It was very exciting to actually get this question asked by a teacher.
Usually mothers ask this question and they want a teacher to support their child – and ask me how to explain their child’s needs to their teacher.
Answering that question is actually tricky. Most teachers will be confronted by a child, whose dyslexia has not been corrected. Therefore I have aimed to focus on the most important aspect of support for these children: understanding how they think and how they learn.
If a child had done a program that is not involving sounding out (like a Davis Dyslexia Correction Program) or finished the Focus First Online Program – http://www.focusfirst.org/literacy, there are more things a teacher could do to help, e.g. how to help the child to regain their focus; how to read without sounding out, how to fully comprehend and how to remember what they have read.
On the video I am actually addressing what is fundamental for teachers to know:
These children are not slow, less intelligent, lazy, broken or disabled. These are not attributes they may voice, but suspicions a teacher may be harbouring.
Nothing could be further from the truth:
- Dyslexic children are highly intelligent, but would be finding it harder to be focused for prolonged periods of time.
- Dyslexic children will present as creative and intuitive, but may struggle to reign in their creative mind on a task at hand
- Dyslexic children may come up with phantastic stories, but struggle to express them in writing, without going off on tangents
- Dyslexic children will be challenged spellers, being able to spell words one day, but not a week later
- Dyslexic children may have a wonderful sense of humour, excelling in art and/or sport
Believing in their abilities, strengths and intelligence is the first step.
I love Goethe’s poem on self-responsibility, that ends with these two sentence:
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse
If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.