When I was a child in the 1980s, things like special educational needs. Things like dyslexia just were not talked about. As a child I did struggle with my reading and writing. I wasn't stupid and it wasn't, that i wasn't clever. But teachers seemed to think that I was lazy, I was disinterested and I didn't care. I used to find myself getting thrown out of the class quite a lot. Being made to stand in the corridor and having to do extra work, punishments. I didn't understand why that was, I was trying my hardest. It made me feel quite angry and frustrated. I saw that other children seemed to find it so easy and I struggled so much.
The good thing was as I got older and I learned the basics of reading and writing. At high school I found that I excelled. By the end of high school I was getting some of the highest grades in the school. You know why that was? I think it was because I actually had to work twice as hard as everybody else. So there are some positives to being dyslexic.
If you're worried about your child, well some of the signs that they are dyslexic are. Things like that being very frustrated, getting quite angry. Refusing to practise their reading and writing. Appearing to struggle a lot more, then maybe other children in their year group. Struggling to pick up the basics of spelling, of writing letters. What you'll find as well is they do things like, write a mirror image of words, so you might find that they put a b instead of a d.
Well things have moved on a lot since the 1980s, when I was a child which is a great thing. Things like special educational needs and dyslexia, there is just so much help out there. So if you speak to the teacher in the school they should be able to offer some extra support. Your child might be given a special needs assistant. Who will help them do some extra reading and sit down with them when they do. Activities to make sure that they understand the instructions. That they are able to follow them. They'll also be put on a special educational needs plan, so they'll be given clear targets. Somebody will be monitoring their progress. So they don't slip through the gap and they're not seen as being lazy when they're not completing tasks.
Another great thing is the internet and there's just so much information on there now. You can read all about what dyslexia is. You can also find out different activities that you can do with children, to help them. There's loads of books out there which will teach children how to cope with having dyslexia. Because it is something that does never go away. It's the case of the child learning how to deal with that, like I've had to do in my life. Now people say that Albert Einstein was dyslexic, they do say that the dyslexic mind is a creative mind. That dyslexic people think in a different way. So they're really good at creative subjects like art. But they're also really good at subjects like science. This takes you having to think in a little bit of a different way to other people, to problem solve. Another positive is that dyslexic people because they struggle to read and write. Become really good at communicating in other ways.
As a child I was always told that I had an answer for everything and that I was a really good talker. Which is what you might find with a lot of dyslexic children. Which is a great skill really to have especially as they grow up in the workplace. To be able to talk to people, to be able to communicate, to be confident and also to make friends. Lastly being dyslexic does mean that you do have to really think about your schoolwork. You're learning, so you do have to be a lot more organised. You have to really think about planning. So it does mean that as a dyslexic person, sometimes you do have to try a lot harder. Dyslexic children need a lot of support and a lot of encouragement. So that's where you come in, you can help them with that. You can give them the belief that if they just keep going they can overcome this and achieve anything.
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