Creativity for children

What a great initiative to re-start our children’s creativity!
Instead of plonking them in front of TV sets, computers or the X Box… create a cardboard box and have fun. If you miss the boat, meaning your children are too old, a great opportunity is missed and often it’s a battle to disconnect them from electronic devices. How can we compete with the graphics of an already made universe on screen, when there never was a link made to their internal creativity, imagination and innovation.

In all my clients I see a big difference between those who are connected to their devices and those who are connected to their internal brilliance. One feeds on the innovation of others who have created these games and the other becomes a creator of their own world.

How to Teach a Dyslexic Child

I just happened to come across this YouTube clip of Kelli teaching kids to read very much like we do. She obviously has done the Davis Dyslexia Correction Program and what she says does make sense.

Coincidentally I have been thinking along the same lines of re-arranging the order of trigger words when I wrote my book ‘Nurturing the Secret Garden’ (finished yesterday and still in the process of editing, getting the book cover done and the Davis permission).

The book is a workbook for parents to help support their child after a program. Often I have seen that the support is just hard to fit into people’s lives, but also hard for parents to know how to do it, where to start and how much to do every day.

It is based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous book ‘the Secret Garden’, which I have altered to cut out the Yorkshire dialect (very disorienting for a dyslexic reader – and probably any reader) and added in the trigger words prior to a short reading section from that book.

I will keep you posted when it will be out – hopefully in July 2014.

Every Child is Special – Aamir Khan movie

Having been to a fantastic Attention Mastery Workshop in Christchurch last week, I was introduced to this absolutely beautiful Indian film – it’s long and you’ll need the tissues ready, but so worth the watch. It’s in English from the original Indian version.

The young boy and his imaginary world are such a superb example of ADD, paired with Dyslexia, that any parent with a child that struggles in school will be able to relate – laugh and cry.

In the Davis world we call it ‘disorientation’ and you hardly ever see a better way of depicting its different varieties as in this movie.

Minecraft and Imagination

The past three young dyslexic clients I have worked with had a passion for ‘Minecraft’. I personally don’t know much about it but always regarded it as a creative and interactive game, harmless and fun. I am not so sure about that any more.

The clients (all boys, ages 8, 9 and 15) all have very poor literacy skills, especially writing and spelling ability. One of them read quite well, but with limited comprehension.

The 8-year old boy couldn’t visualise at all. He wasn’t able to imagine anything (or so he said) and was unable to perceive things on a tactile / kinaesthetic level. No matter the terms I used or how I tried to get a picture, any picture in his mind, I didn’t succeed. His answer surprised me: ‘Why would I imagine it? Everything exists on Minecraft already.’ His writing was very poor.

The 9-year old boy was a good reader, but very disoriented, angry and shows signs of Asperger’s. His outlet: Minecraft. It’s all he ever wants to do. There was little motivation to improve any area of literacy or his behaviour.

The 15-year old boy had motivation, mainly because he wanted to be able to correspond with other gamers and his lack of writing ability stopped him. Reading anything but Minecraft related literature was not desired. His reading and writing ability was seven years below age level. The program was able to reduce the gap. I became his scribe, writing down an essay about the things he wants to be able to write to other people on the game. Then he read the text I had written for him. Eventually we mastered the words he didn’t know or couldn’t spell in clay. Then it was time for him to write the same text. An interesting experience, but worth it. It worked!

Has anybody an experience about Minecraft and literacy?
I am sure it has no negative effect on children who don’t have literacy difficulties.

Dyslexia and Music

Do they mix? Shows creativity is a good way or the best way to learn anything – shapes, colours images and sounds – when you are dyslexic. It helps to remember things.

Dyspraxia

A dyspraxic girl, able to eloquently describe her path and the lack of help she had been getting. Interesting to hear that she thought Dyslexic kids get loads of help, while she had hardly any. I don’t believe in Australia, any dyslexic person would think that we are getting that level of support – unfortunately.

I have been working with a gorgeous boy who is Dyspraxic (one weekend a month). So far we have had two weekends and in the meantime his mum is doing a great job to continue the work at home. She wrote the following about his spelling:

“Thursday afternoon he comes back from school and tells me that he had only one mistake in all the words (before only 1 or 2 words correct, sometimes none). He forgot the s from swimming. I had given him the s and he found the other letters himself. He was very motivated to do the words again on Thursday night and I went happily along. You should have seen in what a speed he picked up the right letters and put them down with ease. It was like a machine…. so quick and with so much ease…He got all spelling words right at school for the first time in his life! ”

Additionally, we are looking at his focus and co-ordination, reading and maths:

“He joined in this morning to do the balls. Yesterday night we did three spelling words in clay and all his homework. In maths I used the clay as well. I can really see already an improvement in maths. Before everything was just a blur for him now he is starting to realise what it all means and you only did a small fraction of maths with him. He really wants to do maths with you over the next weekend.”

Dyslexic Video

Another insightful little Dyslexic clip that shows the major points I hear from my dyslexic students. It also shows that:
– Numeracy can very well be a part of Dyslexia
– Dyslexia is a hard word to pronounce, esp. if you are a Dyslexic
– Confidence or the lack of it is a major issue
– The creative talent shines through and once a creative niche is found, confidence soars
(or if the dyslexic is fortunate to correct his difficulties one way or another)
– School is just sooo tough for them – and through nobody’s fault, as they usually try so hard and so do the teachers. They just haven’t been taught how to help them.

It also highlights how lucky the world is to have dyslexic people who add so much flavour, fun, creativity, ‘insightfulness’ and humour to life.

Luckily there are ways to help them to get through school until they can shine.

Dyslexia Explained

Some people come up with simple, yet effective ways to explain Dyslexia for everyone to understand. This little YouTube clip was made by a parent of a Dyslexic in South Australia. Wonderful effort.