bumble is in sixth grade now. last year, at the end of fifth grade, his teachers finally convinced the principal to bring in the school psychologist to have him evaluated. i had been saying for years and years that i think there is something wrong, that he is slower than he needs to be, that this attitude of "he'll eventually catch up" wasn't working. something needed to be done, but it took all the way until fifth grade to finally have them run all their tests and analyze all of his work to make their determination, to make their diagnosis of his issues. their official diagnosis that, without which, he didn't qualify for the extra help he sorely needed.
so finally, after tests and meetings and having people literally follow him around all day to see how he did in class, how he interacted with his peers, how he took his tests, the word from on high was passed down. beyond his speech delays (which he was already receiving therapy for) and his motor skill delays (which were being addressed), they determined that he had phonological dyslexia. so he can't read because he can't sound out words because he doesn't hear them correctly. and if you say the words to him, he can't repeat them because he has so many pronunciation issues because of his speech delays. it's a sloppy mess of problems that were finally going to be addressed and he would get the help he sorely needed.
not that they thought they could get him up to grade level for years and years. it was five years that they let these issues go untreated, so it would be another three, or four, or five, until he was able to read and work at the level of his peers. which shouldn't be so much of a problem because now he qualified for extra help! so instead of doing the reading work the rest of the class was doing, he was reading other text that was on his level! and instead of trying to keep up with the spelling words that his peers had to learn, he had his own list that was phonologically selected to help his learn "sound chunks!"
except there was certain work he had to complete with the rest of his class. he had to learn the definitions of the same vocabulary words, for instance. words that correlated to a story the rest of the class worked on, but not him because the story was above his level. so he had to struggle to learn the words as he didn't have the benefit of context clues to help him memorize the definitions.
and yet there is hope, finally. because i was listened to, finally. and he is getting help, finally. for all my failings and fears that all of his issues were my fault, i would not stand by without fighting for him. i might not fight for myself, but him, he (like his siblings) are always worth fighting for.