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Diagnosis... And Now What?

Updated: Jun 1

Finding the Best Path for Your Dyslexic Child

young boy with mother struggling to read

My name is Sara Kramer. I'm a Davis Facilitator, and I work with both children and adults. Equally important, I am also the mother of a dyslexic son.

It has been many years since my son was diagnosed with dyslexia, but I still vividly remember the roller coaster of events and emotions that accompanied that diagnosis. On one hand, it was a relief to understand why my son was struggling at school. However, it came with the realisation that my bright and sparky child, known for his quirky sense of humor, was now labelled as disabled.

Reconciling with this was difficult, and as a parent, I struggled. I coped by immersing myself in support strategies. We followed the recommendations provided by the school, and I never paused to consider whether those strategies were the best fit for my son. Consequently, we endured a long period of battling with an ill-suited remedial programme. Ironically, I think I benefited the most because it made me feel proactive.

Although the programme was challenging, it did lead to progress for my son; but it was through blood, sweat, and tears every step of the way.

I wish someone had told me at that point to pause, look around, and explore all available options. That is my message to you today. If your child has just been diagnosed, take a moment to consider what needs to be done. Do research, and above all, trust your instincts.

Start by discussing with your child's teachers how he or she has responded to the reading and teaching strategies at school. If your child is responding well, you may already have a clear path to follow. However, if your child, at eight or nine years old, is still struggling to read and not responding to current strategies, then it's time to explore other options.

Understanding your child’s thinking style is crucial. Everyone uses both verbal and visual thought, but the balance between these forms varies significantly among individuals. Dyslexic thinking is predominantly visual. This unique characteristic contributes to quicksilver thought processes and the ability to view things from an unusual perspective.

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This also explains why your child might read complex words like tyrannosaurus easily, as they are straightforward to visualise, but stumble over abstract words such as if, but, and any, which are harder to picture. For instance, try picturing the sentence: "The horse jumped over the gate." Now add yesterday to the beginning and notice if your visualisation changes. Though the image might remain the same, the meaning differs significantly, posing a challenge for a visual thinker.

Knowing your child's thinking style will help you determine which learning style best suits them. My son's story fortunately had a happy ending, as we found the right solution for him after meeting someone who introduced us to the Davis Dyslexia Programme.

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Remember, every child is different. What works for one may not work for another. There are many options available, and it’s beneficial to explore these thoroughly. The book "When Your Child Has Dyslexia" by Abigail Marshall offers a good overview of these options. Use your knowledge of your child's thinking, strengths, and weaknesses, combined with expert advice, to choose the most appropriate strategy.

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The wonderful capacity of the dyslexic mind to achieve becomes apparent once you understand what it means to be dyslexic and how to leverage its positive aspects to overcome difficulties. Over time, we realized that our son was who he was because of his dyslexia, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Remember, your intimate knowledge of your child is as crucial as any expert advice in finding the right strategy and solution.

~Sara Kramer, Davis Dyslexia Faciliator and mother of a dyslexic son

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To read more and view Sara's full length video visit "How Dyslexia Works" here....



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