Our Dyslexia Story: My First Teaching Plan

The reading specialist who tested my daughter told us that we needed to start back to the basics. When I say basics, I mean back to the ABCs. For a second grader that may feel demeaning and babyish. The reading specialist, knowing going back that far could appear babyish, said to think of ways to do it without affecting her self esteem. Children with dyslexia take longer to learn certain aspects of reading which causes them to have to use materials a few grades below their grade. The children often feel “stupid” having to do work that far below what they believe they are expected to know. My daughter has already expressed extreme boredom from doing the alphabet. She knows the letters but due to rote memory issues will often miss a letter or two saying the alphabet or forget how to write a letter. The only way to get past this hurdle is practice, practice, practice.

My temporary solution is to use her creative abilities. She is very artistic so we will make letters out of Play Doh, make letters into a word associated, color letters, and so forth. We will make letter collages and make letter art. She loved gluing buttons all over a large cut out of the letter B. She also loved making letters into living personalities as she drew letters with faces, arms and legs and had them skating down a street. She did that all on her own. This kept her mind focused on letters while not feeling like she was doing baby work.

Another avenue I will employ is the power of the little sister. I recognize that this will backfire at some point but there is no way to stop a child from learning. What I mean by that, is my three year old will benefit greatly by being taught letters and sounds by her seven year old sister. It will make my seven year old feel good to teach her little sister while reinforcing the lessons in her own mind. However, my three year old is very quick and as if right now shows no signs of a learning disability. Granted, three may be a bit young to diagnosis but looking back I see the signs in my other daughter. The problem will arise when my younger child will learn at a faster rate and read faster then my seven year old. This problem may not occur for a few years but it at some point it will. In the end, that is just life and life is not fair. I will be sure to encourage my older daughter in all her talents but I cannot prevent my younger daughter from achieving at the same time. It is a balance and it will be a tough one. But in fairness to both one must be achieved. In the meantime we are at a good start in remediation for my dyslexic daughter.