Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua,
I want you to know all about what I have researched about Dyslexia. Especially since it is highly inherited. Someday, you may have children of your own that could have dyslexia. Even if you do not have dyslexia, one of your kids or grandkids could. I do not have it but I believe my dad did. Here is the information that I learned:
I went to the dyslexia workshop at the David Marr Theater on Friday to hear Susan Barton to speak about dyslexia. She spoke straight through 3 1/2 hours and I learned so much!
As a previous 3rd grade teacher and now a homeschooling mom of four children, I have to say that what I learned was really profound and so encouraging! I wish I had this knowledge YEARS ago. I know that children in my 3rd grade class could have been helped if I knew this knowledge. I am thankful to know it now to help my own daughter.
Susan Barton explained to parents and home-schoolers and teachers what Dyslexia is and what it is not. She took the mystery out of this "language-processing disorder" so that I now know without a doubt that my 7 year old sweet daughter has dyslexia! Not only that, but my dad also without a doubt had dyslexia!
That is one of the FIRST things to know: Dyslexia IS INHERITED! It is not caused.
It is NOT a vision problem or a letter reversal problem.
Warning signs of dyslexia start to appear as early as age 1. Kids that say pasghetti instead of spaghetti- this is cute at first but is a warning sign. Chronic ear infections is another warning sign. A child can be accurately tested for dyslexia as early as age 5. I'm still trying to figure out where so I can get my daughter officially tested. Here are the probelms that some children with Dyslexia have:
*They have difficulty learning how to tie their shoes. Susan Barton suggested just buying velcro shoes for kids with dyslexia. This was a warning sign to me because my daughters twin sister would always tie her dance/jazz shoes before class.
*Kids with dyslexia hold a pencil an awkward way called dysgraphia. Their writing is not consistent- hard for them to write on a straight line. Unusual pencil grip and letter formation
*They are terrible spellers
*Slow or inaccurate reading
*Writes some letters or numbers backwards
*Can't memorize multiplication tables
*Trouble telling time on a clock with hands
*Makes lots of careless errors
*Forgets to turn in homework
*Often confused by oral instructions
*Trouble focusing on one task for long
*Difficulty going to sleep, hard to wake up
*Extremely messy rooms
Susan Barton said that if children have 3 or more of the symptoms then that child has dyslexia.
It is also NOT RARE! It affects 20% of our population, which is 1 out of 5. Some have it mildly. Others have it severely. It is the MOST COMMON reason a child will struggle with spelling, writing, and eventually with reading. Because children with dyslexia can read at first, but begin to fail at about 3rd or 4th grade. They developed strategies that got them that far. I had my daughter tested in Reading through the charter school I homeschool them through. She tested right at the 2nd grade level, where she should be since she's in 2nd grade. But Susan Barton said children with dyslexia will memorize how words look. They will pass reading tests in the early grades but show her a writing sample and she will know if the child is dyslexic or not. When she showed samples of other children's writing, I realized that yes, my daughter does have it.
It is neurological in origin. Most peoples' brains are larger in the left hemisphere, but a dyslexic person's right hemisphere is the SAME SIZE as the left!
Dyslexia is Greek and means:
dys = difficulty with
lexia = language
There are materials available for teaching dyslexic children, teens and adults and they work like the orton-gillingham method!
Dyslexic people are some of the most gifted people in our society. They make great: artists, athletes (some of the best athletes in America are dyslexic), musicians (even though sheet music is difficult for them), and scientists. They can have great people skills, are sensitive and are highly intuitive. You can "google" to find famous dyslexics.
This list is what she says is not effective for treating dyslexia:
Hooked on Phonics
Vision therapy or colored overlays
Brain gym or other exercises
Slyvan, Score, or Kuman Centers
Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis
Susan Barton was in the computer field well into adulthood. She became motivated to help her 16 year old, failing-since-kindergarten, nephew, named Ben. She learned to teach adults with dyslexia and then went on to start a second career in helping to spread the word MAINLY to parents so they can help their children, because you will not be able to rely on the schools to diagnose or help your children as they DO NOT KNOW how to do these things. They are not trained, yet. They are well meaning and try with the tools they have to help children, but they just don't have the knowledge, yet!
I am going to train myself with the Barton method so I can help my daughter improve. I'm so thankful that I caught this early. Also thankful that I'm homeschooling her and she has one-on-one help. I have a strong feeling that if she was in a school setting that her dyslexia would have been overlooked for years, especially since I think she has only a mild form of dyslexia. There are 4 types, mild, moderate, severe and pronounced.
My daughter is a gifted artist and loves to sing & play the violin. She is also very caring and great with people. It does not have anything to do with intelligence it is a language processing problem! We are focusing on how God creeated each person with different talents and struggles. Please pray for us as we start this new journey.
I hope this helps someone! Please feel free to comment with any questions! I will share what I have learned and then point you to: www.brightsolutions.us