Dr. Alan Beaulieu (Author), Emily Bury (Illustrator), Alexis Bury (Illustrator)
For kids and adults. Tommy’s Secret Code tells the story of a young boy who learns about his reading disability upon entering kindergarten.
The story begins by highlighting Tommy’s frustrations and follows with the interventions of a caring teacher who also deals with reading difficulties. Although Tommy’s Secret Code is fictional, the realities exist as to learning disabilities and the impact on student achievement and self-esteem. Our educational system identifies and provides support for children with learning disabilities now more than ever. Yet, school districts still graduate students who cannot read, students who feel limited in language, confused as to their abilities, and shortchanged in their education. We accept learning disabilities as being real, but often shy away from the difficult discussions with students about their struggles.
Understanding and advocacy must accompany interventions. Without them, students remain perplexed and frustrated with instructional programming. Tommy’s Secret Code provides the reader with handwritten dictated passages from high school students with learning disabilities. An evaluation offering interventions accompanies the passages. The dictated passages in this story are real. They tell of the successes and struggles of students with learning disabilities. They represent the perseverance of the authors and their desire to master the English language. We only have to take the time to listen and discuss, not once, but often and with conviction.
Tommy’s Secret Code provides a resource to teachers, parents, and especially students with learning disabilities promoting understanding and advocacy.