As parents, we are full of plans and expectations for our children. Naturally, we hope they will grow up to be strong, happy, independent adults. Many of us have expectations that our children will be “successful,” with our own individual definition of this concept. And there are those of us who have expectations that may be unrealistic and difficult to live up to.
Imagine that you are a college-educated professional who found school relatively easy and thrived in an academic environment. You quite naturally believed that your children would follow in your scholarly footsteps. You probably read by age four or five, had beautiful handwriting, and loved to go to school every day.
Then along comes your child. This child finds school a frightening place, full of tasks far too difficult to complete. Your child finds every excuse to avoid school and homework, claiming all manner of feigned illnesses which seem to go away the moment you call the school to say your child is ill.
Difficult to understand? Yes, unless you discover that your child is dyslexic. By educating yourself about the strengths and weaknesses of your child’s learning profile, you will begin to understand why your little one avoids school and homework. And since you want all good things for your child, you will seek out the help and intervention he or she needs. That help can take many forms, from a specialized school for dyslexics to individual tutoring. You may find that your child’s teacher is aware of resources to help, or you may need to do your own research by reaching out to your local branch of the International Dyslexia Association or the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
Armed with information, you will be prepared to look at your child’s path through school with fresh eyes. Even with remediation, your child will always be dyslexic and likely will read slower and find spelling more difficult than his or her peers. But remember those early expectations? With help, your child can be every bit as successful as you had hoped. Will your child need to work harder for that success? Yes. The good news is that dyslexics develop an incredible amount of grit, which will help them become successful upon graduation from school. That grit and determination will make them the sort of employee/physician/lawyer/entrepreneur that will make you proud.
So go ahead and keep those high expectations. People usually rise to the lowest level of expectations, so make sure you let your child know to reach for the sky. With your support, faith, and encouragement, he or she will do just that.