I haven’t always known that R is dyslexic. There was a time when I was unsure. During this season I genuinely thought it was either her laziness or I was not good enough. That had to be the reason for her struggles. When we received the dyslexia diagnosis it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I can teach if I know what is making learning difficult. I wanted to take a minute and share some of the things I wish I knew about dyslexia. I hope that by sharing some of this I can help you avoid the stress that comes with uncertainty.
Secrets about Dyslexia
These are not all official facts. These are just points from my experience. Your experience may be different.
Some doctors won’t believe your child is dyslexic until after a certain age.
With R, I knew something was off in the way she learned. She always flipped letters, numbers, and really struggled with sounding things out. Rote memory was incredibly difficult for her as well. These are just a few of the things children with dyslexia struggle with. However, my doctor kept telling me everything was normal. She said it was typical for a child to switch letters and numbers up to a certain age. While that is the case to an extent, there are some children who won’t get over it because of dyslexia.
If you believe your child is dyslexic ask for a second opinion instead of believing the doctor. If I had trusted my gut sooner, R and I could have had an easier time with schooling.
*Seek out an evaluation from someone who is trained to diagnose dyslexia instead of getting the information from your pediatrician.
Testing is pricey!
Most insurances don’t cover the official testing for dyslexia. Mine didn’t. The person who would have done the diagnosis for R said it would cost me $400 just to have the testing. She spoke with me on the phone and after walking through all of R’s struggles told me I would be wasting my money because it is dyslexia. If you want to get your child tested officially, be ready for a hefty price tag. Some insurances do cover a portion. Call your insurance to find out exactly what will be covered.
There are therapies that can be of help to a child with dyslexia.
R has always been very well-spoken. However, she did a speech therapy evaluation. At this evaluation we found out that there were some therapies the speech therapist could offer her. These were covered by insurance and we were able to work on some of the things that helped her to become a strong reader. If you believe your child is dyslexic look into some of these other therapies that may help you work with them.
There are different types/levels of dyslexia.
R is very unique. She not only writes her letters and numbers backwards, she will often flip them in her head. This means that when talking to you she will occasionally say 21 when she means 12. Your child may be a very strong reader but struggle with spelling due to a phonetic form of dyslexia. It’s important to find out exactly how your child’s dyslexia performs so that you can treat them effectively. If R gets a problem wrong in Math I know there is a good chance she either copied the number down wrong or flipped them when typing them in to Teaching Textbooks. Knowing this helps me to have a lot of patience with her when she struggles with something I know she knows.
There is no cure.
If your child is legitimately dyslexic there is no cure. There are ways to teach your child to function and thrive but there is no cure. Their brain simply processes information in a different way. There is nothing wrong with this. Your child can still function quite well and have a promising future. You will just have to work with them to build their strengths and overcome certain weaknesses.
They are more artistic.
I had no idea that children with dyslexia are more prone to enjoy artistic activities. I knew R was a crafter but I didn’t realize how it would work for her. She is incredibly good at acting. She can memorize music for a show effortlessly. This is completely opposite of her ability to memorize other things. However, because of her love of art, she thrives in this area. If you have a child with dyslexia, try out some of the different arts. You might find that this is an area where your child thrives. I know it has been a game changer for R.
I can do this.
My first thought when the dyslexia became official was that I couldn’t do this. I started to think of ways to get her into a school that worked with dyslexia or into special classes. Then I realized a very valuable truth, I can teach my child. I don’t need to use a special school. I simply need to learn to teach the child I have. If your child is dyslexic, you can do this. Don’t give up because it seems overwhelming. You are completely capable of homeschooling your child with dyslexia.
Do you have a child with dyslexia? What do you wish you knew at the beginning?