Our Founders Story: From Our Small Seeds to Strong Roots

“And from that seed, came a mighty tree.” Angela Bininger


Mary Kaeser-Miller

I began my research on dyslexia like only a mother could do, with passion, tenacity and determination after my third child was identified with having dyslexia.  Unfortunately and to my surprise, local resources for dyslexia were nil to none.  I was certain that there were many other parents in my community that were experiencing the same journey with a child who was struggling with reading.  

I created Dyslexia St. Louis Facebook group to connect with other parents and share stories, resources and emotional support.

The connections I made were far more reaching than I ever imagined-monthly support meetings, friendships made and even a 5K was organized.  Sarah was one of those moms that I met from my Facebook group and we quickly found emotional support for one another through frequent chats about our sons.  My teaching experience proved beneficial to helping her son through the Barton Reading and Spelling System as I became her son’s Reading Coach.  


Sarah Bartley

I met Mary through the Facebook Group, Dyslexia St. Louis about four years ago. I was looking to find support and connection with other parents who had children with dyslexia. For me this was a very isolating experience and I was feeling especially frustrated with the system and was desperate to get my son help. Within a couple of weeks of joining the group, I talked with Mary on the phone while she and some friends were in Kansas City seeing Susan Barton speak. There was an immediate connection to her and this group of moms. Finally, I was able to talk about our experience and truly feel heard and understood.  After that phone conversation, I began attending events and meetings and getting more involved with the group. We worked closely to support dyslexia legislation by traveling to the State Capitol to testify in congressional hearings, planning events and meetups to support our community, and serving together on the Kansas-Missouri International Dyslexia Association Board. But most importantly, Mary stepped in and tutored my son using the Barton Reading and Spelling System. We saw each other at least twice per week and knew that we had a strong friendship, which led to an amazing partnership.

In our many conversations over the last four years the idea of creating a center, a place for parents to get the support and guidance they needed for their children, became a central theme. It was a dream of Mary’s to have a dyslexia center that offered tutoring to children and guidance for parents. In those early conversations seeds were planted for what was to come. When Sarah finished college and began a job search it was the perfect time to act on that dream and tend to those seeds. With Mary’s expertise as a teacher and Sarah’s passion for advocacy they jumped into action and thus Dyslexia St. Louis Learning and Advocacy Center was rooted in December of 2017.


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