Updates & More


Success Stories: A Mother & Son’s Experience

Alyssa Mittiga, Tutor & Parent

My name is Alyssa Mittiga.  I am a tutor, currently in advanced training at The Children’s Dyslexia Center, a parent of a dyslexic child, and I myself am dyslexic.  All of these components shape who I am.

I first came to the Children’s Dyslexia Center for two reasons, first to submit an application for my son, who is dyslexic, and second, to submit the paperwork to become a scholar myself.  You know the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”?   I wanted to be taught how to teach my son to read.  I am the mother of four, with a background in education as well as a Masters Degree in Literacy.  Yes, a Masters Degree in Literacy and yet I couldn’t teach my son to read.  I homeschool my children and I know the statistics ( about 50% chance each child will also have it).   This knowledge leads me to understand there is a great chance that my other children might have it as well.  My son Joseph was admitted to the program as a student, and I as a scholar.  Initially, I wanted the training so I could teach my son, and if my other children displayed signs, I would have the tools to teach them as well, but midway through the training I realized what a fantastic opportunity I had to reach out and help others, parents and students alike.  I was watching the success of my students at the center happen right in front of me and it was utterly amazing, but I was also watching from another perspective, that of a parent.  One day I watched my son pick up a book and read to his younger siblings, and I sat and cried.  It was a moment of bliss.  My tears were of joy at seeing my son read to his younger sister and brother.  This was a moment in time taken for granted by so many.

The training I was fortunate enough to receive was more profound then my entire education in literacy.  I entered with very little understanding about phonics, rules and generalization along with the role they play in both reading and writing.  More importantly, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, till I started learning.  Then I realized, that even though I have learned a considerable amount in a very short period of time, there is always more.

After going through the initial classroom training and after reading and completing seven papers I felt that I could identify much of what I experienced in life, with what I was reading and writing about. I learned about how the brain works and how the dyslexic’s brain is wired differently.  Knowing that I passed this on to my son makes it difficult and yet, the struggle he encounters on a daily basis is one I so vividly remember.  I forget the name of words for objects, people, and things, get lost on road trips, misspell words so badly that spell check cannot pick up a correct word and end up using a basic word instead, and I read things incorrectly all the time.  When Joseph does these things, I both smile because I understand, and a piece of my heart breaks, because it’s due to me.

Back to the training……When the first lesson approached and that moment of “ am I ready to do this?” sets in, it was like  a first day of anything.   The time leading up to the actual moment was far more intimidating then the actual day itself.  My students were wonderful and as I worked with them lesson after lesson, I noticed tiny details, pondered the inconsistencies that are consistencies, that provoked learning.  Then, I flash forward to observation days.  I came to love them, why?  Because, this was where concrete learning took place.  I am a visual learner, and Linda, or Kathleen who supervised my lessons, would jump right in taking over, for something I either had not previously heard or seen.  (You can’t read everything in a book! ) Those were ahhh… moments, that molded the scholar I have become.  Those moments where when I knew exactly why 100 hours of service is required in this program where others have a week of classroom training and send you off into the world.  That is one of many reasons this program is so successful.

My students all hit a period around 16-18 weeks in to the tutoring, where things just started to click, and gains were being made, noticeable gains.  It was amazing for me to watch, as I saw it not only at the center, but at home.  The elation of joy at seeing my students grow, is priceless.  It is a moment where I wanted all children who are dyslexic, or even who have difficulty reading to be able to have this gift as well.  An analogy for you, it’s like knowing there is a cure for cancer, but very few know about it, and many pretend it doesn’t exist.

My own moment of looking at the world of text differently happened about four weeks after the awakening moment in my students.  When I was reading with my students I would see a word and think “it doesn’t follow the rules”, or “I need to ask Linda about this”.  It was like seeing the words on a page in all blue, and suddenly a word is red.  I began paying attention to words like I’d never done before.  I was witnessing printed language in an entirely new way.

Even in the final month of training, I was still learning, it never stopped, nor would I wish it to.  So, I have continued on and currently am doing advanced training.  As a homeschooling parent with this education, I have been sought out by so many parents.  I cannot begin to tell you the impact this has had on other lives.  When I began training, it was with the mindset of educating my own children, but flash forward two years and I can say that this education was a turning point in my life.  It enabled me to help a homeschooling family with five children, to tutor two other homeschooling families’ children, and to private tutor multiple children as well.   This education that I have been blessed with, has impacted countless others in just two years.  When I began this journey, I had no idea of the impact it would provide to so many. None of this would have been possible without all of you.  I have been granted one of the greatest gifts around, an education, and my students, as well as my son have too.  So, I say to you all with a generous heart, thank you from my very core.

Linda Martin, is a fantastic educator, who gives of herself all of the time, is always ready to teach on the spot and answer all my questions.  She is  devoted to The Children’s Dyslexia Center, educating scholars, helping children and is constantly working diligently on fundraising.  She is unbelievably knowledgable, and I’m so grateful to be able to learn under her.  Thank You Linda for all that you do, and all that you give of yourself.  You have made an enormous impact on my life and my education.  I’m forever grateful.

I would like to close by giving thanks to the Scottish Rite Masons, The Children’s Dyslexia Center, The board of directors, all individuals who have made donations, all sponsors, and everyone who contributed, your generosity positively impacts the lives of so very many.  It is like a domino effect, and words cannot express the gratitude I feel for the generosity you bestow upon our students, our children and those of us in training.  Thank You.

Children’s Dyslexia Center of Central New York

(315) 736-0574

PO Box 638 8280 State Route 69 Oriskany, NY 13424


For the safety of our staff and students in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, all persons entering the center must wear a mask upon entry and adhere to social distancing guidelines.