How do Dyslexics go from having a Learning Difference to a Learning Disability

When I talk to parents with children who they suspect have Dyslexia I generally hear the same story. Problems with letters, numbers, counting and words when they were four or five. They couldn’t print well but often very artistic especially for their age. Sometimes they started talking later than other children and had speech difficulties such as lisps, mispronunciation of words more than other children, couldn’t remember simple words so would say “thing-a-ma-jig”, “whatcha-ma-callit” or use the wrong word. But they were also intelligent and quick learners with other skills and knowledge such as building things with legos, athletics, art projects, singing, dancing, telling stories, remembering events or movies in extensive detail or making observations about things that is way beyond their years. They loved to learn, asked endless questions about everything and were excited about going to school.

When they enter school they continue to have problems with letters, phonics, words, numbers, arithmetic, and other linear sequential skills such as memorizing the alphabet or counting in the right order. They also have difficulties with instructions so they don’t always understand what the teacher wants. As each year passes there is less and less emphasis on singing, dancing, drawing, painting, making things and physically demonstrating all new concepts. Their excitement to be in school begins to dissolve and is replaced with frustration, confusion, fear, anger, sadness and physical distress such as headaches, stomach aches and throwing up. Their self-esteem drops and they begin to doubt themselves.

Teachers become frustrated with them not understanding what they need and their classmates start to tease them because they can’t spell or read and they print poorly.  Right brain dominant children ask the same questions over and over and when they read out loud they can take forever, mispronounce everything, and can’t sound the words out.

School becomes a scary place and they will often feign sickness to stay home. Some children will have anxiety attacks at the mere thought of going to school.

As each grade passes, their problems and anxiety deepen. Dyslexics as right brain dominant thinkers are generally very empathetic and intuitive so they become keenly aware of the distress and fear their parents are feeling for them and  the frustration or outright hostility their teachers and classmates are expressing towards them in the classroom. They get farther and farther behind the class, convinced they are stupid and eventually shut down when learning things in class they are really good at such as science, math, building things or making up a story orally.

By grade four or five their learning difference has become a learning disability and these students are can be experiencing depression and other psychological issues.  I have had several parents tell me their children were saying they wanted to kill themselves when they were in the third or fourth grade.   Junior and high school is a nightmare as the school work becomes more difficult and demanding and they don’t have the ability to read a lot of  books for their school subjects. Less and less of their schooling uses concrete real examples – the emphasis is on abstract learning and requires students to do endless worksheets, written tests, reports and essays. Little of their schoolwork requires or allows a physical demonstration of the subject (3 dimensional structures, posters, drawings, play, dance or videos),  to show understanding and knowledge – mostly writing.  Eventually these students become a large percentage of our school’s dropouts.

So can this picture be different for a Dyslexic student? Of course it can. Let’s rewind this story back to the beginning.

  • When our right brain student enters the school system the school tests them and other children  for reading readiness.  Some children, especially Dyslexics are not mature or developed enough for reading in kindergarten or grade one. When children are significantly younger than other students in their grade, a difference of six months or more in age is enough to severely affect a child being able to keep up with the class.
  • Then determine the students who learn letters, phonics, words, numbers and sequences easily (word to image thinkers or left brain dominant) from the visual students. Visual or right brain dominant thinkers are image to word thinkers. They need to learn in whole complete and concrete concepts (images)and connect them to words. Complete understanding of letters, words and numbers comes more slowly for them.

These students are then broken into classrooms that teach to these two very different groups of learners  –  classes for strong left brain learners and right brain learners. Multi-sensory, hands on physical demonstration style teaching would be high priority in both classes but mandatory for all subjects for the right brainers throughout their school years.

The right brain/dyslexic students would be given more time to learn how to spell and read utilizing teaching methods appropriate for right brain learners such as colour to learn letters, numbers and arithmetic and making letters and numbers with modelling clay
(Ron Davis – The Gift of Dyslexia).

There would be emphasis on starting with sight reading and syllables (word families) which right brain dominant students learn more easily at the beginning.

Teachers would  encourage these students to ask their questions and use stories and pictures to explain everything. They would respect their need to not just learn information in a rote manner such as the steps to solving a division problem but would prioritize making a concept real by demonstrating what division is (subtracting in groups as opposed to multiplication which is adding in groups). This can be done with groups of candy, objects, pies, etc) so they understand what division is before doing the steps. This gives the big picture and meaning behind division.

Special attention would be paid to giving extensive practice learning to print to help address Dysgraphia, a common issue for Dyslexics, screening to see if they have Irlen Syndrome (distablized text) and learning style (auditory, kinesthetic or visual). Once these issues are determined then accommodations would be put in place.

Computers would be given them in the early grades with the use of the many programs available that would help them with their schoolwork. Some teachers will say this is unfair to other students in a class who don’t have a computer. If the Dyslexic student is not able to complete school work in the same fashion as other students who don’t have problems with reading and writing then the Dyslexic student is simply “leveling the playing field”.

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There are many different ways to make a right brain dominant and Dyslexic student’s school experience successful and exciting to prepare them for their future.

For more ideas I have provided some links:
Dyslexia Victoria Online
http://www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com

Gifted Children (Visual Spatial Learners)
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual_Spatial_Learner/vsl.htm

4D program in New Zealand
http://www.4d.org.nz/school/

Neil MacKay (noted Dyslexia expert)
http://www.actiondyslexia.co.uk/

Chat with Sally Shaywitz (another Dyslexia specialist)
http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/LD-ADHD/859-overcoming-dyslexia-a-chat.gs?page=1#2

British Dyslexia Association
http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/

Also you might want to check out the page on our website about suggested books to read:
http://www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com/otbowere.html

And our blog is:
https://dyslexiavictoria.wordpress.com/
You can sign up to receive new blog entries on the left side of the main page of the blog at the top where it says “Email Subscription Rants and Raves from the Right Side”

Cheers!
Karey Hope deGraaf
Dyslexia Victoria Online Co-founder
Karey Hope deGraaf of Dyslexia Victoria Online

Helping Dyslexics do their Homework

School is starting and for parents of Dyslexic students all the worries for their children’s education become a daily concern again. Homework is always a big one.

Dyslexic children use more areas of the brain to process language tasks than the average reader therefore they expend more energy – 5 times more! 

“…according to a new study by an interdisciplinary team of University of Washington researchers…to explore the metabolic brain activity of six dyslexic and seven non-dyslexic boys during oral language tasks..
~The dyslexics were using 4.6 times as much area of the brain to do the same language task as the controls,” said Richards, a professor of radiology. “This means their brains were working a lot harder and using more energy than the normal children.”~  ScienceDaily (Oct. 6, 1999)

So when a Dyslexic child comes home from school the last thing they want to do is homework. They are mentally and physically exhausted from 5 times the exertion as a other students, frustrated with not understanding what they are learning and humiliated by impatient teachers and cruel classmates. If they have Irlen Syndrome which is common with Dyslexics (see info on our website: Irlen Syndrome and Dyslexia – Dyslexia Victoria Online) they can be further drained  experiencing stomach and head aches, dizziness, irritated eyes and other physical ailments of Irlen. Dyslexics can also experience a lot of discomfort from sitting in a desk all day and other issues that torment Dyslexics.

Parents of Dyslexic students will often set up a homework environment that they believe will help their child focus on their homework. Their good intentions however can actually make it more difficult for their child to get their homework done. Some considerations to think about to create a “dyslexia friendly” atmosphere:

        • Let them have a break before starting homework after school – exercise is a great relaxer and way to de-stress rather than sitting down in front of the TV. They could ride a bike, go for a walk, play some kind of sport, play with their friends, etc. before settling down to their homework. The break can work wonders.
        • Give them a protein snack after school to give them energy – protein bar or drink, raw nuts, peanut butter crackers, boiled eggs for example. No sugar as it can make them over-stimulated and then they crash when the sugar wears off.
        • Make sure they have all their homework. Dyslexics tend to have difficulty organizing themselves. They will forget to bring their homework home. Ask the teacher if they could have a handout with the assignments listed and remind the student before school is out to gather their work to take home. Dyslexics often forget even with the best of intentions. This is not deliberate or lazy.
        • Make an arrangement with the teacher to let you know about big projects and their dates for completion. Dyslexics often have a terrible time keeping this information together also. My Dyslexic son had great difficulty remembering his homework. The teachers and I tried everything. Finally I got one teacher to communicate with my son’s other teachers and send home a list of all his homework for me. It worked and eventually as he grew up he got better at organizing his work. Of course this was a very thoughtful teacher. Teachers generally don’t have time for helping a student this way but it can’t hurt to try to get cooperation.
        • Help them with a list of what they have to do. Remind them what to do next. As I mentioned before – organization is tough for Dyslexics and needs to be understood, tolerated and supported. Write the list on a whiteboard or big piece of paper.
        • Create star charts for homework assignments, chores and tasks that need to be done such as getting ready for school. Rewards for completing these charts is a great incentive for a reluctant, disorganized child. You can even take photos of them doing the chore or task and adding them to the poster. A picture is always “worth a thousand words” – which is the Dyslexic way. Here are a couple of examples – one you can purchase from amazon – the other is a free download.

Homework Chart

          • Another reason to have the teacher make a homework handout for the Dyslexic student is they often cannot copy notes from the whiteboard easily and cannot get it all written down.
          • Establish their learning style (auditory, visual or kinesthetic). Everyone generally has a dominant sense for learning and processing new information but Dyslexics especially respond well to teaching approaches and environments that take their best learning sense into consideration.
          • A multi-sensory teaching program strongly based on physical  hands-on demonstrations for all lessons is effective for all children  but especially Dyslexics. They think in images first and then words therefore they need a concrete example of what they are learning to understand and process new information.  They do not learn sequential step by step methods easily if at all so everything should make sense to them first.                                                                  If they are visual learners you also want to use movies, posters, painting, drawing, etc. Auditory students like to be read to along with a demonstration and kinesthetics do best using movement.
          • To go along with learning style consider the physical environment.
            • Do they need the room dead quiet or music, TV or white noise (beach or jungle noises for example)? A set of headphones with the right background music or white noise works great at home or school. I have parents get teachers permission for this accommodation and usually they get their approval.
            • Do they need no one including animals in the room or do they prefer the activity?
            • Do they need to stand a lot, walk around and work on a white board or lay down and roll around on the floor while doing their school work?
            • Do they need something in their hand(s) like a worry ball or  playdoh? Some kids do well with tossing beanbags around while practicing spelling words or facts for tests.
            • Keep their working area clear of objects. Dyslexics tend to get distracted by stuff on the table or desk they are working on.

The way to determine what the best working environment is talking to your child about what feels right for them and observe when they are on task and when they are not. Everybody learns differently so the conditions that compliments their thinking style is going to be much more beneficial than just sitting at a table in total quiet – unless of course that works for your child.

I often work with a Dyslexic students moving or playing with objects in their hands. The parent wants them to stop. The student however will be understanding and remembering everything we are talking about. The parent  generally says they have noticed that despite this behavior their child has been learning in the past. The parent thought however they should be sitting at a table or desk and still.

Think about your own situation when learning, concentrating or doing work – what is your best scenario? I bet it is different from other family members.

If you have found any great ideas for doing homework with a Dyslexic child, let me know. Much of what we have learned about Dyslexics is not just from the experts but from adult Dyslexics, parents of Dyslexics and of course Dyslexic children. Dyslexics are after all incredible problem solvers and always have amazing solutions or observations.

Cheers!
Karey Hope
Founder of Dyslexia Victoria Online

“WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?” Dyslexia Victoria Online is introducing videos on Dyslexia Awareness, Teaching, Accommodations & Resources

We are introducing a series of videos about Dyslexia awareness, teaching and learning strategies, accommodations, computer programs and resources for children and adults. If you are interested please email us at: khope@dyslexiavictoria.ca”.

We are also planning to have some webinars and involve people in the discussion portions of the webcast.
We welcome you to join us!

Cheers! Happy New Year!
Co-founder of Dyslexia Victoria Online

Dyslexic Children have Difficulties with Instructions

I had an interesting chat with a mother about her son and her belief that he might be Dyslexic. During our conversation she talked about his difficulties with instructions in his classroom.

One situation she mentioned was a classic example of a Dyslexic child misunderstanding instructions.  The child’s teacher wanted the grade one students to draw a picture of themselves. Our mother’s son drew a picture of the student sitting beside him. The teacher was upset with him and said he didn’t listen to her instructions to draw a picture of himself. The boy said the teacher had told them to “draw what they see” in reference to a self-portrait. Dyslexics can be very literal, especially when instructions are not clear and he followed her incomplete instructions “literally” because he had no other context, experience or information to follow. She was  confused by his answer – he said he “drew what he could see” which was the boy next to him; he obviously couldn’t draw himself because he couldn’t “see himself”.

The teacher’s instructions were very abstract, incomplete and conflicting for a grade one Dyslexic child. On one hand she is saying to draw a self portrait (“what is a self-portrait?” the child is probably wondering) and then she says “draw what you see” while talking about drawing pictures of themselves.  The only context he can connect to at this point is drawing pictures of people. She might have said “draw a picture of yourself as you think you look” and then this Dyslexic grade one student would know exactly what she meant.

The teacher’s use of the word “self-portrait” is abstract and then adding the idea of “draw a picture of how you see yourself” or “draw what you see” is above the development of an average six year old’s mind. Most of the children would probably respond to the part of the teacher’s instructions about drawing a picture of themselves but not focus on “self-portrait”  or “draw what you see” because they wouldn’t understand those “big picture” concepts.  Left brain dominant learners are more logical and sequential and will focus on the details they understand and can follow which would be a picture of themselves.  The Dyslexic child is a deep complex thinker however, thinking in the “big picture” and trying to follow her overall concept and its meaning.  This will probably be difficult because it deals with understanding what a psychological view of oneself is. This idea would be above the level of most six year old children. Dyslexics are always looking for the context and deeper meaning in instructions and these children can often see several possibilities. So he might not understand a “self-portrait” and ” draw what you see” in regards to how he sees himself visually or psychologically. He would more likely focus on the only “big picture” idea he could comprehend in the teacher’s directions which would be “draw what you see” in reference to a portrait or picture of a person and that would sensibly be his neighbour.

Another example of a Dyslexic child following directions literally was a seven year old boy we assessed.  We asked him to copy over a dotted letter and he started to trace the dots but not tracing the letter. He “literally” did what we asked.  Then we made our directions more clear and showed him what we wanted.

So if you find your Dyslexic child does not understand what you are saying or asking then maybe you could try to be more complete and clear with your words or ask the child what they think you meant so you can correct what they have confused. I believe practice of this type of clarity with words will help to avoid misunderstanding that can be beneficial in any situation with anyone.

Cheers!
Karey Hope
Founder of Dyslexia Victoria Online

Blog, Web Changes, Book Recommendations and Distance Learning Courses – May 9, 2010

Hi, Howie deGraaf here.

By the time you read this,the old website should be gone and you can visit the new website. Karey Hope and I created the old site. It worked okay but we are not, in any way, website designers. Back in 2005 we figured the most efficient way to get people to learn about how we see the best way to approach Dyslexia Awareness and the best way to teach Dyslexics was to get onto the Internet. So we went online and got some advice and gave it a try. The old one worked but it was getting too complicated, the basis of it was formed by three people  (Karey, Andrew DuToit, a programmer by trade,  and myself).

The original co-founders of Dyslexia Victoria Online are Karey Hope and her mother Jan Turner. With three people designing that website, the focus of it was a little too broad. There were too many categories and it really was a little difficult to navigate. Last summer Jan officially retired due to a series of health issues. Since then Karey and I have made some significant changes to the website and the business. We are  using the website less for teaching and more for communicating with people. We hope to use the website to help get people going in  the right direction.

One of the newest products we offer is a pair of distance learning courses.“Course One – How the Right Brain Learns and Thinks” includes teaching aids, a study guide and workbook that teaches the individual how to understand Dyslexia as a Learning Difference and how to teach to it. The next course “Course Two – How to Assess and Evaluate the Dyslexic Student” includes instructions on how to assess for Dyslexic issues, and by using the instructions, how teach to these issues.

By the end of this year we should also have re-written the original books as well. The information in the books is going to be the same but we are adding many new concepts and teaching strategies. We are also making some formatting changes. Some of the language will be updated and we have found lots of images we want to put into them as well to demonstrate the teaching methods. We discovered the effectiveness of these images as we began to put more of them into our assessment reports,  presentations and workshops.

Our assessments have been going extremely well and very soon, perhaps in a month, there will a new testimonial section on the website with comments from the parents of the children we have created specialized teaching programs for.

One parent recently mentioned summer is rapidly approaching and she thought we should prepare for it by creating something special for parents who are helping children get ready for the new school year during the summer break. We hadn’t thought about the summer months as being any different from the rest of the year but really the summer can be a terrific opportunity for children to prepare for the upcoming school year. This parent said that most of the recommendations, that are the basis for the specialized teaching programs we make for the student, are actually just little bits of practice of specific skills but done on a consistent basis. With that in mind Karey and I have made a couple of special offers for parents for the summer. The assessments are going to include a couple of our books as well as some practice exercises that can be done completely independently from school work. I am offering sales on our books as well.

To help you learn more about our theory and perception of Dyslexia we are offering a 2 for 1 sale on two of our E-books from May 15th till the end of the summer:  “Dyslexia or Being Right Brained” and is a great to use as a primer guide on how we handle teaching to Dyslexia. Largely it explains why we don’t consider Dyslexia as a Learning Disability but rather simply a Learning Difference. The second book“Teaching the Dyslexic Student: Spelling and Reading” discusses Dyslexia Spelling and Language Arts issues and teaching strategies including why understanding Learning Styles is especially important when teaching a Dyslexic individual. It also contains the “The Spelling Notebook” which is a tool for helping Dyslexic students record spelling words they are having difficulty with. One of the big changes we are making to this book, in the reformatting later this year, is the addition of “The Fourteen Steps to Teaching  Dyslexics to Spell and Reading”. This mini manual has been extremely successful in helping Dyslexic students with spelling and reading. Parents and teachers have been contacting us to say that the results of using these teaching strategies have been rapid, often with results in less that a week. To anyone ordering the e-book “Teaching the Dyslexic Student: Spelling and Reading” we will include the download of the “The Fourteen Steps to Teaching Dyslexics to Spell and Read”.

So if you are thinking about helping your Dyslexic child get a head start on the next school year perhaps starting by using the two books I have mentioned would be a part of that plan.

Dyslexia or Being Right-brained E-book and Teaching the Dyslexic Student: Spelling and ReadingOrder both books today with our summer program!

Good luck and hope you have a great summer.

Howie deGraaf
Editor Dyslexia Victoria Online
Howie deGraaf - Dyslexia Victoria Online

The RAD Prism Glasses for Dyslexics

Hi everybody, I just read an interesting bit of information about a solution for stabilizing text on a page. It involves a special set of lenses you read through. There are lots of ideas out there to help manage the many issues that arise from being Dyslexic and I recommend you look at this one.

The website is www.readfluent.com and it tells about a study Dr Robert Dahlem is doing to establish the effectiveness of his patented devise, the RAD Prism glasses. His explanation of why this devise works is very simple, that light is not coming into each of the eyes in the same manner with individuals with trouble reading. The “glasses” alter the way the light comes into the right eye and apparently this allows both eyes to read the text on the page in the same manner. According to the 300 participants so far these glasses work extremely well.

We are always happy to let our loyal readers in on new systems and methods out there that help with Dyslexic issues. Even though this new invention is in its early stages of development we think it looks valuable to many people. I do have a couple of things I would like to address about the website and the doctors definition of Dyslexia.

One of the links at the website I noted above is “Get the RAD Prism”. There they list a series of common symptoms of Dyslexia. Yes those are some symptoms of Dyslexia but not really the most common ones. They are the symptoms that most people hear about when they talk about Dyslexia and they are also seen by teachers and parents most often. However, of equal importance are the other indicators of Dyslexia that we see with the adults and students we talk to when we do our workshops, presentations and assessments. These other indicators include; difficulty understanding complex and abstract instructions, getting mixed up with directions, mixing up left and right, confusion over fractions and measurements, difficulty telling time or being on time, miscomprehending what a person has explained because the “Big Picture” wasn’t included in the explanation and more difficulties with concepts that the Dyslexic or right-brained individual considers as abstract. So rather than say the RAD Prism lenses cure Dyslexia lets just say it seems to help with the problems of instability of black text on the page.

On another blog I read earlier today I saw an interesting response to the RAD Prism that is something we actually do during our Assessment for Dyslexic Issues. It involves using different coloured clear transparencies over text. We have found the results to be instant and often very dramatic and costs next to nothing. Students report that the words stop moving and usually their reading speed and comprehension increase immediately.

Dyslexia is a very large and complicated topic and we will continue to bring more of the latest news about research and studies pertaining to Dyslexia. We always say in our presentations to parents, teachers, psychologists, service providers and care givers of all types, use as many methods as will work. There is no one single way to manage Dyslexia but there sure are lots of simple methods that can make a big difference.

Our books describe Dyslexia as a Learning Differenceand we have many teaching methods for various Dyslexic issues. We invite you to take a look – www.dyslexiavictoria.ca

Happy trails
Howie deGraaf
Editor for Dyslexia Victoria Online

If you have questions please email me at:degraaf@dyslexiavictoria.ca

Brad Elder – an Eloquent Dyslexic Spokesperson

Recently I was looking up some specific info for a client from our book “Assessments and Evalutions” for Dyslexics.  My mother and partner, Jan Turner put this book together outlining and detailing our methods for assessing for Dyslexia.  When I was going through the book I noticed an introduction that I had never paid attention to before.  It was an excerpt  from a Dyslexic gentleman named “Brad Elder” from one of his webpages about being Dyslexic.  I was fascinated, called Jan and asked her about him.  Jan said he and she had communicated for  awhile a few years ago about Dyslexia.  They had ideas in common and differences of opinion which she found really interesting.  She said he was a really fascinating  man to talk to in regards to Dyslexia, what it is to experience it and how to work with it.

I decided to track down his webpages and I found his home page and then other ones connected to it. I also Googled his name and found more.  I also found many commonalities in our beliefs and approaches to Dyslexia and his list of sources are helpful and his view of  the experience of  Dyslexia is very moving and enlightening for those trying to understand how it feels,  how to deal with it and to realize as Dyslexics we are not alone.

So I have quoted part of his home page and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I strongly suggest you go to his other webpages and review Brad Elder’s information and sources.  Also, I am trying to find a good email address or phone number for Brad.  If anyone knows how to contact him, please let me know.  You can email me at: khope@dyslexiavictoria.ca

Thanks!
Karen Hope
Co-founder of Dyslexia Victoria Online

Brad Elder  and Dyslexia

Brad Elder and Dyslexia

So here is my tail.

Sorry but its a little cluttered.

by Brad Elder

I have left this un spell checked so that you can see my world a little better.

Like I said this is really hard to put into words.  Hard on the emotional level.  But I think it will help me to do it.  And I hope it will help you.

Ok,  where to start.  well I was diagnosed in the 6th graid.  That really helped!!!  It was the single biggest event in my life.  Suddenly there was a name for my problem.  I wasn’t lazy, or didn’t cair, or was………  what ever they called me that week.  It was like the unevers was lifted off my sholders.  I think I know what it must be like to slowly sufficate.  I don’t know really how to describe it to you but i’ll try:

Imagen that nobody could see their hands.  Everybody in the world.  Nobody can see anything from the elbo down.   Also assume that everybodys  hands work just like thay do right now today.    Now what if your hands didn’t work like “the normal hand”?   What If you didn’t have any fingers?  Everyone else can type, turn keys, scrach an ich, dress them sleves, tie there shoes, and feed them sleves.  Every one but you.  No one can see why you can’t “Do what everyone else can”.  You don’t know  why you can’t do what “normal” kids can.  You just know you can’t.   you walk and talk just like every one else.  there is no way to see an obvous reason why you can’t do it.  Adults don’t know.  How could they.  All they can see is a kid that isn’t doing what they were told to do.   And they lable you lazy, slacker, rebbel, and what ever they can come up with…….They my even point you out to your class mates and tell them not to be like you.

Rember You Have NO Idea Why You Can Not Do What The Normal Kids Do.

None.

All you know is that no matter what,  nomatter how hard you try,  you just can’t do it.   You will,  as your only choise, beleave the adults.  You must be lazy.  You must really be a slacker.  How could anyone be as worthless as you? the other kids susceed.  They must be trying.  You, there for, are not trying.

I want you to stop here and think about this senario.  Where does a Child go from here?  where does a Child go when they KNOW, becaues everyone tells them, they beleave with all there heart,  they are worthless?  Who does a Child turn to when everyone (even your parents) give up on you?

I really  want you to think hard about that.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?   YOU HAVE NO REASON TO DOUBT WHAT ANYONE IS TELLING YOU.  YOU HAVE NO ONE TO TURN TO.  NO ONE IS TELLING YOU ANY THING POSITIVE ABOUT YOUR SELF.

This was me at ten years of age.  I wanted to die.  Not because I was depresed (though I’m shure I was) but because I was imbarsed to be alive.  I was imbarsed for my parents,  for my sisters, for my teachers.    I loved them all and respected there openions.  After all they could do what I could not.  How could anyone deserve the burden of putting up with me?

Don’t you quit!!!

How are you going to get help?  no one, not even you know the truth.  you have no fingers!!!  thats it.  Nothing sinester about your behavior.  you just don’t have any fingers!!
Your only chance will be if someone actualy sees you.  and says to them self “what a nice kid.  shurly if they could have tied their shoe thay would have.  I wonder why they don’t?”  If your luckey they will have heard of a handy cap called “nofinger” that has symptems like yours.  And they will sugest that you get testing.

To parents reading think about this.  How can a Child get help if the parents don’t want to help?  “My Kid Is Normal!”  “Not My Son!!”  “My Daughter Is Just Quiet”.  the world cann’t help unless you allow it.  I don’t know what self centered fears parents have about children,  But try and rember “a rose by anyother name would smell as sweet”.  your child is alive and suffering and is a rose by any name.  Any help you can give them will help them bloom.  Many of my friends in the LD classes I have through out my life never were alowed to sucesed because their parents refeusd th help.

Don’t you quit!! (eather of you)

Now suppose all the politics required in getting parents, teachers and famly menbers involved come togeather and you are going to get tested.
You probably won’t know or cair about whats going on.  You have spent 10 years being told and fearmly beleaving that you are just dumb and lazy.  And lord knows you have seen your shair of tests.  The test is a new fangled machane that takes a picture of your hand and can see what we can’t.  after the test you are shown the results and have them explained to you.

BINGO!!!!!
you are not lazy.  you just don’t have any fingers!!!!!!!
Of corse no one could tie there shoes if they didn’t have fingers!!!
Of corse no one could dress them selves if they didn’t have fingers!!!
Of corse no one could type if they didn’t have fingers!!!!!!!
Of corse!!!!!!!!

I hope that helps you under stand.   I finaly knew why I couldn’t tie my shoes.  There was a reason.  and it wasn’t because I was lazy!

I really got mad after that.  I was mad at all my teachers.  mad at everyone who was trusted with my life and failed!  I soon (longer for others) forgave them all as They  did’t know anymore than I that there was aproblem (execpet that they did’t lisson to me.  But who lissons to a 10 yr old who doesn’t do what he is told).  I thought that that was it!  I’d  just show the teachers “look here are my test results, look no fingers!  I can’t type.  but I can tell you the answer.”
well that didn’t happen. All, most all, of them didn’t buy it.  and a few were determind to show the class and the world that I was a faker.   My math teachers were indeferent.  They didn’t cair about it at all. and they didn’t change anything.  but at least they didn’t fight me.  a few of my english teachers realy let me have it.   I couldent rember the alphibet, (and still can’t!!) but had to sit in on recesse and after school to look up the spelling of words.

Now if you have no fingers how can you type?   how comical would it be if you were held in the class room during recess and after school because you didn’t finish or didn’t do your typing corectly?  I wasn’t laughfing then and can only find sad hummer in it now, but that was my life in the sixth grade.  Dyslexiecs generaly can’t spell or do math because we revers letters and numbers.  I still (as you can see) can’t spell. K through 12th grade and I was punished for not being able to spell through it all.  Just as if I had no fingers and was being punished for not being able to type.  The logic behind it is insane!!!  I was going to flunk remadal english in the 6th grade.  remeadial english is nothing but spelling. its the spelling class from hell.  my teacher would make me stay in from recess and after school EVERYDAY!!!!! correcting the spelling on my test.  How do you spell a unknown word?  you look it up?

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