The letters below are reflections from former clients.

Letter from Rachel G.

posted Mar 30, 2011, 8:01 AM by Carl McGrath

Aaron could not read when he began a year of CLARA Therapy as a 3rd grader.  Three years later, his mother wrote:


Dr. McGrath,

Just thought you would be interested in how [Aaron] is doing in Middle School.  He started a local public school … July 29th in the 6th grade.  We asked for an individualized education program for his dyslexia and have met with his teachers and the LD head teacher twice this year.  Aaron's specified learning disability is in written expression only.  Because of his performance to date in school, he is left in regular classes with weekly consultative visits by LD head teacher.  If he asks, they will let him use his textbooks on tape that we got from the Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic and will give him extra time to complete work.  Aaron; however, is thriving without any modifications!


He has Advanced Reading, English/Literature, Math, Science, Social Studies, PE and Art.  Aaron has had a number of vocabulary tests and pop quizzes, and 2 comprehensive tests.  He has made 100% on all but 4 with the lowest grade being an 80 and the others 90 or 95.  He also loves doing homework!  He tries to get it done before soccer practice or while I make dinner.  We never have to bribe or fight with him to get it done.  Hardly the same child as last year.


Finally, he was given the STAR Reading test this week.  He brought home the report today and we are just stunned at the results.  Grade equivalent 9.7; Percentile rank 92; Instructional Reading level 9.3; Zone of proximal development 5.4 - 8.9.  All this for the kid who 3 years ago couldn't read at a kindergarten level!


Carl, I don't know that Tony and I have expressed how much you mean to our family.  What you did for Aaron changed his life.  You gave him the tools and the self confidence to succeed in spite of his dyslexia.  As you can see, he is not only succeeding but excelling!  I continue to sing your praises to everyone I meet who has a child with reading challenges.  If only one child gets to work with you and succeed as Aaron, then I know I have given one other parent joy and peace of mind.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!




Letter from Jim's Parents

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:51 PM by Carl McGrath   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 7:53 AM ]

Jim could not read, write or speak intelligibly when he came at age 6 years to see Dr. McGrath.  Because they had to drive 7 hours round trip to get to our office, Dr. McGrath trained a local SLP so Jim could receive CLARA Therapy closer to their home.


Dear Dr. McGrath;


I would like to thank you for the lasting influence you have had on my son’s life. 


We met [you] when Jim was just 6 years old.  He could not read, write or speak intelligibly and no one could tell us why or how we could help him.  You spent several hours evaluating him and I still cherish the memory of how much fun the two of you had.  When you finished your evaluation, you came out smiling and stated that Jim was a wonderful child.  For someone with such profound disabilities, he had none of the anger or frustrations that are normally present.  You stated that he was willing to work for you as long as you wanted him too, but three hours was enough for one day.  You also laughed at how Jim would take your face in his hands, look you in the eye, and slowly repeat a sentence whenever you had trouble understanding him.  You seemed to genuinely enjoy your time with Jim and care for him as a person and you confirmed what we knew, that he was a smart little fellow.


Over the next several months, you worked with Jim and his speech therapist, [Sheri] from the [Speech Center], teaching both Sheri and Jim the CLARA [therapy] program so that we would not have to drive 7 hours round trip on a weekly basis, for therapy.  This was the turning point in Jim’s life.  You taught him how to learn and from here on he began to stop falling behind his peers and began to make up lost ground.  Your work also helped numerous children in our little school here in [Clinton] through the efforts of [Sheri] as she taught them your CLARA [therapy] program.


As you recommended, Jim was not held back and every year he closed the educational gap between himself and his peers.  In 8th grade he graduated out of Special Ed.
Today Jim is 16, 6 ft 2inches, and in 11th grade.  He has chosen to challenge himself by going to [Gatewood] Academy, a private college prep high school.  The work is very demanding but achievable due to your working with him to develop coping strategies.


Jim has learned how to enjoy reading books, though his true passion is the computer.  He is a marvel with electronics and an incredibly fast typist.  In fact, when he graduated out of 8th grade, the teachers were very sad to see him leave primarily because they didn’t know who was going to fix their computers now that he was gone!  Jim wants to attend College and get a degree in Computer Science.  I know he will get his degree. 


Jim is a different person today because of your investment in his life.  He has maintained his sweet spirit and not become angry or frustrated due to his limitations.  He laughs a lot and has compassion for those he meets. 


Jim, [Jim’s dad] and I want to thank you for your lasting influence on his life.




[Jim’s mom]

Essay by Ryan R.

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:50 PM by Carl McGrath   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 8:00 AM ]

Bryan came for treatment when he was 7 years of age.  His parents were concerned that he was reading and writing at levels well below his peers in the 1st grade.  They wanted 1) a diagnosis, 2) help with increasing Ryan’s literacy skills, and 3) an opinion about the advisability of retaining Ryan in 1st grade.  Following six months of CLARA Therapy, Bryan had finished 1st grade without being retained.  Three years later, his mother sent a copy of the following essay, “My American Hero” written by Bryan at age 10 years:


“My American hero is a man named Dr. McGrath.  He is not a soldier or he didn’t fight in a war but, [sic] he taught me how to read.  I use to not like school because I could not read very well.  My mom took me to a lot of doctors and they did a lot of test [sic] on me and they could not figure out why I could not read.  Then my mom found a doctor in Watkinsville.  This was Dr. McGrath.  He tested me and he knew right then why I could not read.  He started reading with me everyday.  It was not always fun and sometimes he could be kind of ruff [sic] on me.  I finally got it and now I like to read.  I have really good grades and I am very smart in school.  I don’t get to see Dr. McGrath any more and I miss him.  He will always be very special to me.  Without him I don’t think I would ever like school.” 

Dr. McGrath’s reply to Bryan:
Dear Bryan, 

Thank you for everything you wrote in “My American Hero”.  I especially liked your honesty about how you used to not like school because of the difficulty you had with reading.  When you first came to my office three years ago, I noticed how smart you were even though you couldn’t read the books other students in your class were reading.  I also noticed that you had a lot of courage.  You were brave enough to begin tackling the job of learning to read even though you were very afraid it would not be possible.  Your bravery reminded me of Luke Skywalker.  Many times you looked up at me with tears in your eyes and sobbed, “I can’t do it!”  And I told you, “It’s OK to cry, Bryan, but you have to do it anyway.  Just let go [like Luke did] and do it anyway.”  And you did!!  Time after time, day after day, you did the work even when you were afraid.  That’s real courage.  I loved watching you do it.


Thanks for giving me the privilege of seeing you hang in there and do it!

Your friend,
Carl McGrath
P.S. Bryan, you are my “American Hero”!


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