It is hard enough to be a parent but then to be a parent of a dyslexic learner can create an even greater sense of defeat, discouragement, and even failure. I hope you know that YOU ARE DOING GREAT!!!! No one provides a map or guide on how to raise kind, smart, considerate kiddos and even if such a tool did exist, it most likely would not apply to the extraordinary challenges that come with raising a child who has dyslexia. Before I go any further, I have to preface that we have been blessed to have absolutely the most wonderful teachers on the planet to work with.
What prompted me to get into this field was my youngest son who was identified as dyslexic in first grade. Just as so many parents share with me now, I too felt like I was not equipped to help him to be successful in school. I felt very successful and accomplished in helping him to develop as a really nice person with an incredible work ethic and abundance of compassion toward others. What I didn’t feel successful in initially was advocating for him in terms of academic needs. As parents, there is an unspoken assumption that teachers know how best to teach our children but the reality is…despite teachers’ desire, dedication, or degree, they are coming into the field of education with very little understanding of dyslexia and more importantly, like understanding of the real science of reading based on the structure of the language. That assumption immediately puts parents at a disadvantage because it means that we underestimate our role in our child’s education. Ultimately, no one knows our children better than we do and we don’t have the knowledge of how to help, we better find the courage to seek it out.
There are so many fabulous high-quality tools and resources available to help parents become experts in the areas that can really support kiddos. Literally at the touch of a finger, parents can access materials to help educate, advocate, and more. My experience was one that allowed my son’s teachers to grow and learn with me. As I learned more, I shared more and they were receptive to receiving information and growing with me. I have found that teachers go into the professional to help children but sometimes, by no fault of their own, they aren’t as equipped with the tools and knowledge as they would like to be or need to be. As parents, we also do the best we can with what we know but it is our obligation to know more and better and then to pass that along.
Courage comes in many forms and when it comes to our kiddos, we MUST be courageous enough to know we are doing the best we can even though there is always room to do better. We MUST be courageous enough to seek out information and then share it. We MUST be courageous enough to model healthy conversations and strong relationships when advocating for our kiddos so when they have to do it on their own, they will know how to. Most importantly, I hope you hear my heart when I say “YOU ARE DOING GREAT!”