All moms are quick to shout out that they have the smartest and cutest kids, and rightfully so, but I am one of many who knows that my 6 yr old is very intelligent for his age. Yesterday his teacher was telling me that if Charley was a cd he’d be a great teaching tool with the knowledge and facts he has!
She also told me that she agrees with me on a particular concern I’ve had with him for about a year now.
That he may be dyslexic.
Charley scores higher than most for his maths and other work but was breaking even with his reading this last few months, it was almost painful to watch him struggle and not lose his self esteem whilst we were reading. He loves books, he loves to read and be read to so I knew something wasn’t right.
Three of Charley’s teachers (there are 5 altogether through the week) all agreed that while an official diagnosis couldn’t be offered or tested for till he is 7, it is familiar to them from former pupils who’ve gone on to learn they are dyslexic.
Yes I am concerned, but on the other hand I would rather know now and do all I can to not shatter his confidence by being able to work with him and explain what it’s all about. So last night we had a talk.
Me: Charley, your teachers and I think we might know what the problem is with your reading.
Charley: is it because I’m stupid?
Me: NO! you are anything but stupid! There is a name for it and when we know for sure your life will be so much easier.
Charley: cool. can I go now?
So much for a) a million Charley-style questions and b) him being bothered!
At the end of the day his teacher gave me a tinted strip to cover over the words in his books, and explained that for people with dyslexia the letters appear to jump all over the page, but the red strip calms them down and then makes it possible to read them in the correct order.
Charley’s reading was 100% that day, as it was today and this evening. On Monday they are going to skip the next level of books and try him further ahead because its apparent that he knows the words, he just couldn’t control the letters on the page. For the last two weeks they have set him back to the first series, they were trying a few different things with him before talking to me about their suspicions. I’m rather impressed with them to be honest.
As we done some bedtime reading earlier, with his strip (we read a page each in whatever we’re reading) he looked at me and said:
Mom, I love that I can read now, there are so many books I can read on my own isn’t there?
His confidence is through the roof, his eagerness to sit and read anything is blinding and most of all, no matter what his academic level is, he totally accepts that this is just part of who he is.
So if he is diagnosed with dyslexia later in the year, then that’s ok, he will get through it with the right tools and support and he’ll fly high in whatever he wants to do!
My oldest son has mild dyslexia, I knew from an early age he may do but back then it was more of a stigma than a support in schools so it wasn’t till he was 14 and in a road accident that it was confirmed totally by accident. By this point, along with the ADD (attention deficiency disorder) he had lost so much self confidence and self esteem it was almost impossible for him to regain his education. I felt so frustrated for him. However, he has done ok, he works great with so many things and though he still struggles with some things, he has figured out ways round them.
I have dyscalculia, (the number version of dyslexia) and that not only affects my speed with numbers but there are many areas of maths that I just cannot comprehend, not that I’d need them now anyway but life was difficult in school because of it. I wasn’t diagnosed till I was in my 30’s and quite by accident. Dyslexia and Dyscalculia both come with a thought process that is more paced, just as intelligent as any other academic but it works almost in slow motion but the more the effort is put in the easier it becomes.
So now I’m on the look out for some suitable aids for Charley, his eye doctor is considering an operation to correct his seriously strained eye but if that doesn’t happen then it’s not a problem to get an extra pair of red tinted glasses for reading.
Jumbled thoughts here, I guess I’m trying to process it all in my own way. It’s not a big problem but its not something to take lightly if I want to maintain his every chance at learning and growing.
What are your thoughts on dyslexia? Do you know someone? Tell me what you or they do to work with it?