Dealing with our emotions when we realise our child might be struggling for legitimate reasons
This is time of great uncertainty and also confusion. Please understand that many parents have been in this position before you. Regardless of this fact, you may be feeling many different strong emotions; overwhelmed, concerned, guilty, angry, desperate, defensive, protective, upset, and emotional. Maybe you’re even feeling a little relieved, that through your own research you might have discovered why your child is not learning as well as others and now you can work out what to do to help them.
Some of you will feel like they knew that something was not quite right all along and feel relieved because you are finally getting some answers as to what might be wrong with your child.
Others will be feeling just plain confused, because they have no idea what to do next. It is also perfectly understandable and normal if you feel overwhelmed. If your child has been struggling for some time and you have no knowledge of dyslexia and how it may be impacting on your child it is a worrying time.
Beware of well meaning people who slow you down
Often as parents we will try to understand and solve our children’s difficulties by talking with our family, other parents, friends and even teachers to clarify our own thoughts and to seek their opinions. Although this can be helpful, BE CAREFUL. You need to understand that there have been many recent advances in the study of dyslexia and other learning disabilities in the last 5-10 years. Your child is an individual and it is important not to get caught up in what others may or may not think.
Many common myths exist about dyslexia and many people have there own opinion and definition of what it is. Unfortunately many of these are incorrect and often too simple, to even begin to really describe what it means be dyslexic. Don’t be misled or allow these people to sidetrack you and slow you down. In order to help your child and get the facts you need to start your own research and seek the opinion of an expert as soon as possible.
Where do I find the time or the money to deal with dyslexia?
I’m sure there are those of you who are concerned about the time and money required to deal with this issue. I’m sure there are some of you who have suspected for some time that your child had a learning disability and did not know how to tackle it and so did nothing or decided to opt for a ‘lets wait and see’ approach. We are all guilty of making excuses for our children and finding plenty of reasons why they may not be coping at school. This is not a time for guilt, although it is a normal by product of good parenting; it is a time for action. Please remember the knowledge you will gain from reading this and other recommended books, through the websites and resources provided, will provide you with the confidence you need to help your child.
Some money and time will be required to get it right, but if you spend your money carefully and use your time wisely, it will be an investment that will pay enormous dividends. That is what this book is for, to give you the confidence to help you to understand where to start, what you should spend your money on and what to do next. It’s the beginning of your education and through it; your child’s enormous everyday struggle with their education might just slowly begin to subside.
Remember though, there is no miracle overnight cure. Not yet anyway. Many children with dyslexia feel like they are constantly hitting their heads against a brick wall as they try to cope with school tasks. Some of them have even stopped looking at the walls, because it becomes too stressful and too difficult to even consider overcoming such huge learning obstacles. By becoming educated you are giving your child an incredible gift. You will help them to begin to see over the tops of those walls and perhaps even lower them so they can get right over.
How can I possibly learn all I need to know about dyslexia to support my child?
When you begin this journey of dyslexic discovery you may lack confidence and feel like it is such a huge responsibility that you can’t possibly achieve it. Maybe you’re thinking you do not have the education, the emotional strength or the time it takes to really help your child and then what happens if you get it wrong?
Don’t let excuses hold you back. If it helps, look at it like this, when we are at secondary school, college or university, we complete a series of subjects each year. Some we choose, they are called electives like Drama and Woodwork and other subjects are compulsory like Mathematics and English. You have just chosen to study an elective subject, your child and dyslexia, one subject for the whole year. The time and effort required to study this can be likened to going back to school to study, just one subject. You will read, (or listen to), about the same number of books, for just one subject, make notes, research and spend time talking to teachers and specialists. The best part is you get to decide how to gauge your success in this subject. It may be your child’s newfound happiness and increasing confidence levels or a particular success in a certain subject area.
You will find more information on how to create a research file and diary for your child with dyslexia in the eBook Supporting Your Child From Day One which can be downloaded for free from Dyslexia Daily. This article is an excerpt from that book.