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?  🙂

 

 

 

 

THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

TL 11-25 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

THE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL

Violence is such a buzz word in our society.  There is violence all around us.  Times are tough right now.  People don’t have jobs (or more than likely they have a couple of part-time jobs and still can’t skate by).  The stresses of life can build up and if you don’t have an outlet (the gym or some other release), you might strike out at the ones you supposedly love the most.  But abuse is NEVER right – NEVER. 

Let me tell you about a woman who experiences violence behind closed doors.  Behind lead-glass French doors, I might add.

It’s the heaviest burden she will ever bear.  It’s the darkest secret she will ever hide.  She will go to great lengths to make it look as though everything is perfect to outsiders – neighbors and friends.  She will make every excuse in the book to “cover” for her abuser, saying, “He just had a bad day” – or “Wow am I stupid, why did I make him angry like that?”   She turns the fault on herself – every single time.

After a while, she begins to believe that lie.  She has internalized the blame for so long that eventually – everything that goes wrong is somehow her fault.  It doesn’t matter if it does not make logical sense – it is still her fault.  Her abuser has her right where he wants her…  frightened and vulnerable.  She’s afraid of her own shadow and unable to make simple decisions anymore.  She is completely paralyzed and spends time over thinking things that the rest of us don’t think twice about.  She questions her own sanity at times.

She’s lost every ounce of self-esteem and beats herself up and may even cut herself because she “deserves” nothing less in her mind.  Her abuser has convinced her that she is less than in every respect.  She is not as pretty, as smart, as skinny, as understanding, as – anything.  She thinks if only she was all those things, then finally she would be good enough and her abuser would stop verbally  and/or physically abusing her.

If she has children she feels especially trapped.  If she does not have children there is a chance she can get away, but she knows she needs a plan.  It’s frightening to plan her escape because up to this point she does not believe she has done one single thing right.  She asks herself why this plan would be any better than anything else she’s done.

She keeps replaying the conversation she had with her sister before the wedding.  Her sister expressed concern about specific times when his temper flared or he seemed too controlling.    The blushing bride patted her sister’s hand and assured her that it was nothing, but thanked her for being concerned.  She recalls quickly changing the subject at that point.

But now she knows her sister was right about him.  Those moments were red flags – signs.  She ignored them.  Why did she choose to ignore them?  She thought she loved him.  A nervous  laugh becomes audible as that thought passes through her mind.  She quietly said under her breath, ” What a cliche’!”  Now she knows that the only One who ever loved her gave His life for her.  Love was never a part of her marriage.  It’s always been about survival.

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She has a best friend who stays closer than a brother – His name is Jesus.  He knows her name – he knows what she is thinking and how she is feeling about herself.  He will help her through this.  She prays for her abuser as she scratches and claws her way out of this pit.  She listens to teaching that helps her hold on to threads of self-esteem.  She spends time alone with God to gain strength.  She found a loving circle of support from good Christian folks who  encourage her to take another step.  She just needs the courage to leave.  She needs a plan.  She prays that one in her circle can be trusted to help her.  She asks God who she should confide in and ask for help.

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If you are a man who abuses a woman – know this…  God is watching.  You may control your woman through violent behavior or verbal vomit, but when you have to stand before God one day (and oh yeah – you will) – you won’t have enough honey-covered words to get you out of that situation.  GET HELP – get it now.  Stopping is a process but it has to begin TODAY.  Find a good reputable Christian counselor and begin sessions.  Abusing a woman (or anyone else) does not make you more of a man.  If you have anger management issues – it is YOUR problem – don’t make it hers too. 

That woman you have – she is a bright, brilliant, fragile and loving soul that God entrusted you with!  Treat her with all the tenderness you possibly can.  If you will do that, you will be AMAZED at the love you receive in return!  Get on your knees and thank God for her every day.  Instead of belittling her, lift her up – it really does not take much to make a woman smile.  You know what, Mr. abuser?  God counts that woman’s tears – every one of them.  On judgment day He will show you that bottle of tears and ask for an explanation.  But the smiles you put on her face – now wouldn’t you rather see images of the smiles from God and hear the words WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT…  ???  😀

 

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

HONOR
I still want to honor my mom.

 

Being hopeful about the future might motivate you to make healthier decisions.   – Julia Boehm, PhD

I’m learning that everyone grieves at a different pace, on a different schedule. I have empathy and patience with others who don’t seem to be moving along as quickly as I think they should. After nine long years, I have decided to part with my mother’s couch and love seat from the 1980’s. I felt a peace about my decision and posted a status on facebook. One of my close friends sent me an instant message to let me know that she would be interested in having mom’s furniture. I was thrilled! Now I know that it is going to a great home – the home of my friend! Now I have no anxiety about letting it go – and my friend benefits also – it’s a real win / win!!! We call it a “God thing”.

God knows the desires of your heart. He knows why you hang on to the things of the past. He knows the memories associated with the things you cling to – and He knows how to help you walk forward and let them go if you have the desire to do so. Don’t part with anything unless you are very sure you are ready. Don’t rush yourself into anything when it comes to grief. Don’t let anyone else rush you! Some of the nicest people on the planet can try to dictate to you what you should and should not keep. They don’t know what means the most to you. Listen to your heart.

I must say when it comes to taste in furniture, my mom and I were polar opposites! She chose pastel colors and material that could not stand much “wear”, while I am definitely a leather girl – give me an overstuffed leather chair and ottoman and I am a very happy camper! I don’t want to have to treat my furniture with kid gloves like she did. Of course if you cut leather with a knife it is history, but generally it is quite sturdy and will last a good long while!

H = Happy
O = Optimistic
P = Passionate
E = Enthusiastic

I WILL keep H.O.P.E. alive in my soul. God has a great future planned for me! My stability is not dependent on any material possession, whether it is mom’s or mine. I have hope for the future because Jesus is alive and living in me!