In the previous blog, we discussed what dyslexia is — difficulty with words — and what it isn’t, which is permanent. So how can you tell if your child may have it? According to Scientific Learning Corp, here are clues you may notice at home and at school.
At home, perhaps your child:
- Doesn’t understand what is said.
- Responds slowly or is reluctant to talk.
- Says he or she didn’t hear parts of conversations.
- Asks you to repeat what you said.
- Has difficulty telling stories or finding the right words.
- Uses incorrect words or phrases; guesses at the right words.
When your child is in school, he or she may…
- Let his mind wander in class.
- Have problems following instructions.
- Forget questions when called on in class or hesitate to respond.
- Have trouble focusing in noisy situations.
- Experience difficulty with phonics, spelling, and idioms.
- Have anger issues or behavioral problems.
Do these symptoms seem familiar? Remember, the condition does not have to be permanent. Let me show you how temporary these problems can be and how the brain of a dyslexic works differently, not poorly.
David was a shy little nine-year-old who sat alone in the lunchroom because he was sure no one would want to eat lunch with him. When David first came to see me, he wore bifocals because he could not read even a simple Dr. Seuss book. After only a few hours of treatment, his teacher noticed a big change:
“David wouldn’t even put his name on a paper, wouldn’t complete any assignments. Yesterday, David completed a paper. He was one of the first students finished, and he made a hundred on it. I had given general directions to the entire class and showed an example on the board. And David took off. He didn’t get any help from our teaching assistant, from me, or any of the students who ordinarily help David. When I showed his paper to his mother, tears came into her eyes. David is finally beginning to come out and perform.”
Janet was nineteen and never graduated from high school. Her mother took her out of school in the sixth grade and homeschooled her because Janet was doing so poorly. She had problems in reading and math and was told she had dyslexia.
I asked how she added up the bill at the restaurant where she is a waitress. She replied, “I have my own system. I do it in my mind.” Her system works, and it’s accurate. She can keep up with other people who add and subtract the “acceptable” way. However, in school you have to do it the way they tell you to, whether that works for your brain or not. Janet simply has her own way of learning; it’s not wrong, just different.