Parenting a child with dyslexia can be daunting, especially when you are just beginning your journey! You are being presented with a copious amount of new information and likely feel lost on where to start.
Like it or not, social media is one of our top sources for information in 2020. Although you can’t rely exclusively on this for factual information, it is a fabulous source for personal accounts, opinions and social connections with people in your same boat. Besides researching respected websites such as the International Dyslexia Association and The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, to name a few, I honesty would head straight to Facebook!
As a parent of a child with dyslexia, I highly suggest you make sure to connect with THREE levels of Facebook groups. Each group will focus on different areas of your dyslexia journey and information that is important to YOU!
1. Local Dyslexia Facebook Network:
Dyslexia laws are state specific and the level and quality of the dyslexic intervention offered varies by school district. Local dyslexia networks are a fabulous source for tapping into the pulse of what is happening in YOUR neighborhood. Curious about other parent experiences with dyslexia support at your school or in your district? Pose the question on your local Facebook dyslexia group. Want to know what dyslexia therapists have a proven track record from personal referrals? Ask the question on your local dyslexia Facebook group! Wandering how parents have gotten action when challenging district offerings? ASK! It can also be am amazing opportunity to develop and foster friendships amongst other parents in the exact same boat as you! Even though it may like you are alone in your area, I promise you are not!
No local Facebook group covering this topic in your specific area? Create one!! It takes about 5 minutes and you will instantaneously be appreciated and respected for taking that leadership role!
In my local area of Austin, there are several to choose from! They often are even broken down by district and even whether parents are homeschooling!
2. State Specific Advocacy Dyslexia Group
As I mentioned before, dyslexia laws are STATE specific. Like it or not, individual efforts to change legislation for dyslexia must occur separately by state. As a parent of a child with dyslexia, it is essential you stay away for yours and your child’s rights as a student with this learning difference. Additionally, staying current on the advocacy efforts occurring in your state can make a difference in your understanding of where your state is and how far it must go. The more you know, the more you are likely to assist in that effort.
The most common source of this is Decoding Dyslexia. Decoding Dyslexia is a network of parent-led grassroots movements across the country concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within the public education system. A basic search of Facebook quickly surfaced Decoding Dyslexia groups in California, Texas, New Mexico, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alabama, and Arkansas.
3. Parent Emotional Support Network
There are many Facebook groups geared specifically at the social and emotional aspects of parenting a child with dyslexia. These groups are organized more at a national and international level. Whereas specific discussions are still occurring on topics such as accommodations and opinions on intervention programs, many of them intend to focus on highlighting the strengths of children with dyslexia and “success stories”. Often these groups and individuals can lend interesting perspectives on the advantages of having dyslexia and great stories you can share of personal accounts of the dyslexic gift. A few of these groups are Dyslexia Support – for parents of dyslexic children, Dyslexia and Learning Disability Support Group, Dyslexia Group – Increase Awareness and Understanding, and The Gift of Dyslexia.
Megan Pinchback is the owner and founder of Dyslexia On Demand providing online, virtual, multisensory academic language therapy to students pre-k to adult. She is a CALT with over 10 years experience, licensed dyslexia therapist, member of the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), and a veteran reading specialist. Additionally, she holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration through Louisiana State University. Most importantly, she is a wife and the mother to five wonderful children ranging in ages from 2 to 20 years old.