Friday, June 6, 2014


Dyslexia.  That was not an easy diagnosis to hear. We weren't surprised really. We knew his struggles. This is why we had him evaluated. But hearing someone actually else actually give him that label hit me hard.

But I know my son. I know his quirks inside and out. I know how he takes a few minutes longer to come up with a response, but it is always worth waiting on because it is so profound. I know his giftedness in problem solving, art, and dance. I know the depth of his conversations, the interesting questions he always seems to have, and the mature thoughts he brings up. I know his heart and his sensitivity. Dyslexia isn't a problem. It is a part of who he is, and he is amazing.

We have spent the past month now talking about his amazing brain and how it works in some amazing ways thanks to dyslexia. He is embracing it--not as an excuse, but as an honor. I am spending a lot of time researching the best ways to teach him.

With my son, our biggest struggles right now are composition and spelling. He has amazing ideas, but getting those onto paper in ways that other people can read and understand is difficult. He doesn't run away from difficult, but he does get frustrated that his ideas get lost in bad spelling and the mechanics of writing.  His reading comprehension is actually good, but that is mostly due to his problem solving and ability to figure out the context based on the words he is reading correctly. Reading is difficult, but he is reading at grade level after a lot of hard work. Letters float off the page and move for him. Using a colored filter does help with that issue. He also can not tell if letters are correct or reversed, which causes even more issues with writing and spelling.

After our eval, we took the materials provided by Scottish Rite for dyslexia, but we have found them miserably boring at this point, and so we will likely just return them. To help his spelling, we ordered Apples and Pears, and we have decided to just start from the beginning. It will be super easy for him for awhile, and we should move quickly, but this will build his confidence and catch any holes in his understanding. I am also using some at-home vision therapy materials from Dr. Kenneth Lane. We are beginning with Recognition of Reversals: Perceptual Training Workbook.

I taught him to read before we had an actual diagnosis, mostly with Explode the Code, but if I had it to do over again, I would use the Wilson Reading System materials.  If I have another child showing the same tendencies, I will go ahead and purchase Wilson.  I just don't think we need this approach with Samuel.  We are going to work on strengthening his phonics skills through his spelling program.

I love this kid, his strength, and his amazing brain.  And I would love to hear any resources or suggestions you have for helping a child with dyslexia.

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