One and a half years ago Mr 8 was diagnosed with Dyslexia. He is also gifted in some assessment areas.
One and a half years ago I started to form a plan. I studied research, I thought about our day, I worked out when and how we could fit in at least 30 minutes a day to teach him to read.
I become accredited in a program called Cracking the ABC Code. I could because I was a teacher.
As a teacher I believed it was the one program that incorporated all the best research and as a parent I believed the resources would make it manageable to implement within our crazy days.
One and a half years ago I became determined that as he grew up he would be able to make decisions about his future because they were choices he wanted, not choices based on his literacy levels.
One and a half years ago I started to teach him to read.
Two weeks ago he received his NAPLAN results. He was at the top end of Band 6……….yes band 6 is the highest band! He was so proud of himself and I was so excited for him.
I don’t think that NAPLAN is everything. It is a snapshot of one day and let’s face it we all know that we can have good days and bad days (just ask some of the Olympians), but for him it was a great way to see how far he had come.
Do you know what excites me the most though?
He now gets lost in the books he really wants to read. Over the last 6 months he has devoured the Deltora Quest Series, The Golden Door Trilogy and he is up to book three of The Apprentice’s Ranger. He is reading the books that he wants to read. That he finds exciting, that have story lines that intrigue him, that have characters that he likes and in his imagination wants to be.
I remember right at the start of this journey I read an article on the Yale’s Centre for Dyslexia and Creativity website about how behind every successful Dyslexic student there is a determined supportive parent. I look back over the last year and a half, at our journey, our highs and and lows, the times when we have laughed and cried and I absolutely 100% agree.
It is Mr 8’s one on one support at home that has created an environment for him to thrive. We recognised his Dyslexia, we openly talked to him about it, we involved him in the strategies we thought would help him, we helped to motivate him and we all worked as a team.
He will proudly tell you he is Dyslexic.
We are not finished, we will always be supporting him. Now we are targeting his spelling and writing. Teaching him to touch type and use apps that assist him such as decluttering web pages. These skills are what will assist him in secondary school. By the time he gets there they will be second nature. We monitor him closely (yes I keep a close eye on what is happening at school).
But for these two weeks we have been saying……………
HIP HIP HOORAY! And one day I am waiting for him to realise, as long as he is reading a book I won’t ask him to do anything……………….. (mmmmm a great way to get out of the dishes I think)
If you think your child might be Dyslexic or is just struggling with reading then stay tuned as over the next few months I am going to chat about helping your struggling reading. We are going to start at the start and talk about how you create a plan, how you chat to your child about it, motivate them, talk to the class teachers, what resources to use and fit it all into daily life.
While you are waiting for our first article to be posted why don’t you pop over to Yale’s Centre for Dyslexia and Creativity and browse through the articles. The researchers they work with are the best in the field and they have some fantastic “real articles” written by parents and students with Dyslexia.