Talking to Your Child's Teacher About Dyslexia (OH MY!)
January 22, 2014
First of all, we attended the premier showing of Disleksia: The Movie this past week, and wow was it great! It is a film all about producer Harvey Hubble’s experience growing up dyslexic in our school system, how our brains learn, and some famous celebrityies and their experience being dyslexic. As soon as it comes out on video, we will let you know, because it really is a must see. We posted the trailer here as well. Take a look. Thanks Harvey!
A parent asked a great question that applies to basically every parent who has a child that is dyslexic. She asked, “How do I talk to my child’s teacher without offending them?" You want your child’s teacher to understand dyslexia so that he or she can teach to your child’s strengths, not weaknesses. But constructive criticism or suggestions don’t always come with a happy face.
So here’s what you do:
Bring brownies, cookies, cupcakes, their favorite Starbucks drink, etc. This is what we call “Killing them with kindness!” (Per Harvey Hubble) This small gesture tells them that you are not one of “those” parents that they try to avoid throughout the year.
Explain to your child’s teacher that you son/daughter is in fact dyslexic. Simply say something casual like, “What’s crazy is that I didn’t even know what dyslexia was before we found out!” This levels the playing field. Most people don’t understand, which is why you are reading this so you can help more become aware of what dyslexia is.
Finally, show them the science. The International Dyslexia Association has published a small document that explains dyslexia in the classroom, which they happen to title “Dyslexia In the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know.” Clever, clever. Here’s what this document covers:
What is dyslexia
Signs and symptoms of dyslexia
Social and emotional connection
Classroom strategies, tips, and tools
Multisensory structure language teaching
Screening, Evaluation, and Diagnosis
Additional Resources and Reading
Urge them to read “Overcoming Dyslexia” by Sally Shaywitz or “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan” by Ben Foss.
Simple as that. Be a resource for our teachers! They are here to help your child, but you need to give them the tools to do so. And remember to be pleasant! Because if you are not pleasant, as a parent, the only person a teacher is going to take it out on is your son or daughter. Fair? No. True? Yes!