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Thoughts about children with dyslexia and self esteem.



In this blog post I summarise conversations and my thoughts about dyslexia and self esteem.

This week I had the enormous pleasure of meeting with a number of people where the subject of dyslexia and literacy came up frequently.

On Monday I met with a bunch of year 10 and 11 students to explore the challenges of how special educational needs can get in the way of studying and how software can be used to help with that.

I was struck by how difficult it can be as a teenager to talk about these challenges when the pressure to succeed at school is so strong from peers and the education system.
I felt privileged that the young people I spoke with felt able to share a little about what was happening with them and to give them an opportunity to express what they thought could be useful to them in supporting their learning.  I was also so impressed with the teaching staff in this particular secondary school who are doing everything that they can to engage these young people.

The video below shows the software that I was exploring that helps young students to proof read their written work before they hand it in.

Find out more at www.sprintplus.co.uk.

Later in the week I attended a seminar about Autism and Dyslexia in the workplace.  I was absolutely blown away by the personal story of Carol Fowler, disability consultant, who herself has Aspergers and Dyslexia.  She presented an interesting talk about how these conditions interplayed with each other and how that affected the way that she works and what employers in the past have done to help.
I was extremely impressed by her ability to self advocate and get the changes needed in place to help her to be extremely successful, not only personally but for the organisations that she has worked with.

I want to thank Elisabeth Goodman from RiverRhee Consulting for setting the meeting up and inviting human resource managers from the local science companies (well I do live in Cambridge!).

Then if that wasn't enough, I was visiting my osteopath and during a vigorous (and slightly uncomfortable) massage, my osteopath started talking about her husband and his dyslexia journey and how he struggles to talk about it and seeks to find his own strategies to get by without intervention.  I got the sense that for some people, having dyslexia is an enormously private affair and that they are reluctant to get support because of how they may look to others when they really do risk missing out on reaching their potential, well at least for some.

This week only reinforced to me how important it is as parents to empower our children to not be ashamed of their challenges, embrace their potential and to self advocate when then need help.  The earlier in life that they can do this the stronger and more successful they will be in later life as they are given the tools to develop themselves into self assured and well rounded individuals.
It also struck me how important it is that BOTH parents engage in their child's dyslexia, even if it is emotionally difficult for them due to their own experiences (it is mostly genetic after all), it not only supports the child, but in sharing in this process might well help the parent to make changes now that could really help them as they continue with their own personal dyslexia journey.

Thanks for listening!

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