“It’s the thing I never want my kids to have,” said my husband as I discussed my concern that Master E is showing some possible Dyslexia symptoms that have been concerning me.
For years my mother in law battled with the teachers, knowing in her gut that something was not right with Mr G’s reading and writing. But her concerns continued to fall on deaf ears with no proper tools or support offered. As much as I try to understand the frustration, angst and embarrassment dyslexia has caused my husband, and I’m still yet to completely understand the condition, what I do know is that, like my husband, I do not want my kids to have it. My writer self definitely does not want my kids to have it. But that part is out of my control. I cannot stop them from having it but I can help them manage it which is why I’m not ignoring potential symptoms now.
We’d discussed the possibility of Master E having dyslexia, primarily due to the fact that Mr G has it, but it was a brief discussion. It wasn’t until I read an article shared by my friend Cindy at YourKidsOT.com that I seriously took notice.
What is Dyslexia?
Firstly, what is dyslexia? Dyslexia is a learning difficulty common in children and young people, where they experience difficulty with reading, writing and spelling and working with numbers. The most common characteristic with dyslexic people is that they have trouble with reading and spelling for no obvious reason. They’re usually quite intelligent and capable in many other areas but simply cannot read to the expected level.
Reading through the list of difficulties
As I read through the article, it said, “If a child has a cluster of difficulties, you will need to take action.” I read through the list of difficulties for prep to year 1 with trepidation, hoping that Master E had none. But he did, quite a few.
The difficulties Master E presented included family history, delayed speech when he was younger as well as constant ear infections. Master E often has difficulty linking a letter to its sound and blending sounds into words. He still has trouble learning to write his own name, he finds it difficult to dress sometimes and he likes listening to stories but has absolutely no interest in the words or letters.
In addition to the difficulties listed, my mother’s intuition has been telling me that something has not been quite right when it comes to homework and sight words. Master E gets very frustrated and angry and over time I’ve come to realise that it’s not because he doesn’t want to do it, it’s because he can’t do it and it upsets him. He finds it too hard and this presents itself as anger and frustration. I’ve also noticed that he quickly forgets words and letters although he knew them the day before.
On the other hand, though, the article said that people with dyslexia are usually quite creative minded due to the use of the right hemisphere of the brain. This describes Master E and my husband to a T, I found this very interesting.
After noticing that Master E identified with a number of difficulties on the list, I referred my concerns to his teacher who is having the learning support teacher sit with him next week.
I’ve done all I possibly can at this point yet I found myself in tears to my mum for fear that he, in fact, have dyslexia. My mind immediately turned towards the challenges he would face and the challenges I would face as the parent that would need to support him. We all want the very best for our children and naturally don’t want them to have to deal with hardships.
I got over my tears and reminded myself that it may not be dyslexia, that we may not be able to really notice anything until later in the year after he’s been at school a little longer. Some of the difficulties can be quite normal in this early stage of school.
I also reminded myself that I am doing the right thing. I’d much rather be overly cautious now than leave intervention too late. Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that can be made easier by early intervention and proper management, something that my husband missed out on and has therefore suffered for most of his life.
Does your child have dyslexia? How and when did you find out?