DEALING WITH DYSLEXIA

DYSLEXIA WORD CLOUD

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

I received a message on facebook from a gentleman who has a daughter with dyslexia.  She’s in elementary school and faces challenges daily.  He says it is something new every day…  joked that at least it’s not boring.  He asked if I’d write a post about my experiences with dyslexia and talk about how my parents dealt with it.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Well…   we all take it as it comes – but of all the supportive things I remember my parents doing, the most important one was…  they always encouraged me to be better, but they praised me when I did my best.  I was one of the lucky ones because I was diagnosed early and got into special education in elementary school.  So many people are adults before they are told they have dyslexia.  That has to be so frustrating!

Bless my parents – they made sure that my grade school made use of my talents in music and encouraged the positives I had to contribute instead of focusing on the negatives – the spelling errors, illegible handwriting, careless errors in math, and length of time it took me to write an essay.  I have wonderful memories of playing vibes in a music class performance.  Nobody in my school made me feel stupid or inept.  My teachers encouraged my talents, and I believe it’s because my parents were involved in my education.DYSLEXIA

Parents of dyslexic children have to keep their ears close to the door of the classroom.  They have to be involved every step of the way.  My mother had constant communication with not only the teachers but also the principal and everyone else responsible for my learning experience.

It wasn’t easy…  homework was horrible!  I went to bed crying every night because I felt so stupid.  One thing I did learn early in life is that you need to resist the temptation to compete with smart kids.  Our smart kid was Karen “Blythe” Watson.  I heard through the grapevine that she is now a successful lawyer.  I’m not surprised!  Blythe was everything I wanted to be – I so wanted to be her.  I don’t know why, but I was always invited to her slumber parties and I felt so COOL because the smart girl wanted me for a friend!  Blythe had naturally curly hair – long and thick…  in the 1970’s that was THE cool hair to have!

Keep your child in a good circle of friends because that’s going to help her self-esteem.  If at all possible, surround her with the smart kids – because dyslexic kids are slow – but we’re not stupid.  It takes us longer to notice stuff – but we get there.  We are good and listening to others and catch on when we hear good ideas from smart kids.  Our problem is with visuals – perceptions – concepts.  We can learn!  We are determined to learn…  we just don’t learn the same way.

When they showed films in school – other kids were taking notes and I was wondering what they were writing down that I had somehow missed.

Even today visual learning is not good for me.  Pop in a CD (back then it was a cassette tape – LOL) – and let me listen to it a couple of times – then I grasp the concept – if I can hear it without words on a screen or pictures – I can get it.  I’m all about books on CD – love ’em! 

I used to listen to my devotionals each day – and I still hop on the computer and listen to them!  Reading weighs me down – I do read because I’m determined to overcome this disability…  I’m stubborn.  This isn’t going to win – it just isn’t.

Not every child learns the same way, and educators need to realize that.12345408_1096907133676554_2760705983542940339_n

Be your child’s biggest encouragement.  People in the world will not be kind, so it’s up to you to find your child’s strengths and offer lessons to them.  Pull the weeds – but make sure you water the flowers.  The flowers I grew were musical.  I took private piano lessons for many years every Thursday afternoon.  I’m not a great pianist – but it’s something I was pretty good at – playing music makes me feel good.

Today I’m more well-rounded and I’m a better reader than I’ve been before.  I’ve not read WAR & PEACE – but I read to entertain myself these days, which I never thought would happen.  I do still have to follow the words with my finger – I don’t think that will ever change.  My eyes tend to skip lines and twist words and numbers – so…  it does get interesting sometimes.

I hope this post helps you as parents.  Dyslexic kids are slow – but there are eye exercises that help (remember the pencil exercise – ???  Keep your eye on the lead portion as the pencil comes closer to your face…  LOL).  They said it would strengthen my eyes – I think it gave me headaches.  :-/

Let your child know that you understand their frustration and keep the lines of communication open with them about it.  If they want to cry during homework time – let the tears come.  Just cry with them and don’t make them feel worse or use a nasty tone of voice or mean words with them.  It does not help.

Encourage your child to be better than she was yesterday.  Don’t compete with others, but be more complete yourself!  Comparison with others makes us feel like failures, but if we see our lives as God sees them, we will know that He gives us gifts and talents.  Maybe I can’t do math in my head, but I can do some things that others can’t…  so if you combine my gifts with the gifts of others – how cool is that?  We sharpen one another’s iron and that makes everyone better, right?  🙂

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PINK DAY

TL 6-23 NATIONAL PINK DAY

 

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.   – Harvey Fierstein

I’ve tried to put myself in the mindset of a bully. I’ve tried to understand where they are coming from. I will never understand, no matter how long I live, how one human being can esteem themselves somehow BETTER or more entitled to something than another human being! We are ALL God’s children!!!

Bullying stems from a poor sense of self. If a person’s own self-esteem is shaky, they will do anything they can to intimidate someone else (or try to) to stroke their own precious ego and raise their self-esteem. What they do not realize; however, is that the attempt to hurt another person is not going to change their own perception of themselves – not one bit!!!

The road to change is never an external journey – it ALWAYS begins within. Don’t look to other people and try to change them to feel better about yourself! Work on you and leave others alone. I will work on me. I will not try to be better in any way than anyone – except myself.

We are all on different paths. Once we realize it’s not a race, we will begin to coexist in harmony. When I’m tempted to blow another person’s candle out to make mine shine brighter, I think of a saying I heard one time. When you blow someone’s candle out, it does not make yours shine brighter. To be a bully is to be a coward. Bullies lack the necessary tools to negotiate in a mature and civilized manner. They have a limited vocabulary and weak social skills. Bullies are losers.

I hope you will join me – wear PINK today on NATIONAL PINK DAY!!!

“Pretending and ignoring are two different things.”  I was 15 when I heard this, checked in to a stress center after swallowing a potentially lethal dose of sleeping pills.  I’d told my best friend I was born HIV positive.  Classmates called me names and left mean notes on my locker.  I was told to ignore my bullies, which I’d done.  But as one of the center’s counselors explained, sometimes you think you’re ignoring hurtful behavior when you’re just pretending.  “Were you hurt, Paige?” the counselor asked.  Yes.  I’d been hurt again and again.  It was terrifying to admit; would acknowledging that mean my bullies had won?  No.  It allowed me to move on.  Admitting I was hurt was the only thing that freed me from the pain.  – Paige Rawl

Bullying does happen – more than we know. Often times the victim has been so emotionally beaten down they are afraid to either fight back or tell anyone about what they are going through.

If you knew that someone was being bullied, would you help? What would you do? Be attune to the signs of abuse. Not all signs are physical. There are certain behaviors that are telltale signs that abuse is taking place. The ones being bullied are usually:

Isolated– Often one of the first signs that a person is being abused is isolation. Obviously if the abuse is physical, the person will not want to go out in public and certainly will not want to have to explain injuries to their friends. It’s just easier to be isolated from the world.

Withdrawn– Similar to isolation, but when a person withdraws they cease to have opinions or engage in intelligent conversation. They are in survival mode and “small talk” seems unimportant and trivial to them.

Emotional– This is like manic depression. Emotions seem to be all over the map. Because with verbal abuse in particular, a person can be brought from a normal mood into a deep depression in seconds with what has been said to them. Words hurt as much as hits do, and the scars run deep. If they are told that they are stupid or ugly or worthless after so long, they begin to buy into it. These little things affect their self-perception eventually. Sometimes when they are taken away from the abuser, they can actually feel a type of “high” and be over the top emotionally and almost giddy.

For the sake of awareness, let’s wear pink and support the effort to STOP BULLYING!!!

NATIONAL SCRABBLE DAY

TL 4-13 NATIONAL SCRABBLE DAY

 

Perfect earrings for today!

It’s not cheating – no, really it’s not. It’s a strategy. Ok, it may be far-end strategy, borderline cheating. Well, whatever it is, it works!

Today is National Scrabble Day! In honor of this day I want to let my friend know that the scribbling I do to throw her off her game is intentional. The pencil tapping and yawns are on purpose too. You’re just so easily distracted and it’s so much fun to do that to you!

We’ve been friends for such a long time, I’m sure the confession I make today won’t bother you in the least. I know you will just laugh at me – maybe punch my arm (ouch!) because that’s what real friends do. Of course, the next time we play Scrabble, you will probably tie me to the chair, hands unable to reach a pencil. No paper in front of me and duct tape over my mouth!

Let’s face it, friend… that’s the only way you could beat me!

I know we will be friends anyway because we understand that a game of Scrabble is not the most important thing in the world. It’s really not about the winning or the losing, but the friendship. I enjoy having friends that I can do absolutely nothing with and still have a good time, don’t you? The people we can relax and be comfortable with are the ones we treasure and look forward to spending time with.

My friend and I both love Jesus, we love Him and we love each other. We’ve worked on projects together and we have prayed together. So many years we’ve shared the ups and downs of this life. The good, the bad, and the Scrabble! You know, honestly, I think she lets me win. That would not surprise me in the least!

Happy National Scrabble Day! 🙂