Dyslexia 101: What Every Parent, Teacher and Dyslexic Needs to Know
Dyslexia has been a part of my life from birth, although it wasn’t noticeable until I started school. For most of my life I was bemused and perplexed by my dyslexia, as were my teachers. I didn’t understand why I struggled with so many different things, not just reading, but writing, numbers, sequencing, and more. I felt ashamed and had very unrealistic expectations of what I could and could not do.
This internal conflict stayed with me for most of my adult life and even when I succeeded or excelled in certain endeavors, it seemed more of a fluke. I never really felt like success was deserved. Little did I know that my story, filled with inner conflict and struggle, was not unique to me and that I share it with literally hundreds of thousands of other people with dyslexia.
My perception and understanding of dyslexia, and in turn, of myself, took a dramatic leap forward a few years back when I discovered the Rawson Saunders school in my area that caters specifically to dyslexic students. The school was hosting a special screening of The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia and I was invited. My world shifted profoundly as I recognized myself in the experiences of others for the very first time. Thus began my personal journey to understanding of what dyslexia is and is not. Since then I have written many articles about dyslexia and have done numerous presentations for parents and educators about the condition. For Dyslexia Awareness month I offer a concise shortlist of dyslexia articles I’ve written.
For anyone reading this blog, I would like to hear about your journey, either with dyslexia or in working with someone with dyslexia
- Here is where it all started, my screening of The Big Picture, Rethinking Dyslexia.
- A follow-up to The Big Picture documentary, where I share a few facts I found interesting about dyslexia.
- Tools and Strategies for Dealing with Dyslexia: Reading Aloud
- Tools and Strategies for dealing with Dysgraphia: Writing with Confidence
- Alleviating the Complications of Shame for Dyslexic Children.
- Ways to communicate with and encourage children with dyslexia.
- Parenting with Dyslexia: Reading with your Kids
- Creative Writing and Dyslexia may seem like an unlikely combination, but some of our most talented writers have dyslexia.
- A brief look at the genetic links (nature) to dyslexia and how nurture (outside help) and hard work can help to conquer what nature dealt us.
- Discover how hero narratives have the power to change our conscious belief systems—especially our beliefs about ourselves and what we are capable of doing.
- Taken from one of my presentations about dyslexia; see how fostering the love of story can help motivate the at-risk, struggling reader.
- The upside to being dyslexic.
- It may seem basic, but read about how the words we use can have a positive influence on the struggling reader.
- For last year’s teacher appreciation month I talked about one of my teachers that had a profound impact on my early life when my dyslexia was first diagnosed.
- A great interview with Perry Stokes of the Rawson Saunders School where dyslexia means extraordinary.
- Everyone Fails at First. Learn how that simple acknowledgement can have a profound impact on the struggling student.
Also check out my dyslexia-inspired picture book, The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon. It’s the story of a carrier pigeon named Hank who starts flight school full of hope, but soon learns he has a terrible sense of direction due to dyslexia. Hank’s caring teacher patiently encourages him and helps him learn to compensate for his learning difference and this has a tremendous impact on his life.