From the Beginning
I am the mother to a 8 year old boy with Dyslexia. I had seen Michael's father deal with his Dyslexia when I met him in college, but I did not and could not really understand what having dyslexia meant. From my perspective, his father was a great student and seemed to study less than me and do equally well, if not better. For every 2 pages of notes I took in class, he had 2 sentences and he still came away knowing more about the subject. So from my point of view, it may have taken him longer to read the material and his penmanship was horrific, but it did not affect his grades, so it was minor. What I did not know then, but I am experiencing now, are all the twists and turns, detours and pit stops my son will make on his own road to success.
When Michael was in kindergarten we knew he was dyslexic. We had been on watch since birth and suspected it by the age of 4. Before first grade, we didn't have the academic evidence to back up our hunch. Even the kindergarten teacher did not notice anything unusual. But everything about Michael was different from our other children. He started talking at 2 1/2 years old when he could speak in sentences. He was always tired, he would hold his fork oddly, he had trouble with multi-step directions, and he would forget the name of common items. I remember one day he wanted another Go-Gurt for lunch but, he could not think of its name, so he asked, "Mom can I have another one of those long, cold, blue, tuby things from the refrigerator?" I sat there for a moment trying to decode his request. Finally, I figured it out as I looked into the refrigerator. One of Michael's main areas of struggle is communication. It's a challenge for him to come up with the words he wants to say or to answer a question in a seemingly logical way. Instead of telling you that A, B, C and D happened. Michael will just jump from A to D without explaining how he got there. Eventually, if you asked the right questions you would see that he was correct or at least logical. But if you did not ask those questions, you would think he was way out in left field.
It was these initial issues and a need for answers that drove me to countless hours of research to familiarize myself on the subject, countless hours trying to "diagnose" or at least to categorize Michael, and countless more hours trying to figure out a solution. In my journey I found so many insights into my son; how he thinks, how he learns, and what it means for my son to be dyslexic. But along the way, we have had failures, roadbumps and a few tears (mostly mine). So this blog is dedicated to sharing those experiences. The good, the bad, the successes and failures of our everyday life dealing with Dyslexia. I will share the "tricks" we have come up with to deal with certain situations and the things we have tried that did not work for us. It is my hope that you may find something in this blog that will help your child or a child you know. Please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have.