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Is it okay to correct your dyslexic child?

My son can read.

He can read sideways and upside down.

In fact, he is more fluent when he reads that way.

Yesterday a kid called him a freak

and I said to that boy;

“No, Noah isn’t a freak – every person processes things differently and reading sideways is just the most comfortable way for his brain to focus”.

The kid looked at me like I was the freak, grabbed the book and turned it the right way around.

“You have to be normal, dude,” he said to Noah.

He didn’t mean it in a nasty way – he was just speaking his truth

and I wasn’t upset (neither was Noah).

I’ve learnt that kids react strongly to things they don’t understand.

It was interesting though to see how unbending and conformist kids can be – even at a young age

and how we struggle to accept anything different.

Luckily, Noah can read with the book turned to society’s ‘normal’ as well

but

is it lucky for him or is it just lucky for everyone else – me included.

With dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome the brain doesn’t see things conventionally.

It doesn’t mean that the dyslexic child is below average -

in actual fact, most people who have it  are of high intelligence, their minds are amazing, intricate pathways that fire in the most interesting of ways.

Noah can retain facts about things I couldn’t even hope to remember

and his ability to recall minute details about a subject astounds me every day

but if he can’t express those to others then what a  terrible waste that would be

and I imagine very frustrating too.

We have a black board in our kitchen now where we encourage Ivy and Noah to write words and then find others that rhyme

because Noah, amongst everything else, is a rhyming super hero – he just gets great joy from it.

He wrote the word dog but it was more like

b o back to front, upside down g.

He looked at it for a long time, as though he knew it wasn’t ‘correct’,

walked away, put his glasses on,

came back and fixed it up himself and then drew a picture of his bog turned dog.

I thought it was pretty cool that he’d figured it out himself

but there have been many times where I have made him change the letters around

because they don’t make sense to me

and  I wonder if, in doing that, if I am teaching him anything except conformity

or whether I am just messing around with his way of thinking

and if that is really any advantage to him at all.

I guess in the grand scheme of things he will need to be able to function in his society

and that means making his brain conform to ‘normality’

but I hope, as he grows, he keeps a little bit of himself too

and maybe he’ll read to his own children someday from an upside down point of view.

 

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7 Responses to “Is it okay to correct your dyslexic child?”

  • Vicki:

    Oh Tiff, I know how you feel. I had/have dyslxia in which my parents didn’t really want to know about. I didn’t read until I had children of my own and started to read books that I’d got for them to learn to read. I also stopped reading to them (but there dad continued) when they started to tell me I was wrong. After they started school I was encourage by one the teachers at there school to help out with reading and maths groups (I love maths). I found when doing reading groups and reading upside down worked better for me then looking at it the correct way. It’s very hard when we have to conform to what it is done thing.
    I can only encourage you to keep up the good work. Your children are lucky to have a mum that cares about them.

  • Mum:

    The pity is that Noah will need to accept “conformity” to be “acceptable”. The very fact that he corrected his “bog” to “dog” means that he understands his need to conform and how it’s done. However he sees the written word, the fact that he did self correct points to an incredible memory that has already absorbed the right spelling and recognises his mistake.

    There is no harm in correcting for the sake of conformity provided there is no derision or fault in place, it simply means presenting the better or more acceptable option. Noah can be said to be even smarter than most because he has the ability to see things from different angles as well, and that is something most traditional conformists cannot or otherwise find hard to do.

    Irrespective of Noah’s dyslexia, his retentive memory and attention to detail is nothing short of astounding. Of that, I am absolutely sure! xoxo

  • Fiona (114 comments.):

    self correction is so powerful, and he will get better and better at it.

    perhaps encourage him to write for himself as well, in a place where his way is the way, like his own scrap book. That way he has a non conformist outlet, plus then mum can’t read who his gf is! ;)

  • rachel:

    Different ‘diagnosis’ but reminds me of when lachlan was in yr 2 and a child said, why is your sister in a pram.. is she a sooky lala baby?! (she was 5).. and he simply replied, no mate…. her legs just get wobbly n she cant walk far… the other child looked more puzzled n curious with locky reponse n the cheeky look gone

  • joools:

    The thing Noah should know is that sometimes you have to do things the “normal” way when you need others to understand what you are doing. Or when you need to get through a class or school or job.

    And – really important — that just because “normal” is accepted doesn’t mean it’s the right way or only way or the best way. When he isn’t having to please a teacher or boss, there will be people who find his unique way of looking at things captivating and charming and waaaaaay more interesting than the “normal” way.

    Noah just needs to figure out when he has to do things so that others can read it and understand it, and when he can do things for himself and let others figure it out.

    His way of writing can become a game, where you try to figure out what he has written, which shows him you value his amazing mind and also teaches him how to communicate with his unique way of looking at things and expressing things.

  • Mary:

    Noah has rolled with the punches since he was in NICU and I think his adaptable self will sort it out–you, him, and ‘normal’.
    And snap to Joools above.

  • jennifer (6 comments.):

    I like Noah and I hope you and Noah will check my blog don’t called me stupid and like a bracelet I make for like me and Noah . Because I to have dyslexia and Irlen syndrome.

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