I asked on a home schooling dyslexic forum what they wanted educators to know about their children’s struggles. The response was overwhelming.
One parent talked of the lack of understanding that a dyslexic’s brain is wired differently and that it’s a good thing! It gives them great advantages to be able to think outside the box, but the trade-off is that language is harder to grasp. There is great concern regarding the ability of school’s to correctly diagnose dyslexia. One mum asked every year from kindy to Grade 4 whether her child might have dyslexia. The answer was always “no,” and he was never tested. Private testing confirmed he was. He has now been home schooled for five years and has no belief in himself, and sadly has a massive resistance to learning. He was one of six children in his year who weren’t diagnosed at school.
Another mum said that her child started having anxiety and low confidence. She is now home schooling and has happily discovered that there is a lot less stress. Her seven-year old son has many strengths, but at school he was constantly told what he couldn’t do. One lady mentioned that her mother fought the fight with dyslexia 50 years ago. Her husband’s aunt, 45 years ago, and her MIL 40 years prior. This lady suffered throughout school 20 years ago. “Its getting worse instead of better…and still they do nothing.” One mum stated that there are “accusations of laziness and lack of effort of child. Very little actual positive help. Little understanding of dyslexia and the anxiety it produces. I am now home schooling due to dyslexia and anxiety-anxiety greatly worsened by a system unwilling to understand or help, just blame.”
Another lady said, “isn’t it fascinating how curious they are? My kids are all clever in their own ways, but it is my dyslexic girl who is the most curious…Always asking why? How? What?Where? That’s why home schooling is working for her…She is always exploring and searching for information on any number of topics. ” One mum said, “I had my son’s teacher tell me that I never read books to him.”
Tara said, “Schools should know that more time without explicit MSL instruction or doing still more of what doesn’t work will not get a different result. It will create learned helplessness. That all their collective experiences don’t add to squat in relation to my child if they haven’t ever researched and successfully transitioned a dyslexic child from non-reader to reader. A child is always doing the best that they can and if they are not fully participating, that is a flag that there is support needed.”
This from a student teacher, “This is my fourth year of a B.Ed Primary. I struggled at school, but always wanted to be a teacher. I found that I learned better at TAFE than at Uni. Why? Because it is hands on. First year of Uni, I discovered that I have mild dyslexia and dysgraphia. Finally I knew why I had struggled. However, I feel Uni and especially schools (as I do pracs each year), do not comprehend what dyslexia is and how a dyslexic person learns!”
I loved this encouraging post from Homeschooling Downunder
I will end with one of my heroines, Jackie French