Why this parent advice topic

When a child is having trouble in school, every one has something to say.  This month I am devoting a great many posts to getting along in school.  The next few posts will focus on the various learning disabilities. Today, dyslexia is the topic. Can you read this?

Can you read this?

This is taken from an unfinished novel by my intimate friend Catherine Vaughan.  She is writing a book about how the Roman Empire became the Roman Church and continued to seek world domination.  She uses the Authorian Legend as her motif.  In this scene, the Great King Uther Pendragon is talking to Merlin and telling him to flee to a distant corner of Brittania and hide; he hopes Merlin and those with him will establish a safe haven for pagans. Pendragon  is telling the wizard to be take care as the Roman Church wants him and all pagans killed.

This is how the sentences above should read:

 “They wanted to sprinkle me, but I don’t have patience with their  prattling.   Now that I am the great king, I am safe from their death threats.  You are not. I will send some young pagans with you as  guards, these will accompany you; but on your journey you may want to consider following their ways  or at least being lamb like. “

He fell silent for a few breaths, then eontintued, “I hear from the Roman Priests their God’s son said, ‘The meek will inherit the earth.’

He fell quiet again, then with a smirk and a laugh added,  “Of course, he might have been referring to their graves.”

The first reading contained many of the mistakes made by dyslexics.  Letters reverse, jump around, jump off the paper, or get mixed up. Moreover, many dyslexics  learn to sight read and then make false assumptions about what they are seeing. Complicating all these problems are the strong negative emotions that attach to learning or trying when one cannot do what others seem to do so easily.


 Parenting tip one:   As discussed in Round Peg in a Square Hole, the problem might be a goodness of fit.  Follow the tips I gave there.

Parenting tip two:  Establish a solid and positive relationship with your child’s teacher.  See what my guest blogger Jean Tracy had to say about that in her post Getting Along in School.

Parenting tip three:  If people in your family didn’t do well in school and don’t like to read a great deal, think dyslexia.  By and large it seems to be a genetic disorder and gets passed down from grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents. Here are some early warning signs:

  1. Letter and number reversals are the most common warning sign. Such reversals are normal up to the age of 7 or 8, but have usually diminished by that time. If they do not diminsh, it may be appropriate to test for dyslexia or other learning problems.
  2. Parts of words, whole words or even sentences might be skipped over when reading.
  3. Mixed brain dominance as shown by being left handed, ambidextrous, or having difficulty telling right from wrong.
  4. Do not like puzzles as often cannot connect the pieces; the same with connect the dot pictures
  5. May have poor motor skills.
  6. Difficulty when trying to copy something for another paper, a book, or the black board.
  7. Memory problems.
  8. Difficulty moving in rhythm to music.
  9. Sequencing is problematic.
  10. Child is mostly happy if not having to go to school or do home work; child seems moody, acts out, or has low self-esteem.

Parenting tip three:  Be patient trying to figure out what is going on. but do not ignore the child’s unhappiness.  Most learning disabled children have good days and bad days.  Sometimes they read with some ease, five minutes laters cannot make sense of a simple sentence.  A child can have a number of the above signs and not be dyslexic.

Pareting tip four: Be patient but do not ignore school problems.  Teachers, other school personnel, and  parents prefer to believe most problems learning can be out grown.  However, a child who unhappy in school, day after day after day, is a child in trouble; professional evaluation is indicated.

Parenting tip five: Teach your child good manners and the social skills needed to get along with people.   School matters but is not the only path to success.  Most studies show that getting along with people and that means having good manners is more important in being both happy and successful then either intelligence or advanced degrees.

Parenting tip six:   Develop a good work ethic in your child.  Do not promote the idea that one must be happy in his or her work.  Work is called work because you have to be paid to get up every day and go to your job.  Those who love their work are very lucky.

Parenting tip seven: Strengthen your self-soothing skills. Teach your child how to self sooth.  Everyone benefits from learning to self-soothe, but if you child has a major learning disability, both of you are in for years of struggle.  Follow this blog, but also visit Emotional Fitness Training’s blog for more tips and support.

Stay strong

Life is a struggle, full of pain and suffering. Parenting intensifies the struggle, but also brings more joy to your life.


Disclaimer one: Advice is just advice.

Even the most learned researchers and theorists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you by others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability that is akin to dyslexia when one writes. It was the reason my high school English teacher thought I would fail out of college.  I didn’t.  Moreover,  with the help of some patient and good editors I became an author.  Still mistakes get by.  When I am in a rush,  posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.

Sigh, if you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow me.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; if a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, try reading it a few days later.  Often I catch the worse mistakes when I read the post after a few days.

Meanwhile, forgive me, it is an Emotional Fitness Training exercise and practicing it will strengthen your ability to deal with stress, frustration, and all the other negative emotions.

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