TELLING YOUR CHILD ABOUT DYSLEXIA
There is an old saying - "It's no disgrace to be poor, but it's mighty inconvenient."
The same could be said of dyslexia. It is nothing to be ashamed of, but it does complicate life. While there is no doubt that many people with dyslexia have special gifts, and some of the common traits of dyslexia can be very useful, nevertheless in a world where literacy is important, dyslexia ia a definite inconvenience. There is no denying that - but it is not the end of the world either. It is very important for your child that you find a balance when dealing with the subject.
If a diagnosis of dyslexia has been made and your child needs to have extra tuition, within or outside of school, this will need to be explained to the child very carefully. Again, the more information you have the easier this will be. When explaining in dyslexia to your child, you have to translate the results of the assessment into plain language. You also want the child to know that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of, that help is available, and that there is no reason why the child should not achieve to his or her potential.
If you child is diagnosed as having SLD/dyslexia, then tell your child this. There is no reason to hide it.
Explain that dyslexia ia a very common condition and several other people in the school and maybe even others in the class, or in the family have it. There are also many famous people with dyslexia.
You can tell the child that dyslexia is just a big word to explain why some people find it hard to learn to read, write and spell. Everyone is different.
We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Identify something the child does well, whether it is sport, music, art or hand work. It could be that the child is good with animals, generous, popular, funny, loving - whatever. Find some real strength which the child has. This is most important. Then say that the child does not find reading and spelling as easy as these other things, but that is how life is.
Explain that this is not the fault of the child, the parent or the school. It is something that happens - like having fair hair, freckles or blue eyes.
Let the child know that this explains why s/he is having difficulty at school.
Tell him/her that this means s/he will have to work very hard, maybe harder than others in the class to succeed, but that it can be done, with proper help and support.
Be prepared to discuss the problem with your child more than once. Do not assume that s/he will take it all in the first time. You may need to return to the subject many times over the coming years.
Com a colaboração: Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI)