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5 Things to Know about Your Child with Dyslexia

Avoiding school. Naturally, a struggling student wants to avoid school. But what is the specific reason for each child? Does the teacher call on students to read aloud, embarrassing the child with reading difficulties? Do other children bully the struggling learner? In our experience, children often do not tell adults about being bullied. Or is there a big test that day that makes the child sick to the stomach? (More about physical symptoms in my next article.)

Moody. Reading difficulties arise from processing difficulties. When the brain cannot process the input, it can become overwhelmed. This cognitive overload often happens quickly: the person affected seems to switch suddenly from being happy one moment to frustrated or sad the next. Angry outbursts may occur right after school, when the child releases pent-up feelings safely at home. The problem does not simply go away when the child closes the book. Dyslexia is a language-processing disorder—the child still has to process speech all around.

Forgetful. Many parents complain to us that their children with dyslexia do not remember what they are supposed to do for homework. Their children may struggle with note-taking, thus missing parts of assignments. Even verbal instructions may be challenging when they cannot store them for later retrieval. Some parents work out a daily communication channel with their children’s teachers so that the students are supported adequately at school and at home.

Noncommunicative. It can be frustrating trying to help a child who is not communicative. But think how the child feels about not being able to communicate. For children with language difficulties, even asking for help can be a monumental struggle. We give our students the schemas, or props, to deal with such situations. They learn to frame their requests for help this way, “I’m not sure about __. Can you please help me?”

Excess screentime. Some parents report that their children seem fixated on watching YouTube endlessly. Even password protection and locking up devices do not always stop this fixation. Language is needed to organize our thoughts. When children can’t use language to do so, they may resort to other modalities to fill that void. Unfortunately, watching fragmentary videos all day may exacerbate the problem. Children with verbal weaknessess often have visuo-spatial strengths. Get them off the couch and involved in a design or construction project instead. A longterm project will also build time management and organizational skills.

    Take heart that all these negative effects surrounding dyslexia can be temporary. Parents reported how our Dysolve students changed dramatically when processing difficulties were cleared.

    My next articles will be on effects from clinical and educational perspectives. See more details in our book and on Dysolve.com.