Forget the ABC’s

Bridget has been trying to learn her letters for about 3 years. We have struggled with her learning the letters in her name. We jumped with joy when she started saying: B, Bridget. We thought YES!! She is learning her letters.

We were wrong. She only knew the “B” and no matter how we tried we were not successful in her learning her letters.

Until a visit with Bridget’s neurologist who within 3 minutes explained the issue to me. She told me that it made complete sense that letters (and numbers) were difficult for Bridget to comprehend. Letters and numbers are abstract. The reason Bridget fixated on “B for Bridget” was that “B” became her name forgetting the RIDGET. The number “1” by itself has no context. Forget the ABC’s she told me. Focus on sight words. Words that have a connection.

Think about it this way, you know something is a chair. But without being given the written word CHAIR to associate it with, you could see the word brownie and think that meant chair. We need Bridget to associate the written word with the object she sees.

We went home and labeled every freaking thing in the house. All the light switches say LIGHT. Every chair has a label that says CHAIR. Every door, every drawer, any surface that might have meaning has a label. Bridget was intrigued. We hear, ‘what sign say’. She wants to know.

Thankfully her teacher was completely on board. Out went the ABC’s in came the sight words. The new goal was not learning the letters in her name, but learning to see her name and other labels. And it is working.

My friends, Bridget is reading!!

It’s a lot of work. For herself, her teachers and her family. Bridget wants to learn, and she i beyond lucky we have the support to embrace what she needs to succeed.

Forget the ABC’s, Bridget can read the word HORSE! The other day I took the words out of the ring. I placed I SEE A HORSE MOM

Bridget read every word.

Goosebumps, but more than goosebumps.

A huge sense of gratitude that her neurologist cued in immediately to why it was so hard for Bridget to learn and gave us the idea to make it easier. It’s appreciation to her teachers and ESPs who (instead of being offended) embraced the idea and ran with it.


Best sentence ever read.

6 thoughts on “Forget the ABC’s

  1. Liv

    We had similar issues with my son learning his letters. I read an article that suggested using playdough or pipecleaners to make the letters real. Apparently it makes the letters more concrete if they can turn them over in their hand – and also helps them with writing. That’s great for Bridget – she’s really making strides!!


  2. Julie Heyer

    OH Kerri, isn’t that an amazing revelation!! And I love that she WANTS to know what the words say, exciting!! I have some kids books that are all about sight words in my attic if you want me to I am happy to find them for you and share them. 🙂


  3. Pingback: The games we play | (Un)Diagnosed and still okay

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