8 Tips to Help Your Dyslexic Child With Learning

Updated on August 9, 2018
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Giovanna Sanguinetti is a special needs teacher and has a child with dyslexia.

All children love to color.
All children love to color. | Source

Dyslexia in Children: Parenting Matters

As a parent of a child diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia, and a special needs teacher, I have worked with children with learning difficulties for many years, and I know what it is like to watch them suffer at school. There are many factors that contribute to their frustration and self-doubt, some of which I have listed at the end of this article in the section on raising self-esteem.

Homework is a very difficult area for them to cope with, and they need a great deal of support at home. Typically, dyslexic children can't complete their homework as beautifully or efficiently as other children do.

All kids really want is to be like their friends, and when they have homework assignments to hand in, they always, without exception, wish that theirs was as good as any other classmates'. As soon as they feel that they are not keeping up with their peers, their self-esteem takes a tremendous blow.

These eight tips are things that I have found to be successful in helping my son with his schoolwork and self-esteem. The last one is the most important!

Eight Tips to Help Dyslexic Children Succeed

  1. Visit the School's Special Needs Teacher
  2. Teach Your Child to Read
  3. Get Organised and Establish a Routine
  4. Make Writing Easy
  5. Understand That Handwriting Is Important for Self-Esteem
  6. Watch out for Bullying
  7. Help Your Dyslexic Child With Organisation
  8. Build Your Child's Self-Esteem

1. Visit the School's Special Needs Teacher

It's amazing how many parents fail to do this. Some parents are in denial, others have dyslexia themselves and feel overwhelmed, but it is vital that you go and talk to the school.

Early intervention is crucial. If you suspect that your child has dyslexia (or any other learning difficulty), contact the school WITHOUT DELAY. Research shows that early intervention is important. Apart from anything else, it will help your child maintain high self-esteem and a positive attitude.

I told everyone in the school who was willing to listen that my son was dyslexic. I told his class teacher that we would be doing his homework together and that I would be supporting him in every way that I could. I told them that most of the time, he would be drawing his homework and I would be writing down his words, unless he wanted to write.

The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) will be sympathetic, and they will make sure the whole staff is aware of any arrangements you agree upon. That way, there is no confusion over your child's needs, and grading will be customized to their unique curriculum! It's amazing how much I achieved just by going to the school and talking to the staff.

Also, it is vital that you get your child properly assessed. Dyslexia Action is packed with information about this if you are in the UK. In the US, Dyslexia Reading Well is a good starting point—it is full of advice on what to do and how to do it.

Make sure you take time to visit dyslexia-specific websites for inspiration and great advice from professionals in the field of dyslexia.

Gender Ratios for Dyslexia

Current research shows that approximately 17% of the population has dyslexia, and girls are just as likely to be dyslexic as boys. Boys tend to misbehave at school, so they get identified early, while girls tend to hide their difficulties, making it harder to identify.

Consider a Fidget Cushion or Wobble Seat

My son was given one of these in class because he had issues with sitting still. Dyspraxic children feel uncomfortable when they're asked to sit still for long periods of time, and some even suffer physical pain and feelings of sickness. They need to move in order to make sense of the world around them. This can be very distracting to other children in the class. A wobble cushion worked well for my son and other children I have worked with. They also help relieve backaches!

Source

2. Teach Your Child to Read

I know I sound like a teacher, but reading is the most important thing you can do to help your child through life. You'll have to trust me on that one! Here is a BBC Literacy article that talks about how research shows that fewer children are reading in their spare time.

Teaching your child to read requires patience, commitment and determination on both your parts. Dyslexic or not, start reading to them when they're young and stick with it.

Shared Reading Is a Tremendous Help

Dyslexic children are just as inquisitive as everyone else, and they enjoy hearing stories. Reading to them every day for about 30 minutes will help them in all aspects of their literacy skills—they don't even have to do the reading themselves to benefit, they just need to be read to!

Read to them and they will pick up many skills. Start with simple picture books, and don't pressure them to read. Let them relax and enjoy the story. Every day!

Tip:

Run your finger along the lines under each word—this helps them develop tracking skills.

Steps We Used to Teach Our Son to Read

A friend once asked how we managed to get my son to be a reader. This is what worked for us:

  • Read to your child from an early age. My husband read to him every night starting when he was very little—before he was even talking and hardly able to sit up! We had no idea that he was dyslexic at the time. I have a video of him sitting on the kitchen floor in his nappy, looking through board books pointing at all the pictures.
  • Encourage your child to read simple words and sentences. We continued to read to our son until it was time for him to start reading simple words and sentences to us. A lot of praise was key. We began to suspect dyslexia when he was about four years old, but we continued reading to him every single night and made it as much fun as we could by choosing the right books. Children's librarians are wonderful at giving suggestions of what might be the right books for your child.
  • Gradually choose harder books. We slowly chose books that were gradually harder. That way our son was able to become a very good reader at his own pace.
  • Share daily reading time no matter their age. Now that my son is 14, he and my husband continue to share their reading time. They sit next to each other and read their own books silently, and then after they read on their own, my husband reads to him for a while from a book that is more challenging and with more difficult language. This way he hears more literary language while enjoying another great story. It's a pleasure to watch them both.

My husband is also a very experienced special needs teacher, and I have a lot to thank him for. As for my friend, her response to all this was, 'But what about me time?' Did I mention that you have to be committed?

How to Choose Books to Read

Before my son started to read, there was a wonderful period when he was excited about every book we showed him. One of his favorite books is Come Along, Daisy! by Jane Simmons. It has:

  • a very strong main character (we even had a little, soft Daisy toy),
  • wonderful illustrations,
  • and a clear and simple story with emotions.

After a while, my son knew it so well he could recite it to us. He was so young when he first saw it, he could only say 'coo'. It really had staying power and kept him interested. He eventually grew into all of his books—but in order for him to want to read them, they had to have beautiful illustrations.

Source

3. Get Organised and Establish a Routine

As soon as my son gets home from school, he goes through the routine: wash hands, eat a snack, and do homework.

While he eats, I look through his books and see what his homework is for the day. I often have to phone a friend to ask what the assignment is because he forgets to write it down. I try to be patient and never tell him off for this. I know he doesn't do it on purpose; it's his dyslexia.

When he gets home, I have everything set out on a table. Pencils, crayons, and other supplies are ready to go so we don't have to waste time searching for them.

Anxiety makes matters worse, so I set parameters. I tell him how long we’ll be working and how we’re going to make it fun.

Also, I have a small a treat ready, usually some chocolate. I'm all for a bit of a bribe!

Homework Difficulty

Always inform the teacher if the homework is too hard and/or is taking too much time after school.

4. Make Writing Easy

Children with dyslexia find writing difficult. It often takes every ounce of their effort, and it's exhausting work!

Instead of leaving him to write alone, we work together. We talk, discuss, research and make beautiful books. This takes dedication and time on my part, but it's totally worth it because it works.

So What Does He Do Instead of Writing?

I write and he draws! I act as scribe. I write his words and then he draws a picture.

An example of this is the picture below. I wrote the title and he traced over it. On the opposite side is the assignment, written by me. The homework was, 'Retell the story we heard in class today'. My son could do that beautifully, so no problem!

He traced over the title I wrote and then drew a picture to go with the story.
He traced over the title I wrote and then drew a picture to go with the story. | Source

Type Assignments Rather Than Writing Them out by Hand

During school, dyslexic children struggle to write notes, copy from the board or complete written tasks. I've found the most effective way to help them with this to let them type.

We didn't use the computer with him when he was young (I don't advise putting children in front of screens), but when he was 12 my son started using a word processor. Instead of buying him computer games with handsets that use only the thumbs, we bought him a couple of games that he could play using only the keyboard. Now, at 14, he types very well and is up to speed. It actually didn't take very long for him to master.

I have worked with many children who have also benefited from typing. When my son gets home from school, we log on to our computer, read through all his school work together, make corrections and do our homework.

This makes homework time much less stressful because we no longer argue about neatness and penmanship. This has been the case for all the dyslexic kids I've worked with who use computers in class.

A Legible Project Can Be Proudly Displayed

A shark project.
A shark project. | Source

5. Handwriting Is Important for Self-Esteem

High self-esteem is one of the most important things children with dyslexia need to develop. Other kids can be so unkind, and handing in messy homework can be embarrassing.

In order to combat this, when I work with my son, I always:

  • Draw lines if the page is blank.
  • Give him a sharp pencil and eraser, or an erasable pen.
  • Make sure he sits up straight and holds the page still with the other hand. I remind him that writing needs both hands.
  • Ask him to tell me what he wants to write. Sometimes I write it for him in his notebook and other times I write on paper and then he copies it; while he is copying, I spell out the words.
  • Listen and respond when he tells me he's tired. I take over the writing to get the homework done.
  • Give him frequent, short breaks.
  • Remind him of the letter shapes by speaking the shape of each letter out loud as he is writing: up, down, round, etc.
  • Give him praise, praise and more praise.
  • Ask him to tell me where on the page he is most proud of his handwriting.
  • Decorate the page. I usually do this for him and I often color in his drawings.

Try a Pencil Grip

Something like a pencil grip may help your child's handwriting. They are certainly worth a try. They work brilliantly with some children but not so well with others. My son didn't like using them, but I have worked with children who have really improved their writing skills just by using a pencil grip.

Handwriting Practice Is Hard Work!

I helped my son develop his handwriting during the summer holidays because he was too tired after school.

We always go to Italy, and because it's too hot to go outside in the afternoons, we stayed inside and wrote diaries together. We have six of them in total. Here's an example of one of his early ones.

What to Do When They're Required to Write in Pen

The Pilot FriXion Erasable Pen is the best erasable pen I have found—it's brilliant.

  • It rubs out so well that it comes with a warning not to write bank cheques with it!
  • It writes smoothly and the ink is free flowing.
  • It's a nice shape and sits comfortably in the hand.
  • It rubs out totally using the end of the pen, so you don't need a special eraser.
  • You can write over the erased mistake immediately.

This pen has made our life so much easier! Weirdly, the writing fades in the heat, but the ink comes back if you put it in the freezer for a few seconds!

My only criticism is that they run out of ink a bit quickly, so in my house, only my son is allowed to use them.

Examples of Supported and Rushed Writing

Click thumbnail to view full-size
His best handwriting at 12 years old. He sat up straight, had a sharp pencil and lots of time. I helped him with spelling. He decided on the content.This was before we had the erasable pen. The writing is much more legible than it used to be, even when writing quickly, but it is not neat.
His best handwriting at 12 years old. He sat up straight, had a sharp pencil and lots of time. I helped him with spelling. He decided on the content.
His best handwriting at 12 years old. He sat up straight, had a sharp pencil and lots of time. I helped him with spelling. He decided on the content.
This was before we had the erasable pen. The writing is much more legible than it used to be, even when writing quickly, but it is not neat.
This was before we had the erasable pen. The writing is much more legible than it used to be, even when writing quickly, but it is not neat.

'Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.'

— Albert Einstein

6. Watch out for Bullying

All kids really want is to be like their friends. If they struggle with classwork, other kids may call them stupid, and they are at greater risk of being bullied by classmates.

Sadly, and all too often, teachers make matters worse by unwittingly humiliating them in class. They make their dyslexic students' weaknesses public by asking them to read aloud, or making displays that show how many times tables individual children know by heart! Believe me, my son's name was always at the bottom of that display! Usually, teachers do this sort of thing because they know very little about dyslexia and are undertrained.

Even with all my experience and knowledge, I couldn't protect my son from bullies at his first school. It was a total disaster. He was bullied so badly that I can't bear to think about it, and I'm not going write about it here. We moved schools, which helped.

Sadly, bullying is the way of the world, so it's important to teach your children how to cope. We have taught our son coping mechanisms for incidents that still happen sometimes. The trick is to teach your child to tell you about bullying, no matter how small, as soon as it starts.

If anything positive came from our experience of being bullied, it is that my son tells me when it happens, and we are able to deal with it immediately and directly.

I help my child organise his ideas and record facts like this.
I help my child organise his ideas and record facts like this. | Source

7. Dyslexia and Organisation

See the circles? We call them vignettes—I don't know why. We draw circles to make our point or to record facts. Each one is about the size of a tea cup.

The circles help organize his thoughts and ideas. We discuss and research facts and decide which are important and worth recording. Then he draws the images while I color them in.

We don't draw directly in his notebook. We draw the circles on separate paper and then cut them out when they're ready to glue into his notebook. Then we decide how to arrange them on the page. That way he can relax, knowing that if he makes a mistake we can start again. It cuts down on a lot of stress and anxiety.

Now that he's older, he still draws circles, but he uses them as a memory aid and to write paragraphs. It's easy and great fun.

And P.S., his teacher loves them.

Give Your Child Frequent Breaks

Typically, my son will start to yawn about ten minutes after starting his work, especially if it's math. He is not alone, and it shows that he is working very hard. People with dyslexia have to work much harder than their peers to process words and numbers. It is exhausting. Remember to continually praise them for their efforts.

Source

8. Build Your Child's Self-Esteem

I have left this tip for last, not because it's unimportant, but because I hope you will remember it. Praise, praise and praise again! Encouragement and support from parents is priceless.

Doing homework together gave me so many opportunities to compliment my son for something real. Empty praise is almost useless, but a good piece of homework is something they can really feel proud of, and it's your chance to reinforce that you are proud of them.

Dyslexic children can be very different from other students in school. Here are some examples of their challenges:

  • Fidgeting and rocking on their chairs.
  • Getting too close to people when they speak.
  • Struggling with banter and not being able to respond quickly to friends' jokes. Peers often don't have patience and move on without waiting for a response.
  • Following directions is very hard because of their weak short-term memory.
  • Confusing left from right.
  • Feeling very tired in the mornings and during the school day because sleep disorders are common.
  • Being labelled 'lazy' when they are actually working much harder than others.
  • Being scared of the dark and/or bright light.
  • Having trouble with team sports.
  • Being unable to tie shoelaces.
  • Being unable to tell the time.
  • Being unable to memorize timetables.

These types of difficulties can lead the dyslexic child to be down on themselves or discouraged. So the most important thing we can do as parents is to work on their self-esteem.

Helping them return to school with some great, beautifully presented homework gives them the chance to show off their hard work with pride.

Here are some other things that have worked for us:

  • We NEVER put him down, and name-calling is not permitted in our house.
  • We sit around the table and eat together as a family every day. We chat and listen as he tells us stories about his day. This is when we can see if there's anything at all bothering him. It's a good thing to do.
  • We never blame each other when things don't go well.
  • We always try to resolve issues and arguments before going to bed. We apologize.
  • We keep our teachers well informed of the difficulties our son is facing.

This hasn't been easy, and my son's self-esteem is still fragile and can be destroyed in a second, like popping a bubble. I've made mistakes, and I know there are plenty more to come, but fundamentally, my son loves school and doing his homework. So I must be doing something right! He even sat and helped me write some of this article!

Extracurricular Activities

I focused on what my son was truly interested in and made sure he had time for that every day. For my son, this was music. It doesn't matter what it is—giving energy and respect to something that interests your child raises their self-esteem.

Some Typical Homework Issues for Dyslexic Children

  • His homework isn't 'differentiated', which basically means it is too hard for him. Usually it involves too much writing or copying.
  • An assignment that would take a child without dyslexia 10 minutes to complete, could take my child up to two hours! It's a soul-destroying thing to have to put any child through. And you should NEVER do that.
  • The work should always be at his intellectual level. He may understand the concepts because he is bright and very interested in school work, but the problem is he can't write quickly and clearly enough. He can't express himself in writing because as soon as he thinks of something to say, he forgets it as his brain switches to coping with the mechanical skills of writing.
  • He works slowly and laboriously, so a page of writing is not something he should be asked to do, unless of course, he wants to.
  • When he does ask to write, I always give him a sharp pencil. I rub out his mistakes as we go along as sensitively as possible and tell him why.
  • I always help him with spellings, and I always insist that he uses his best writing. He is usually able to cope with about a paragraph before asking me to take over.

Ask the Teacher to Write Down Homework Assignments

Remembering and writing down homework assignments can be a big problem. Make sure the teacher gives plenty of support with this. Ask them to write the homework assignment down EXACTLY as they want it to be done. Or even better, ask if they could send the whole class an email!

An Example of How to Get Feedback From Your Child About Their Homework

At the bottom of the homework page in corresponding colors, I write:

'Homework Difficulty Rating: RED AMBER GREEN'

If the assignment is too difficult, my son ticks RED. If it's too easy, GREEN. If it's challenging but doable, AMBER. Then I write the time it took to complete the assignment at the bottom.

Example Assignment: Write your own sonnet using the iambic pentameter and rhyme! (I reckon Shakespeare himself would have found this a challenge!)

SONNET 101

I shall compare you to a holiday

You are more fun and more carefree to me.

Hard work does make a very laboured day

Slaving away teachers keep us busy!

In the morning I see you sitting there

And remember the term will soon be done,

With the sun shining on your bright red hair

I yearn for the holidays soon to come.

So long as we are free, and can have fun

Long live holidays, and love which is young!

By: Anonymous thirteen-year-old

Homework Difficulty Rating: RED AMBER✓ GREEN

Time: 1hour 45mins

NOTE FROM MUM: Too difficult for independent work. Together we used Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day as a starting point, and my son thought of the rhyming word 'holiday'. Ideas progressed from there. He really enjoyed it.

An Example of How to Make Homework Fun

The homework assignment was: 'Write about an animal and talk about it in class'. Instead of writing in a notebook, we made a display that he could hold up and show the class while he talked. This helped him not be as nervous.

  • To keep the writing to a minimum, he wrote the facts he learned in the form of a poem instead of a paragraph. He copied his poem carefully in his best cursive handwriting.
  • We cut out bits of a shark drawing and wrote questions and answers in a lift-the-flap form.
  • Next we made a simple collage using colored paper, which is so much easier and more effective than coloring in.
  • My son enjoyed drawing the sharks while I cut them out and colored them in for him. We then glued everything down on a piece of cardboard.

The whole process was much more enjoyable and memorable than simply writing laboriously in a notebook. His teacher loved it, and it was on display outside the staffroom all term!

A teacher of a younger class showed it to her students as an example of an excellent project. He was so proud!

It may seem silly, but presentation is important. I'm always working on his self-esteem, and he feels more proud of himself when the project is beautiful.

Neatly Written Project That Was a Confidence Boost

Click thumbnail to view full-size
He drew the shapes and I cut them out. He wrote the questions and answers.We do our work on paper then stick it in our notebooks.Instead of writing pages of facts, we wrote a poem. My son carefully wrote the words in pencil and I decorated the page, he drew the sharks.
He drew the shapes and I cut them out. He wrote the questions and answers.
He drew the shapes and I cut them out. He wrote the questions and answers.
We do our work on paper then stick it in our notebooks.
We do our work on paper then stick it in our notebooks.
Instead of writing pages of facts, we wrote a poem. My son carefully wrote the words in pencil and I decorated the page, he drew the sharks.
Instead of writing pages of facts, we wrote a poem. My son carefully wrote the words in pencil and I decorated the page, he drew the sharks. | Source

Are You Confident Helping Your Child With Homework? Comments From Parents.

Yes, I am because...
No, I am not because...
I don't have children. But, I am confident when I help kids with homework because I don't need to be perfect, just give them the knowledge I have—which is what learning is about. - Laura Brown
I don't have children of my own, but I was a severely dyslexic child. My dad did not have the level of education necessary to help me with most of my homework, but my parents made sure I got extra help from my public school and a private tutor as well. It's possible to overcome dyslexia without the help of a parent, but I agree that parents who are able to help should. - Christy Kirwan
Right now I am, but I'm afraid when chemistry and trig come along I won't be! - shauna1934
You make a very important point here Christy. I know very well that parents of dyslexic children are very often dyslexic themselves and do not have the confidence to work on school work with their children. I would advise them to do just as your parents did—get a tutor, and if that's not affordable, then ask the school for extra help. Many schools have homework clubs that are staffed by teachers—they should make sure their children go to them. Thank you so much for your visit and for your feedback. - Giovanna Sanguinetti
@shauna1934: I know what you mean about the harder subject when kids get older. You are not alone in this. My advice is to keep close contact with the teacher. Use the computer to teach yourself the basics. You as a parent have to know just enough, you don't have to be an expert, because it's the teachers' job to teach. If kids have homework they can't do—the teacher has to be told, and adjust or repeat the lesson. - Giovanna Sanguinetti
Thanks for sharing your expert knowledge of dealing with dyslexia. Your child is blessed to have such a devoted mother. Your presentation deserves the HOTD award. Congratulations! - Dora Isaac Weithers
Our children are both grown up now but we always used to sit down and help them with their homework, but it is an eye opener the day your children turn round and decline your help by saying 'no its ok I know more about this subject than you do' and the really annoying thing is when you know they are right! - grrbtn
Hi, this is a wonderful and helpful hub. I have a boy who comes for guitar lessons and it's taken longer but he is playing. Great work thank you. - Stella Vadakin
@grrbtn: It's a wonderful day when they do that. My son is only 13 and he's already done it with his guitar. I can't help him any more he's way too good at it! Thanks for your comment. - Giovanna Sanguinetti
My son plays the guitar. I always ask his teacher to write his homework down in a notebook he takes to lessons. That way we know what to focus on when he's practicing at home. It's a great way of communicating with the teacher for me. I tell him if we've had a good or bad week for example. My son knows that we are supporting him in this very simple way so he can relax and get on with playing. Thanks so much for your visit. I really appreciate it. - Giovanna Sanguinetti
My kids are grown, but I can certainly see what wonderful inspiration and assistance this would be to a dyslexic child. You've done a beautiful job, not only on this Hub, but also with teaching your child. Your point about reading to a young child was well received here with me, because my Daddy always read to me when I was little, which caused me to love reading and books. - Nancy Carol Brown Hardin
 
I don't have kids, but I have worked with them for years. Giving them confidence is the most important thing I think. Once they have that they don't mind how much you know or don't know. - Lisa Marie Gabriel
 
Thank you very much indeed for your feedback. I found it really hard to stop writing and adding things so I was concerned that it is too long for a hub. I hope not. I think I need to write a second one though as I have merely scratched the surface!! Thanks for your visit. - Giovanna Sanguinetti
 
That is so true. Children with low self-esteem and confidence make the wrong decisions and are at risk of either becoming bullies or being bullied. It's a very serious issue that effects all children but particularly dyslexics and kids with other special needs. - Giovanna Sanguinetti
 
What a wonderful teacher and parent you are. This article will truly be helpful to those who live and work with children with dyslexia and other learning issues! - Rebecca Mealey
 
Thank you so much for your amazing comment. I am truly touched. I have the utmost support of a wonderful husband too—I owe him so much :) - Giovanna Sanguinetti
 

This Video Is Brilliant

A panel of parents of dyslexic children share their experiences. This is insightful and uplifting.

A Touching Video for Parents of Dyslexic Children

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Giovanna

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      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        7 months ago from UK

        Hello 'Nan',

        Thank you so much for your feedback I am so sorry to read about your experiences with your garndson and wish I could be of more help to you. But sadly nothing has changed, and if anything things are getting worse. I wrote this Hub Page out of sheer exasperation and I can tell you that a few parents have contacted me to tell me that I have been of some help. My next taks is updating the page because my son is at college now - I will explain howI coped with all that. I should tell you that I decided to home educate my boy in the end, and that was by far the best thing I could have done for him. I learend a lot from doing it and although it was not easy, it was very, very positive. I don't know whether you could do this for your grandson? There is a lot of help online and so you won't be alone. I'll be updating my page soon with more information about what I did - I won't spend much time telling people why, because the sad stories all have a common theme -not enough is being done to help our dyslexic children and parents are suffering jts as much as their children. Is an absolute disgrace. Thanks again for your very kind words - I am truly touched.

      • profile image

        Christine Scholes 

        7 months ago

        I am the grandmother, “Nan” of a dyslexic (probably dyspraxia ) 11 year old boy. Your article touched so many chords for me, and was a true inspiration. Your son is so blessed to have such dedicated, patient and understanding parents.

        You are consistent, and truly “walk the walk” as well as “talking the talk, ” helping him “holistically” through each stage of his life journey to adulthood.

        I only wish that many teachers and Sencos had your insight, as sadly it has been my experience that many have little real knowledge about dyslexia, and how best to help these children. The ones I have encountered, have given platitudes, excuses, and trite, dismissive answers.

        As an ex teacher myself, I have been angry and saddened by the help we have been denied, even though we have tried so hard to work alongside the school, ensuring a positive outcome for him.

        I help my grandson on a daily basis, working alongside him as you do with your son. It has been a privilege and a pleasure for most of the time (I admit we have had a struggle on a few occasions, when he has found something particularly difficult, or if he has been very tired. We have learned to work through these times together.)

        One of the most poignent comments he made to me was “ of all the things I have ever learned Nan, I think I have learned more from you, than from anyone else.” I find this so sad, but humbling at the same time.

        We have been trying to find an appropriate Secondary school for him recently, and this has been very difficult. We go to “mediation” soon, after being refused an EHCP by our local authority. It all boils down to expense at the end of the day; so very sad. We sat in a half hour MAP meeting, where his future was decided by people who do not know him at all, and who had not even properly read the information written about him.

        They wasted time repeating information that was irrelevant, and the psychologist made comments that stunned us, by the lack of understanding and insight. Their subsequent report on the outcome of the meeting was full of inaccuracies. Sadly, this scenario is what so many parents and carers of dyslexic children will have to face. We have a voice, but still were not heard; so we feel truly devastated for those parents who are not confident enough to express their views in order to get the best provision for their child.

        In the whole of Yorkshire, there is only ONE local authority school with a dyslexia/dyspraxia unit, with specialist trained teachers and resources, and ONE private school with Crested status. Considering the number of children with this particular special need, that is appalling.

        The school that the authority is wanting my grandson to go to, has just come out of “special measures,” and has no specialist help or expertise. We are denied the one school that would help him, as we are not “in the catchment area.” Houses within the area are very expensive, and it would not be guaranteed that he could get into the school, even if we were able to buy one. We are willing to commit to covering travel expenses to help him get to the school, but this is not considered. It’s so frustrating and dis- heartening.

        I spent my whole career trying to get the very best for every child in my care, and now I feel very let down by the same education authority that I once dedicated all my time to.

        May I wish you and your son all the very best for the future. I hope that you never encounter the problems that we have, and that he enjoys his education throughout his school life.

        I found the following quote very helpful; hope you do too.

        “If I cannot learn the way you teach,

        then teach me the way I learn.”

        It seems to be a fitting mantra for children with dyslexia.

      • profile image

        Gloria 

        8 months ago

        Thank you very much

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        2 years ago from UK

        I'm so happy that you have found it helpful. Let me know how it's going.

      • profile image

        LIZZIE 1LIZZIE 

        2 years ago

        Thank you so much for writing such a wonderfully helpful article.

        I will definitely be following your advice.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        Thank you very much for your visit.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        I totally understand your point, labeling people is counter-productive and we should be very careful indeed. This is a very big important issue!

        But in schools our aim must be to help dyslexic children develop their self-esteem so that they make better choices in their lives. To this end, dyslexia has to be presented to them as a fact of life, or even better, as a positive attribute. Unless we teach our dyslexic children to understand themselves, and even embrace the way they are - we are not going to get very far with developing their feelings of self worth and esteem. Dyslexia is a specific learning difference, which requires different teaching methods. That's what they have to be told. Once the children understand why they find something is difficult to learn, they become more able to (with a lot of hard work) conquer the difficulty. That's what dyslexic children do with reading for instance. They won't make any progress if they are left believing that they can't read because they are stupid! Understanding their own needs empowers them.

        In an ideal world all children should be treated with the same respect because that's what all children need. After all, are other kids that different - do they not all need a boost in self-esteem and confidence - I think so!

        Thank you so much for your very thoughtful feedback. I really appreciate your visit.

      • Drwahid Pirzada profile image

        dr wahid pirzada 

        4 years ago from Ahmedabad, India

        Hi!nice work.Will help a

        great deal to dyslexic children's parents.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Outstanding! What practical, creative tips. My one concern, especially in the video, is the reference to the child as "a dyslexic." The woman in the video who made the opening remarks repeated the label "dyslexics" over and over. If we are to give our children and students with learning challenges a sense of value, equality with other children, and acceptance for just being themselves, identifying the child and referencing them as "a dysxlexic," is only going to make them feel more different. I realize that the discussion in the video was adults talking about children who weren't present. However, there is a mindset in the one woman of labeling. We see this in other types of issues as well. I know someone with schizophrenia that's always called "a schizophrenic." She is leading a quality life and is deeply hurt by the constant identifier "Schizophrenic." She has a name and wants to be labeled by her name and as a human being, not her condition. We hear it with people who have other challenges, disabilities, and conditions. I have another friend with epilepsy. She hates to be called "an epileptic" by medical personnel and others.

        I don't think it's wrong it certain contexts, but as a habitual thing, I think it can only be damaging. Personally, I have experienced labeling myself. I am just Lori. I have a disorder, but my disorder does not define me.

        I think you are a fabulous, supportive mother and I wish there were more like you. Your creativity in helping your son is remarkable, and your advocacy on his behalf is beyond commendable. Keep up the good work Adventure and thanks for sharing these important, practical ideas. Voting up and across the board.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        My son plays the guitar too. He started when he was 5 and he has worked hard so he plays it really well now that he's 14. Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

      • ladyguitarpicker profile image

        stella vadakin 

        4 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

        Hi, I teach a boy who is dyslexic for the past 2 years beginning guitar,it was slow the first year but he is doing good . It took a year longer but he never gave up. Thanks for this great Hub,

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        Thank you very much indeed for your visit. It means a great deal to me to know that my hub is helping to spread the word!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Congratulations on HOTD. It took me three years to win this award....well done, and an important message as a bonus.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        It is a Hub about a subject that people should know about, given that every class has at least one dyslexic child (in the UK it's 3!) . So I am delighted that it's getting a lot of attention! Thank you for visiting.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        Thank you so much.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        Thank you so much for visiting and your amazing feedback. I am touched.

      • eilval profile image

        Eileen 

        4 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

        Informative hub and very useful . Thanks for sharing !

      • aka-rms profile image

        Robin S 

        4 years ago from USA

        Congratulations on your HotD award! Well deserved!

      • mySuccess8 profile image

        mySuccess8 

        4 years ago

        Every child has his own talents, irrespective of whether he is dyslexic. This Hub gave so much encouragement and hope to both parents and dyslexic children, and I am touched by its contents and the videos. This absolutely deserves a HotD, congrats!

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        If you suspect it then it worth checking it out with the special needs teacher in the school - if your grandchild is younger than 7 they'll probably tell you to hang on before starting the diagnostic tests etc. Just tell the parents to read to their child and relax -it'll be fine! Thanks very much for your great feedback - I really appreciate your visit and your opinion.

      • ecogranny profile image

        Kathryn Grace 

        4 years ago from San Francisco

        Terrific article! I sometimes suspect that one of my grandchildren may have dyslexia. Saving this, sharing it, bookmarking, etc. What a useful page. Thank you for all the detailed information. I wish every teacher and parent could see this.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        Thank you Nancy - you are so right. I really appreciate your visit and the recommendation. Have a great weekend.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        Thank you so much for your kind feedback. I am so pleased that this article has hit the spot! I only hope it's not too long!! Thanks very much for your visit.

      • Nancy Hardin profile image

        Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

        4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

        Dyslexic children are usually bright, intelligent kids, who are often bullied because others consider them slow-witted. They are not, some of the most brilliant people in the world are dyslexic, but they have a talent in one area or another that outshines other "normal (?)" people. We're all different, so does that word even have a valid meaning? Excellent and recommend on HP and G+ed.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        As a former teacher, and as a human being, I applaud articles like this one. Raising awareness is so important for issues like dyslexia...breaking down the walls of ignorance...nicely done.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        @SteveKaye: Gee thanks - can you feel me blushing!! My son is here and he agree too -I'm having one of those special moments!! lol. Thanks very much for your visit and great comment. My self esteem has rocketed!

      • profile image

        SteveKaye 

        4 years ago

        I think you also deserve a Gold Star for being an exceptional parent. The key to raising a child into an effective adult is building the person's self esteem. Congratulations on the Purple Star.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        4 years ago from UK

        @fullofshoes: It is indeed. Thanks again xx

      • profile image

        fullofshoes 

        4 years ago

        Today is your lucky day for sure... congrats again!! :)

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        5 years ago from UK

        @SavioC: I've never thought about that but someone else suggested it. Maybe it's a good idea - I'll have to think about it. Thanks for the suggestion. Thanks for your comments - so encouraging!

      • SavioC profile image

        SavioC 

        5 years ago

        It s a wonderful lens and I am sure this will be a great help to people with dyslexic children since you were yourself had that problem and now you are working with your son to guide him . You have seen it from both sides and that will help people a lot. Why not write a small book that can really help people dealing with this.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        5 years ago from UK

        @grrbtn: Yes, it's all about keeping patient and positive, and believing that dyslexia is not something that will hold you back. It's just a learning difference - and not a disability because there's always something dyslexic people are very good at. it's just a question of finding that special thing. We have to call dyslexia a disability in the law, otherwise our dyslexic kids will get ignored - just as I was all those years ago when I was at school. Thanks for your visit and your comments.

      • grrbtn profile image

        grrbtn 

        5 years ago

        I have a feeling that you went out of your way to make sure that your child was not held back just because he was dyslexic, and you should feel very proud of yourself. Our own son had learning difficulties and at many times it boiled down to being patient when things did not go right the first time. Just like us you will get there in the end. Great lens, well done you.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        5 years ago from UK

        @Seasons Greetings: Thank you so much.

      • Seasons Greetings profile image

        Laura Brown 

        5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Your vignettes are like an art journal. I really liked the drawings and colours.

      • Adventuretravels profile imageAUTHOR

        Giovanna 

        5 years ago from UK

        @SusanDeppner: Thank you so much. I'm really touched by your comments. Really!

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 

        5 years ago from Arkansas USA

        Excellent! So insightful in many ways. I really enjoyed your poem and love your beautiful picture. Nicely done!

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