Coping as a parent of a child with dyslexia

Having dealt with dyslexic pupils for over 20 years I have witnessed a whole range of emotions from parents. Many parents of dyslexics come to me feeling desperate; having had an uphill battle with schools for support and finding that help has been slow to materialise, infrequent or not appropriate.

Even though we’ve advanced significantly in the understanding of dyslexia there is still a lot of doubt and disagreement in how to help a child with dyslexia. It is generally accepted by researchers that dyslexia is a condition which affects the linguistic centres of the brain. With image mapping with an MRI scan there is proof that dyslexic brains respond differently. However, there are still many in the field of education who maintain that there is no such things as dyslexia. This causes a huge amount of stress for parents trying to find support for a child with dyslexia.

For some, having the label of dyslexia comes as a relief. Having seen their child struggle with the comments that are thrown at them and the assumption that they are lacking in intelligence to be given a diagnosis of dyslexia at last gives a reason for the problems.

For others it’s just the opposite. It’s anything but a relief. It’s a sudden weight or burden that has suddenly been placed upon them for life. It’s not knowing how to handle what they perceive as a terrible stigma for their child. Parents who fall into this category have to be helped to understand what dyslexia really is and that it isn’t a negative stigma.

Dyslexia is a condition which will never disappear, but a condition that can greatly improve when the child has been taught the appropriate coping strategies and introduced to the right teaching methods.

Just look the names of all those famous people who have succeeded despite having dyslexia and in some cases succeeded because of it. People who changed the world like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, actors like Whoopi Goldberg, Keira Knightly and Tom Cruise and people like Walt Disney who made the world smile.

Some companies actively select dyslexics into their team because they know they will be employing someone with great imagination and creativity.

Often when you’re told your child has dyslexia there are feelings of guilt. Since it is a genetically inherited condition you can feel guilty for handing it down to a child. It’s easy to start to reflect on all the things that would have been said by a child over the previous years, negative things born out of frustration and anger. Caring about their child and seeing them struggling so much with the basics of language can led to constant stress in the home. Without knowing that it was dyslexia as the root cause, would have made it difficult to understand and sympathise at the time.

I have even experienced situations where a marriage was under strain because neither the mother nor the father could agree on how to address the child when they were frequently faced with behavioural problems. Parents have ended up separating or divorcing over what seems at the time to be an insurmountable problem.

That old saying “ignorance is bliss” is certainly not the case here. The more knowledge that can be gained by the parents the more they are able to cope and understand how to help a child with dyslexia.

Having a diagnosis of dyslexia, therefore, can only be viewed as a positive thing. It is the explanation for all the behavioural patterns. Once diagnosed, the next stage is to seek out the most appropriate teaching in order to help the child gain ground and be put on the pathway to success.

 

 

Help for dyslexia

Dyslexia doesn’t need to hold your children back from achieving their dreams. 

Hear from Fraser as he talks about the difference dyslexia tutoring has made to his career progression.

 

Useful resources

If you’re looking for support for you and your child speak to us at Help for Dyslexia today.

With over 20 years experience as a specialist dyslexia tutor Chris Blance understands the challenges dyslexia brings for both children and their parents. Hear the testimonials on our page and contact Chris to get the support you need today. 

Hi Chris, thank you for sending your mnemonics books to me. It’s early days but I’m already blown away by the success of your mnemonics spelling system. Fergus has been flying and his enthusiasm is off the scale. The fact he no longer has to sit and write out his spellings is fantastic. We can practice chants in the car, on a walk or even whilst eating dinner. Ordinarily Fergus could learn to spell between 3 and 5 words per week but unless they are practiced everyday they are forgotten again with a matter of days. In 4 days he’s learnt 15 new words and because we can say them rather than writing them he’s practicing them more often and therefore retaining them. I’m finally excited by the fact that we’ve found a system which works for him. For the first time in his life he no longer feels stupid, he now fully believes he’s capable of knowing all the spellings on his word list by the end of the year. I truly can’t thank you enough, I do honestly believe this has potentially changed his view on his abilities for life. The only downside is coming up with the mnemonics as quickly as he’s learning them but I’ll get over it with a smile on my face and a spring in my step! Thank you so much x

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