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How does having a dyslexic child make you feel as a parent?

As a parent our 'emotional buttons' are always being pressed as we support our children growing up.
However, there are times when our emotions get in the way of doing our job of supporting our children and a real pertinent time is when our children get a diagnosis of dyslexia.
This blog explores this whole subject and gives an insight on how we can support our children more meaningfully by keeping our emotions in check.

So picture this, a 12 year old child has had some issues at school. She is struggling to read and write as quickly as her peers and finds it hard to take in some of the information that is being given to her in class.  Some of the child's peers have noticed and make it clear that they have noticed and the child is experiencing some frustration from the teacher.
Eventually, that child undergoes an assessment and the assessment reports that the child has dyslexia, has some working memory issues and that their literacy ability is compromised even though they are obviously smart.
The diagnosis is a big deal for the child.  What does dyslexia mean?  How does this affect the child.  Does this mean that there is something wrong?

The parents are naturally protective of their child, they are having heated discussions with the school about support and they are keen to tell the child that there is nothing wrong with them and not to be upset because they are really clever.

The child however is not hearing what the parents are saying.  The child is dealing with an emotional bombshell and needs to process what it means for them.  Does the label mean that they will stand out more at school and will peers start laughing at them?  The child doesn't know how to express what they are feeling, but they REALLY ARE feeling something and yet the parents don't seem to be listening to the child. They are busy putting into place what they think that the child needs.....

When my daughter was diagnosed there were three things going on for me...

1) I wanted to care for my daughter and give her what she needed.

2) I wanted to use the report to get the school to provide the right support and I was prepared to fight for it if necessary.

3) Strangely, some of that report resonated with me personally.  It made me wonder if I had dyslexia, I certainly recognised some of the 'symptoms' that my daughter was experiencing in myself.

I found that whilst the assessment report answered some questions about my daughter's challenges at school, it actually caused some confusion in my own mind. It produced a mixture of emotions about my daughter, myself and any possible confrontation with the school.

Our kids need us to listen to them and I found that initially my mix of thoughts and emotions compromised that a little.  I needed to take a step back and be able to categorise what emotion came from where and not allow them to distract me from listening to my child.

If we can achieve in putting a little distance between ourselves and our emotions then we have an opportunity to see what is going on around our children in reality and have space to be present for them for when they do need to talk.

I am building up a supportive group for parents of children with dyslexia, looking at aspects of parenting children with special educational needs.  I would love you to join us.  Simply subscribe below and I will send you the link to the Facebook group.

Parenting Dyslexia With John Hicks

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