Have you heard the one … A dyslexic man walks into a bra!
I feel that Dyslexia is often seen by people as an excuse for those who are lazy or don’t pay attention in class, but trust me it is very real. I am dyslexic, but I was only diagnosed when I did a degree seven years ago as a mature student.
It is something I have always suspected, even as a child at primary school when I was getting 3 or 4 out of 10 in spelling tests, was consistency misspelling words, getting left and right mixed up and confusing names.As a parent I have recognised that one of my children shows some dyslexic tendencies but not enough for a formal diagnosis.
Disabilities can affect our relationships with those around us and dyslexia is no different. It can be the little things like a parent pushing a child to do better and try harder in tests, or the embarrassment a parent can experience when their children regularly correct the pronunciation of a words whilst being read a story at bed time or even a partner telling your children not to let daddy help with your spellings as he can’t spell.
Dyslexia can also have an effect on short term memory, maths issues and organisational issues.
If your child is dyslexic then the help available is so much better than 10 years ago. Dyslexic children think differently and that can be a great joy. They think in images, are creative and very intuitive, and often very resourceful, many find ways of dealing with their dyslexia. If you have never seen me write or use computer software then you would never have a clue that I am dyslexic. I know the support I had with my MSc and BSc’s was fantastic. But if you saw the numberof lists I make to not forget stuff you might have an indication.
As a dyslexic parent I have gone through tough times with my children, not being comfortable reading some books aloud, or trying to spell words they’re expected to know at 8, 9 or 10. Imagine having a 4 year old correct you when you get left and right mixed up? Imagine the embarrassment when you can’t remember the names of parents you meet on a regular basis? All this can lead to frustration on my part and sometimes embarrassment to my children. But on the upside, I know my dyslexia has led to creative moments, spontaneous improvised games and wonderful chains of thought. It has led to creative fundraising and ideas of events others struggle with, or seeing solutions without understanding how you got there.
I have a saying I use when I teach Judo, and I try to describe how people react to things…
The wind will blow out a candle, but it will energise the fire.
Dyslexic is a wind and to some if you see it as a problem it can snuff out the candle of learning and education, but if you see it as a gift it can ignite and excite. As parents our reaction to the word and how we view our children and the condition can help frame how our children view Dyslexia. So think next time that man walks into a …..
Dyslexic Awareness Week is Monday 14th – Sunday 20th October 2013.
Take care, until next time.
For help, support or futher information regarding Dyslexia take a look at The British Dyslexia Association website.