Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

A Little Message in a Bottle about Dyslexia and My Boy

Posted on: May 17, 2015

This post has nothing to do with Singable Picture Books, but it does have everything to do with education.  The enrichment of the educational environment has everything to do with my mission for Sing Books with Emily.  This is also a chapter in my own family’s story.

My son Mo lives with dyslexia. He had a miserable experience in elementary school because he was incredibly misunderstood and taught with methods which were antithetical to his brain wiring. He was literally tortured by these ineffective teaching methods (principally as thrust upon him by the “Reading Specials,” who, if she actually knew what she was doing, should have known better, could have identified him and used appropriate methods, like Orton-Gillingham, to teach him, but alas she did not, instead choosing to put frowny faces on his papers when he spelled a word wrong), while simultaneous being told that he was the problem as a learner instead of the practitioners considering that it was the teaching methods (not Mo) which were defective.

If this story sounds familiar to you (as many many children with the milder forms of dyslexia, like Mo, fall through the educational cracks), as it is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 people have some level of dyslexia. This is an excellent video to understand a bit better what dyslexia is and what can be done about to to improve the educational experience of children with dyslexia, which, in turn, would improve the whole wide world around us, since dyslexics are often underestimated, and therefore under nurtured for their intelligence and creativity, and thus for their ability to solve problems and improve the climate for living:


www.youtube.com/watch?v=zafiGBrFkRM

I found this video embedded in this excellent edutopia.com article:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/dyslexia-in-general-ed-classroom-kelli-sandman-hurley?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=blog-dyslexia-in-general-ed-classroom-custompin&crlt_pid=camp.3f3l5FqIVdyV

This is the quote from the article that resonated so much with me:
“Remember, these students are capable of learning, and many are intellectually gifted — their academic struggles are unexpected in relation to their innate ability to learn.”

It is our experience with this fact that finally lead us to seek an IEP for  him.  Which brings me to another cautionary lesson.  If you feel this is your child’s experience, do not give up the fight to get the IEP and accommodations. For almost every cognitive test, our son was found to be “within normal limits” even though the deficits that showed dyslexia were clearly present, because the testers had an extremely high tolerance for “normal limits,” even tough some of the results were shockingly low.  As a parent, you have the right to say “I am not satisfied,” until you get what you need for your kids to succeed in the classroom.  It will cost you sleepless nights, research, hundreds of dollars in tutoring fees (since the schools are often only set up to teach the most traditional of learners, not any kid who learns differently).  But just keep going, keep going.  Your kid is worth it.

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