Friday Counseling Issues: Learning Disabilites

Dyslexia.  Most people these days know what it is on a surface level. but those who actually have it know that it goes much farther than simply transposing letters when reading.

    

I could actually do this whole post with graphics.  There are hundreds of them on Google images if you want to take a look.  My point is that dyslexia affects far more than just reading.

Here’s a symptom list :  http://www.dyslexia.com/library/symptoms.htm. You really should take the time to go look, especially if you or someone in your family has dyslexia.

The good news is that dyslexia is neither terminal nor a guarantee of failure in life. I’ve taught many students who had some degree of dyslexia. Almost without exception, they were bright and creative kids. Not everyone thought so because those kids didn’t fit into the cookie cutter.  They weren’t in the top reading group. In fact, there really was no reading group at all that fit their needs.

Sometimes, these students become so discouraged that they hide behind a wall of anger, apathy, hopelessness, and a firm belief that they are stupid.

You know, in my teaching years and now in counseling, I’ve rarely met anyone who is truly stupid.  I find that word so offensive.  It is usually used against someone who simply disagrees with you, or can’t do something as well or as fast as you can. It’s not surprising when someone who has been labeled as stupid turns into a behavior problem, taxing the patience of Job himself.  Teachers  rarely have the time to give these kids the time and attention they need to be convinced that they CAN learn, and that there is joy in learning.

Okay, enough of the rant. Let’s talk about some practical interventions.  I’m assuming that if you’ve read this post to this point, you’re interested enough to go look at the website I gave you listing symptoms.  Now, some solutions.

First and most important, educate yourself about dyslexia.  Don’t depend on the school to be the only  place your child gets help. If you know and understand your child’s dyslexia, you will be able to provide homework help from a different perspective.  You will have more patience with the child. You will begin to see how creative he can be, and that there are talents hidden in there that have never been tapped.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about ADD.  A friend on mine posted about the discovery of using blue paper to help dyslexics.  I thought I had saved the link so I could use it today, but I can’t find it.  Kathleen, if you’re reading this, please give me that link again in the comments.

In the meantime, I did some searching and came up with several sites offering help for dyslexia:

https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/2012/text-customization/r11 (a very scholarly research paper that may be more than you want to wade through. Here are some other options.)

http://www.jwor.com/producogmsn.htm

http://readingbuddysoftware.com/opt-discount-dyslexia-help/

And specifically for adults: http://www.dyslexia-matters.com.au/adult-dyslexia.html

Please understand that I can only scratch the surface here.  There is a ton of information out there if you truly want to help your child, or if you are an adult and struggle with dyslexia.  It is less of a stigma, these days, for which I am very thankful. Many famous and successful people have it. You are not alone. There is help.

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