Sunday, October 30, 2011

Exploring Dyslexia

Do you know what this is?  

What about this?      

O.K. Now what is it?

If I roll it on its side is it still the same thing?

Hmmm...  interesting.  So just because I change the orientation of something it doesn't change what it is?  

Alright then...
What about these?  
b p d q 

And these?  
u n

"...a child learns that an object does not change simply because he sees it from another angle, and that a cup, for instance, remains a cup in whatever position it is placed." 
"A child may readily accept this, but then be introduced to our alphabet, in which it is imperative that each letter is always reproduced facing a particular way.  He may find it very difficult to perceive that b and d are not one and the same, and when he does understand that they are two different letters there is the problem of remembering which is which."  excerpts from Day-to-Day Dyslexia in the Classroom by Pollock, Waller, and Politt
I am now remembering how challenging it was for my son to distinguish between these tricky letters as he was learning the alphabet.  It didn't alarm me three years ago because I thought he would just get it over time.  

Well, apparently he didn't.  This why he's not enjoying reading at the level of which I know he is capable.  This is why writing practice is such a struggle for us.  This is also why I'm furiously researching ways to help with his dyslexic tendencies.  Thankfully, the information I have found is both plentiful and encouraging.  

I didn't learn much about dyslexia in grad. school.  Just a few tips and tricks I've used successfully with other students.  But, I've used every card I had up my sleeve -which were not many- and I'm in need of a bigger deck.  With a lot of prayer, patience, and desperate research, I, teacher mom, will come to the rescue!  One of first resources that I've pick up is The Day-to-Day Dyslexia in the Classroom book that I quoted from earlier.  As its name suggests, it is chock-full of practical ideas and exercises that help with dyslexia in nearly every aspect of education.  

I'll be blogging about some new things I learn.  Hopefully, they will come in handy for some other moms or teachers in need of ideas, and if you've been there and done this, please leave a comment and share your wisdom with us all.

Disclaimer:  My son has not been diagnosed with dyslexia.  I am not big on labels so I'm not intending to diagnose him.  I am simply seeing in him many of the signs and tendencies that people with with dyslexia exhibit.   

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