Posted by: minnow | February 1, 2008

Dyslexia Part 2

WHY DO I CARE AND WHAT ARE MY CREDENTIALS:

I have a BA in English and a secondary teaching certificate.  I have taught (and subbed) in public schools and I have home schooled (K-8, 12).

I care because I have four Dyslexic children. Two are only mildly Dyslexic and one is severely Dyslexic. We home schooled the oldest up to high school, the next to the eighth grade (and currently for his senior year in high school), the next to the fifth grade, and the last to the third grade. The two older ones were the mildly Dyslexic children and pulled off average grades in public school. The third one is our severely Dyslexic child. And, the last one is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

When we put our third oldest in public school he was immediately tested. (The principal was ready to bring us up on neglect of education charges). His younger sister was also tested and although not as seriously Dyslexic as her brother was found to be serious enough to warrant resource room help. The school psychologist began his evaluation of our son by stating that it was obvious his education had not been neglected. At the same time it was also obvious he was profoundly Dyslexic. He went on to say that our son’s lower level reading skills–encoding and decoding–were basically non-existent but that his higher level reading skills–vocabulary, inference, comprehension, predicting outcome–were off the chart in the opposite direction. He actually ran out of testing material. The tester also noted that our son had almost no signs of low self-esteem, yet had a vivid imagination, and a wide range of interests about which he was quite knowledgeable. He was one of the most engaging and polite children the psychologist had ever tested and one of the least negatively affected by his disability.

What had we done in home school? The first thing we did well was to not let his not reading decide what else he would learn. I read aloud to my children all the time. We watched nature and history videos. They listened to books on tape. And, we played. The children built forts in the back yard, acted out scenes from the books we read, and made up their own adventures. They cooked, created art projects, and did other things with their hands. Our education program was not dependant on the written word so their Dyslexia, for the most part, went unnoticed. The end results were smart children who loved to learn and liked themselves. That is until we hit public school.

I will post this portion of my discussion of Dyslexia, return to some documented facts in my next piece, and conclude with more of our personal experience trying to navigate the public schools in a fourth blog.

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Responses

  1. […] Minnowspeaks Weblog created an interesting post today on Dyslexia Part 2Here’s a short outline […]

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