A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default dyslexia help as a parent

    One of my kids has been diagnosed with dyslexia.
    We're getting a tutor trained in methods for teaching children with dyslexia, going to have an IEP/Plan 504 meeting with the school, and I'm reading a book on how to be supportive. One of the big things the book emphasizes is that dyslexia isn't a disease or a disorder to be "cured", just a different neurological/physiological state, and how to avoid the shame that many (including the author) felt as a dyslexic student.

    The hardest thing to me is the idea that "the child isn't broken".
    Does anyone, as a parent or a dyslexic person, have some advice to share with me on how to really believe that? Like, please persuade me.
    It hurts a lot to not know how to be positive about this. But I feel I don't know how to be positive, because I believe (correctly or incorrectly) it's a bad thing.

    I'm not trying to be shaming or anti-dyslexic, but it really seems like "yeah, the ability to read and write IS broken". Like, if my kid was born missing an arm, part of them is defective. I don't want them to hate themselves and I want them to get what they need to be happy and succeed in life, and I don't want them to feel like it's their fault or they aren't loved because of it... but... well, it's hard to put this into words.
    I generally just feel like: if something is wrong with you, accept it and work around it as needed, but it's still something wrong. Whether it's an allergy, an atypical neurological thing, a missing arm, whatever. But I don't get the idea of "owning it" or liking it about yourself.
    Maybe I can understand in a small way, to something in myself: I don't "get" sarcasm, and I usually have a mental delay while I realize someone is being sarcastic by noticing they are lying and that they believe the opposite; I sorta "own" that about myself and like it. But it seems a large gap between that and dyslexia.

    Part of this might be that I have some degree of self-loathing due to negative attitudes about myself as a child (not about dyslexia, but other things I'd rather not go into) and have been struggling with something akin to depression the past couple years. Those are my defects to work around and do what I need to despite them. (I have seen someone a while ago and done some cognitive therapy in a helpful way. Maybe I need to see someone more to help me help my child.) But, like, owning or liking it. I don't get that.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    Weirdly it may mean that part of them is less "broken" than it is in most people! (Also I have heard that it is linked to above-average intelligence.)

    Let me explain. A few months ago the UK TV show "The Gadget Show" looked as some "tech" to help people with what are usually called 'disabilities', and one of these was a reading light for dyslexics.

    The logic goes like this: most people have a dominant eye, when looking at close objects out eyes see them in different positons and it is dominiant eye which determines where we see the object to be.
    One cause of dyslexia (presumably not the only one?) is not having a dominant eye - both eyes share the load equally, but that means for close objects their apparant position is flicking back and forth between the two locations - now consider what this means for letter order!

    Personally I think that for most applications not having a dominate eye is probably superior to having one, unfortunately reading is not one of them and here it is a serious drawback.

    The tech item they looked at was a light which strobed (thankfully sufficently fast not to be distracting on the TV screen) - but by doing so it is able to trick the brain into treating one eye as dominant which stabilised the letter postions, and their test dyslexic person did find it very helpful for reading.

    Unfortunately the lamp was quite expensive, but I know you asked for psychological help rather than practical; so I hope that the knowledge that your child is merely "both-eyed" rather than "left-eyed" or "right-eyed" may help you see they are not broken - perhaps you may be able to find things that being both-eyed make them better at?
    Last edited by Khedrac; 2021-07-25 at 01:12 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    One of my kids has been diagnosed with dyslexia.
    We're getting a tutor trained in methods for teaching children with dyslexia, going to have an IEP/Plan 504 meeting with the school, and I'm reading a book on how to be supportive. One of the big things the book emphasizes is that dyslexia isn't a disease or a disorder to be "cured", just a different neurological/physiological state, and how to avoid the shame that many (including the author) felt as a dyslexic student.

    The hardest thing to me is the idea that "the child isn't broken".
    Does anyone, as a parent or a dyslexic person, have some advice to share with me on how to really believe that? Like, please persuade me.
    It hurts a lot to not know how to be positive about this. But I feel I don't know how to be positive, because I believe (correctly or incorrectly) it's a bad thing.

    I'm not trying to be shaming or anti-dyslexic, but it really seems like "yeah, the ability to read and write IS broken". Like, if my kid was born missing an arm, part of them is defective. I don't want them to hate themselves and I want them to get what they need to be happy and succeed in life, and I don't want them to feel like it's their fault or they aren't loved because of it... but... well, it's hard to put this into words.
    I generally just feel like: if something is wrong with you, accept it and work around it as needed, but it's still something wrong. Whether it's an allergy, an atypical neurological thing, a missing arm, whatever. But I don't get the idea of "owning it" or liking it about yourself.
    Maybe I can understand in a small way, to something in myself: I don't "get" sarcasm, and I usually have a mental delay while I realize someone is being sarcastic by noticing they are lying and that they believe the opposite; I sorta "own" that about myself and like it. But it seems a large gap between that and dyslexia.

    Part of this might be that I have some degree of self-loathing due to negative attitudes about myself as a child (not about dyslexia, but other things I'd rather not go into) and have been struggling with something akin to depression the past couple years. Those are my defects to work around and do what I need to despite them. (I have seen someone a while ago and done some cognitive therapy in a helpful way. Maybe I need to see someone more to help me help my child.) But, like, owning or liking it. I don't get that.
    I don't think you need to get hugely into positivity to accept your child. Everyone I have ever met is broken in some way, some in lots of ways. It's okay to feel frustrated about it, but it is important to remember that the "well adjusted person" is a projection more then a reality.
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    I know an intelligent person who almost can't read or write (they can tell who letters are addressed to, so long as the surnames begin with different letters), they seem to be happyish with it, they're okay with phones (which I loathe), and video calls, which again I don't do, but they have no access to search engines or written aspects of the web. It was a different world in schools back then, dislexia was barely recognised.

    I would say find all the help you can get for them to achieve reading and writing (or reading and typing, typing is very useful (texting is painfully slow to me by comparison), there may be less use for longhand, some official forms require it, but there is usually help with those), there may come a time when the web is accessable without reading, but it isn't yet and it won't be for a while.

    I remember being denied comics which weren't "educational", if I hadn't already been reading books that might have put me off reading (I do hate rhymes as a result), the "educational" comics were terrible.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Imp

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    I've never had a kid with dyslexia, but I once was a kid with dyslexia and speaking as an adult with dyslexia I have to disagree that there's "nothing broken". What other people do well with ease I do poorly with and great effort, and if there was a cure I'd take it. Sadly there is no remedy or cure for us dyslexic people. What it will take for you and your kid is an enormous amount of patience and effort, at least it did for me.

    And spell checkers, before spell checkers were common my writing on the internet was barely legible and people complained all the time. For reading bigger fonts help, bigger fonts is the main thing that helps me.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    I can tell you what convinced me that dyslexia is not disease, just google the list of famous people with dyslexia (exert from one is below). A lot of people lives with it, having one doesn't mean you are broken just different, think about left-hand people a lot of stuff is not designed with them in mind which means it's harder to operate them left-handed but it is just that because they are minority. The live of a kind with dyslexia will be different then yours but not necessary in any way worse.

    List of famous people with dyslexia from google:

    Celebrities with dyslexia, ADHD, and dyscalculia
    Whoopi Goldberg (dyslexia) ...
    Daniel Radcliffe (dyspraxia) ...
    Steven Spielberg (dyslexia) ...
    Justin Timberlake (ADHD) ...
    Tim Tebow (dyslexia) ...
    Henry Winkler (dyslexia and math issues) ...
    Keira Knightley (dyslexia) ...
    Jamie Oliver (dyslexia)

    Celebrities With Dyslexia, ADHD, and Dyscalculia ...https://www.understood.org › articles › success-stories-cel..
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    I'm near-sighted, and I can say it has literally never occur to me to consider myself broken. If you aren't taught so I doubt it's going to crop up.

    I'm going to say one thing that's bugged the hell out of me since I was told this by a dyslexic person. He was quite young, young enough that he got a certificate while in school. He once told me "I don't have to be able to spell I got this paper here telling me so". That is sooo not how the world works. No amount of paperwork would allow me as near-sighted to become a pilot.
    It's quite easy to fall into the trap of "well I don't have to try". Sometimes the system will even encourage it, like giving better grades for less work.

    On the upside being dyslexic now is much easier. The kids in my school were not diagnosed, they were just lazy and/or dumb.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    Quote Originally Posted by asda fasda View Post
    I can tell you what convinced me that dyslexia is not disease, just google the list of famous people with dyslexia (exert from one is below). A lot of people lives with it, having one doesn't mean you are broken just different, think about left-hand people a lot of stuff is not designed with them in mind which means it's harder to operate them left-handed but it is just that because they are minority. The live of a kind with dyslexia will be different then yours but not necessary in any way worse.

    List of famous people with dyslexia from google:

    Celebrities with dyslexia, ADHD, and dyscalculia
    Whoopi Goldberg (dyslexia) ...
    Daniel Radcliffe (dyspraxia) ...
    Steven Spielberg (dyslexia) ...
    Justin Timberlake (ADHD) ...
    Tim Tebow (dyslexia) ...
    Henry Winkler (dyslexia and math issues) ...
    Keira Knightley (dyslexia) ...
    Jamie Oliver (dyslexia)

    Celebrities With Dyslexia, ADHD, and Dyscalculia ...https://www.understood.org › articles › success-stories-cel..
    Albert Einstein
    Leonardo Da Vinci
    Richard Branson
    John F Kennedy
    Steven Spielburg

    And the list goes on and on...

    My youngest (now 14) has dyslexia and was diagnosed at 7. He's basically described it as words and letters are constantly moving, changing place/shape and makes it an absolute nightmare to concentrate and focus. He's been with professionals for several years now which have worked with him on strategies on how to adapt and overcome (because dyslexia is not something that can be 'cured') and he has a pair of glasses that function like that light that is described above (and it works extremely well for him) as well as special fonts designed for dyslexics. The boy works like an ox to get his work done and done correctly and we support him in every way. Recognizing this disability early has allowed us to help him adapt and help educate others (especially clueless teachers, with whom I've had several erm, heated, discussions... one of which was dismissed for abuse) and now, though still challenged by things most would consider simple, he excels at more than he struggles with.

    So, long story short, support your child, even if, especially at the beginning, it is incredibly frustrating for you and do what you are doing by reaching out and talking with others. You'll find there are numerous resources and aids out their to help these children do their best!

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    When people put up lists of famous people with dyslexia, I think it should be remembered that there are mild and extremly strong versions of dyslexia and versions with every strength in between, most of the famous people probably had it in a mild version.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    We're going to be getting my daughter tested for it soon. (Recognized there was a problem at the end of 2019-ish, but plague intervened for any kind of diagnosis/treatment). She's perfectly capable of reading and comprehension - she just completely loses track at the end of a line. So she ends up either going back and re-reading the same line over again, skipping a line, or even going back to a previous one, so it takes her forever to parse it. Up to now that hasn't really been as much of an issue, since they've been working from worksheets and through online presentations. But moving up into 7th grade (and further) we're expecting this to be more of a problem for her workload.

    The way we've been looking at it: text is just one way to shovel ideas from one head into another. There's no dyslexia without lexis, and other methods of communication have been hard-wired into our brains for a lot longer than text has. Audio books and graphic novels are another good way to get the point across. The experience isn't exactly the same (both are different media after all), and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. But with graphic novels (and manga) particularly, we're having some success. She has expressed a lot of interest in art, and is already about fifty times better than I ever was. (Experimenting with perspective, oil paint, shading, all on her own and outside of class). So reading those has a dual function of helping her comprehension and helping her art.

    As far as treating it like it's not something that's "broken," the closest parallel I can think of is the autism spectrum. For that, it's not so much a "disorder" as it is a different way to interface with reality. Depending on where the individual is, they need more or less help to function with people who don't have that same interface (or conversely, people without that interface need more or less help to function with people who do have it).
    Last edited by Telonius; 2021-07-28 at 09:56 AM.

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    Quote Originally Posted by asda fasda View Post
    List of famous people with dyslexia from google:
    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but you need to compare with the fraction of all celebrities who are not dyslexic and see if it's in the range of 93-97%.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I'm not trying to be shaming or anti-dyslexic, but it really seems like "yeah, the ability to read and write IS broken". Like, if my kid was born missing an arm, part of them is defective. I don't want them to hate themselves and I want them to get what they need to be happy and succeed in life, and I don't want them to feel like it's their fault or they aren't loved because of it... but... well, it's hard to put this into words. I generally just feel like: if something is wrong with you, accept it and work around it as needed, but it's still something wrong...
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I don't think you need to get hugely into positivity to accept your child. Everyone I have ever met is broken in some way, some in lots of ways. It's okay to feel frustrated about it, but it is important to remember that the "well adjusted person" is a projection more then a reality.
    I think this is reasonable.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    I also have a kid with dyslexia, and ... it sucks! It was a huge amount of extra work to get them through school, get them to a competent reading level, and even today, as an adult, they don't read for pleasure, which I feel sad about, since I love reading. Many things were far harder for them than they were for their non-dyslexic peers.

    But... you get through it. You can't trade them in for a non-dyslexic kid, the kid you love is dyslexic, so you do what you have to do to get them reading and writing up to a functional level, enough to do school work and function in a job. My kid was able to graduate college and get employed in their field, so it is possible.

    I wouldn't try to be positive in the sense of "Oh, this is great news!" Be positive in the sense of "OK, we can get through this." You can get through it and come out the other side with a well-educated, able-to-live-their-life, independent, happy adult.

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    The disabling effect of something like dyslexia emerges from the intersection between society and an individual. Dyslexia can only be disabling in a society that has recently come to rely heavily on skills like reading and writing. There's a mismatch between your child's dispositions and society's expectations. Your child is disabled. It sounds like you're getting your child the accommodations they need. That's fantastic and important and reflects well on you as a parent. But your child is not defective, because the concept of defectiveness only really makes sense in light of a blueprint or a plan, and there is no ideal human blueprint.

    But it sounds like you're informing yourself about the facts already. I think you've probably identified a more prominent reason for your thoughts about defects and the like, which are your own concerns about being defective.
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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    "Broken" or "Defective" as-in, is lacking something or struggles heavily with something that other people have or perform easily? Yeah. Hopefully your munchkin's dyslexia isn't too bad, and they can manage it, but relative to someone without dyslexia, they're working at a disadvantage.

    "Broken" or "Defective" as-in, not being as much or as good of a person? Not even close. Everyone has problems-I have depression and anxiety, a lot of my friends are autistic, I dated a lovely person who's missing a foot... It causes struggles, but it doesn't make that person lesser.

    Help your kid as best you can. Be there for them, support them, and be a good parent. If you're struggling, that's okay-everyone has struggles. I'm not a parent myself, but I'm sure if I asked my mom or dad if they had issues raising me, I'd get a resounding yes-not because I'm bad, but because parenting is TOUGH.

    Good luck.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    "Broken" or "Defective" as-in, is lacking something or struggles heavily with something that other people have or perform easily? Yeah. Hopefully your munchkin's dyslexia isn't too bad, and they can manage it, but relative to someone without dyslexia, they're working at a disadvantage.

    "Broken" or "Defective" as-in, not being as much or as good of a person? Not even close. Everyone has problems-I have depression and anxiety, a lot of my friends are autistic, I dated a lovely person who's missing a foot... It causes struggles, but it doesn't make that person lesser.

    Help your kid as best you can. Be there for them, support them, and be a good parent. If you're struggling, that's okay-everyone has struggles. I'm not a parent myself, but I'm sure if I asked my mom or dad if they had issues raising me, I'd get a resounding yes-not because I'm bad, but because parenting is TOUGH.

    Good luck.
    Well said!

    Having dealt peripherally with a number of special needs children, I can only give two pieces of advice (which you should naturally take with a pinch of salt) - avoid these extremes:

    • Don't get into a position where you can only see the disability: "Oh, my child couldn't possibly do that, they're XXX..."
    • Don't get into a position where you excuse everything because of the disability: "It's not my child's fault, they're XXX..."
    • Don't forget your other children. (Yes, I know - consider it a bonus stage...).


    It's frighteningly easy to do... One of my relations had a developmental disability, and their mother (who was in no way a bad mother*) had a slight tendency to coddle him - once he was clear of her he was quite happy to try anything. He is now persuing a successful career in stage work (on the technical side).

    I don't think you will fall into these - you are recognising the disability and taking steps to deal with it, and that is the crux of the matter. Just don't let your child be defined by their disability.

    Acknowledge the condition for what it is and deal with it accordingly. Don't obsess about it - all your children will grow up to be adults, they will all hit problems on the way, and they will grow up around them, just as you yourself did. Dyslexia will not change that.


    * Just in case she's reading...
    Last edited by Manga Shoggoth; 2021-08-15 at 06:07 AM.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: dyslexia help as a parent

    My niece is dyslexic (she says the letters move on the page), and I found this website helpful.
    As for considering it a disorder, experts say that : “A lot of our work with dyslexic kids is to help them rediscover that they are smart and capable,” notes Beszylko, “because they’ve stopped believing in themselves.”
    There are several different ways to address that challenge, and the website I linked has several suggestions and resources. I hope you can find something that works for you and your child.

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