces his weekly spelling tests!  He still has to work extremely hard but is so proud that he has been able to apply the spelling rules he learns to remember bigger words such as “milkshake,” “seashore” and “restrain,” as well as some of the really odd ones, like “brought,” “honest,” and “answer.”  With hope and a lot of determination, anything is possible!

~Gregory’s Proud Mom