I would like to say a special Happy Mother’s Day to mothers of Dyslexics everywhere. I am Dyslexic and have 3 grown Dyslexic children. Due to my frustration with the school system back in the 1980’s I became passionate about helping my kids and eventually others.
Today on a day that celebrates motherhood I would like to acknowledge how special these ladies are. I have been working with them and their children for years and one thing is seldom recognized. It takes guts to stand up for your child against a world determined to shut you down and allow your child to slip through the cracks. Few know how these mothers suffer and how difficult it is to fight for your child with schools, doctors, know-it-all family members and too often spouses who don’t want to face it.
These women spend an inordinate amount of time along with jobs and family responsibilities looking out for their Dyslexic children who are often misunderstood. They experience unrelenting anguish and fear for their children’s pain and future prospects. They are tortured by their kid’s self-esteem issues, failure in the classroom, embarrassment, not understanding why they are different from their classmates and sometimes thoughts of suicide.
These brave moms have to stand up to teachers, special needs teachers, principles, school psychologists and pediatricians to name a few who tell them they are crazy or at the least over-reacting to their child’s issues in the classroom. These school officials tell them they don’t need testing, don’t deserve accommodations and there is nothing offered to help them do better or at least catch up to their classmates. Dyslexics’ moms cry out, “Why won’t anyone listen! My wonderful, imaginative, intelligent and empathetic child is becoming someone I don’t recognize. My child is failing and no one will help.”.
Their child is termed a late developer, lazy, unfocused, uncooperative, depressed, maladjusted, confrontational, needy, angry, can’t follow rules or instructions, and on and on. People in authority suggest maybe their child has ADD/ADHD and needs Ritalin. (Check out what Jeffrey Freed who wrote “Right-Brained Children in a Left Brained World” says how many kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are actually Dyslexics) The teachers will tell them their child needs counseling to deal with their lack of fitting in a classroom or maybe they should take them out of school permanently.
Mothers of Dyslexics are told they are not working with their child enough, not reading to them enough and disciplining them enough. They are accused of molly-coddling too much and their expectations of performance for their child are too high or they are not accepting their responsibility to control their child’s behavior.
Many family members and spouses will have lots of advice. They criticize these moms as being inadequate parents and accuse them of lacking discipline. Often family will dismiss their concerns because they believe they are an over protective parent. These mothers become fearful of discussing their child’s problems with anyone and getting judged along with their child. I cannot tell you how many times moms will break down and cry because I will tell them they are an incredible mom by advocating for their child and believing something is wrong and needs to be addressed.
Dyslexia is still not recognized adequately in most western school systems and treated like an excuse for a child’s lack of performance in the classroom.
So moms of Dyslexia everywhere – I commend your dedication to your children and support your fight. As they say, “Dyslexics Untie!” Keep up the struggle. Your children will appreciate it forever and will benefit from what you win for them. You will teach them not to give up and how to advocate for themselves and probably for their own children in the future.
Lots of love and respect on this very special of special days.