Joanna's understanding of learning challenges has made a difference that is unmeasurable in our son's life. He was a struggling C student, and after working with Jo, we discovered his moderate dyslexia. He finished the last 8 quarters of high school on the Dean's List. He was also able to be accepted to a 4-year university. Long and short of it, Jo knows education!

My son Noah was a very bright young child.  It was evident from the time he learned to talk and walk.  It was obvious to us that when Noah entered school that he would have no problem and be a good student.  You can imagine my husband's and my surprise when we were told halfway through the school year that Noah wasn't learning his sight words very well and was having difficulties in other areas as well.  The school sent Noah to an in-house tutor and by the end of the school year, he had not made much progress.  The school determined that he may have to be held back, and we were insistent that he not be.  They agreed to let him go on to first grade if we continued having him tutored over the summer.  We worked with several different tutors, all of whom were not making much progress.  Noah would spend hours learning to recognize a word or how to spell a word, only to forget it minutes later.  It was frustrating for Noah, the tutors, and us.  In first grade, we sent Noah to a different school, a private school, so that he would not be put into a special education class.  We really felt that Noah should not be in special education.  He continued to be very bright and learn everything that we told him; he just could not read or spell.  The private school that he went to was in a different school district, and we had him tested with them, and they provided a tutor for him after determining that he needed to learn to read and spell by omitting certain letters.  It was almost like learning shorthand by dropping vowels.  We did not really like this as we worried about how this would affect him in the future.  We also sent Noah to the Sylvan Learning Center where, after many months, he was not making any progress there.  They recommended that he be placed in special education classes as well.

My husband learned of a disorder called dyslexia from an employee where he worked.  He had been telling this employee about what was happening to our son, when the gentleman told him about his daughter who had had the same troubles.  She had a reading teacher in high school who noticed what was happening with her and tested her for dyslexia.  She tested positive, and they began a study program specifically for this learning disorder.  It worked.  My husband got the name of the teacher from him and called her.  Her name was Joanna Roper.  She met with us and did a complete profile on Noah.  She determined that Noah was in fact dyslexic.  Noah began working with Mrs. Roper in July of 2007.  Within months, Noah was learning to read and spell.  It was fantastic!  We felt that we had been given a huge blessing from God in Mrs. Roper.

Noah has been working with Mrs. Roper for two years now, and he can read and spell so well that we barely remember the trials and fears that we went through several years ago.  He is reading words and books that my 7th grader is reading.  It is so great to walk into a room and see him sitting on the chair, reading a book.  For so long, we thought he never would.  I would recommend this way of learning to anyone out there who has a child who struggles with reading and spelling.  The typical way that the school districts teach children with a learning disorder right now is not working.  The program needs to be reevaluated, and they need to change it to suit those with different types of problems.  One way does not work for the multitude of deficits that are out there.

If you have any questions for me, I would be available to answer them and would actually welcome them.  I cannot sing Joanna Roper's and the Susan Barton program's praises enough.  They literally have saved my son's educational life!


Stacy Hardin
Peoria, Illinois

Tutoring isn't a job to Mrs. Roper; it's her passion.  She genuinely cares for dyslexic children because she understands the difficulty they have with reading because she is dyslexic.  Mrs. Roper diagnosed our son when he was a freshman in high school and in her reading class, and he has been tutored by Mrs. Roper since the summer of 2007, when she retired and started her own business for dyslexics.  He went from a 15 on the EXPLORE test in reading in eighth grade to a 29 on the ACT in reading his junior year!  He now has plans to go to college.  The Barton System worked for our son when other systems failed.

Tim Hearne
Washington, Illinois