Monday, November 25, 2013

Dyslexia can rule your life.....if you let it.

As a mother of three boys, two which have a dyslexic diagnosis, I get frustrated with dyslexia.  After my first son was struggling in school, I had him tested.  Dyslexia showed its ugly face.  Actually, my older son was EXTRA lucky, he has TWO learning disabilities (what an overachiever!!!)  He also has Auditory Processing Disorder which is actually the part that tripped him up the most.  He did tons of work. He did fast forward and a year and half of tutoring to fill in those gaps that he hadn't processed correctly. 
Instead of letting this get him down, we chose to focus on what my son COULD do.  We chose to focus on his abilities instead of his disabilities.  I'm not going to lie, it was a rough ride between first and third grade.  But I also saw him blossom.  I saw him feel confident in what he COULD do!!!  We chose as parents to embrace our child as he was, get him all the help we could, and move forward.  Sometimes those were painfully small steps, and sometimes it was big giant celebrations!  I still remember the first time my son asked me to stop talking to him because he really wanted to finish reading his book!!!!!  I heard angels.....I'm pretty sure!!!  
When my oldest hit fourth grade, his teacher told me that she knew what he had, and obviously will always have, BUT....it no longer impacted him in the classroom.  That was a wonderful day.  It was my first conference at school that I walked out with my heart soaring!  
  My oldest son is now in seventh grade.   Is he cured?  Is he fixed?  No.  This is how he will always process information.  Is it better?  YES!!!!  Without a doubt!  But this is how his brain works.  Someone told me once, that kids with learning disabilities are like driving a car.  Some people take the direct road.  But kids with learning disabilities take the curvy path that is filled with hills and valleys.  Its not the wrong path, and some say it actually maybe more interesting!  They end up at the same spot...their journey is just more interesting! 
So why, after my second son's diagnosis am I once again, battling with the dyslexia monster?  Not my first rodeo, right???  Well, keep in mind, every child is different.  And as with every child, my sons dyslexia is different as well.  My middle son has the opposite form of dyslexia from my older son.  Is one easier than the other?  I wish the answer was yes.  But it isn't.  It is still your child, they are struggling, they are frustrated.  They may act out in school.  They may hate school, may seem unmotivated.  They may get in to trouble.  They may lack the ability or skill to advocate for themselves.  They may lack the ability to explain their actions.  They maybe two separate kids, the  aggravating kid at school and a wonderful version of themselves at home.  I once again have to remind myself that we have been on his horse before.  It is an old friend.  We know the ins and outs.  As parents, we have to be patient.  We have to let the tutoring work.  Take our time- slow steps make everything stick!!!  Small steps forward, sometimes painfully slow but progress is progress.   We have to advocate for our kids.  We have to keep trying.  Time and time again, we have to fight for our kids.  We have to keep trying, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!!  It does work!!  It can be tamed.  It can be won. Dyslexia doesn't need to win or rule our lives.  It will always be a piece of us.  We always will have dyslexic kids.  But they are our kids.  We will continue to celebrate their spirit, their wonderful talents. 
Are my kids different?  Yes.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  

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