It’s hard to know what our children are thinking in the best of circumstances, but when they are struggling it’s particularly important to decipher their thoughts. Here are five things your dyslexic child may be thinking – and how to help.
Why is this so hard? Learning to read can be a challenge even for neurotypical children. For a dyslexic child it can often seem impossible. The strategies that teachers share with their entire classroom often leave those with learning differences out in the dark. It’s no wonder that the dyslexic child often spends the day wondering “why is this so hard?”
You can help by emphasizing. By letting your child know that you understand the challenges and can relate, you tell your child that they are not alone in their struggles, and you are there for them.
I’ll never get this. Dyslexia is often not diagnosed until a child has been in school for a few years. In that time, they will have spent dozens of hours in their classroom convincing themselves that reading is just not something they will ever understand.
You can help by arranging effective dyslexia therapy that gives your struggling reader proven strategies to overcome their learning difference. Once your child starts to “get it” the rest of the learning process will begin to fall into place, and they will start to work toward their potential.
I must be stupid. It doesn’t take long for children to internalize their struggles. From moving to a neighborhood to family discord, children will quickly blame themselves and wonder what they’ve done wrong. Dyslexia is not different. Problems with self esteem are endemic in the dyslexic population and it often comes back to those early years when children are first beginning to read – and for dyslexic children, first struggling with reading.
You can help by explaining to your child that their struggles have nothing to do with intelligence. You may want to share stories about high achieving individuals with dyslexia or family members who may be neuro atypical. By continually reinforcing the idea that your child just learns differently they will realize they are just as smart as their neurotypical peers.
Why is this so easy for everyone else? As dyslexic children hear their peers reading aloud in the classroom or listen to them talk about books that they’ve read they will compare their own reading struggles.
You can help by explaining that everyone struggles with something. Even though their classmates may find reading easier, playing soccer may be a struggle. Or even though their friend gets 100 scores on their spelling test they may find math difficult. Enrolling your child in a dyslexia therapy program will also help them realize that there are thousands of children just like them who are challenged by dyslexia.
Why won’t anyone help me? Before your child is diagnosed with dyslexia they may feel alone with their struggles and as if no one realizes what they are faced with. The longer they struggle without being diagnosed, the more isolated they may feel.
You can help by enlisting your child’s teachers and school administrators in developing an effective Individualized Education Program to address their needs in school. Outside of the classroom, a dyslexia therapist will not only give your child strategies to overcome dyslexia, but will also assure them that they have help.
For more information about dyslexia therapy, contact Dyslexia on Demand.