She'll Catch Up

“Oh, she’ll catch up,” is what Jane recalled her daughter Susan’s teachers saying throughout first and second grades. Susan, now 12, was in the lowest reading group in her classroom but teachers assured Jane that Susan was very bright and would catch up shortly.

In truth, Susan wasn’t catching up. As peers began moving past her in reading, Jane became more anxious and worried. Their collective frustration levels — both Susan’s and her parents—soon reached a breaking point, especially after they’d hired a tutor to help improve her reading in the fall of second grade.

How Can I Help My Child Pay Attention? EF: Sustained Attention

Have you ever experienced a time where your child is looking directly at you while you give them a direction, but they can’t remember or follow what you said?  Maybe even more frustrating, have you ever had a time where your child is doing everything but looking at you while you are talking to them, but when you tell them to pay attention, they can repeat back everything you just told them, verbatim?

My Child is Struggling, But Everyone Says He is On Grade-Level...

Is your child in the gray area?

“She has trouble spelling and reading fluently, but she’s doing okay for the most part

“He’s about a year behind, but don’t worry, it will click soon…”

“She has a hard time with reading grade level text, but she is fine compared to other kids in her class who struggle so much more…”

“I understand he has a diagnosis of dyslexia, but he’s not that far behind…”

8 Tips For Talking To Your Child About Dyslexia

Talking to your child about dyslexia can be anxiety-provoking. On the one hand you want them to understand why learning has been so difficult but on the other hand - you don't want to worry them or have them think anything is wrong. Using these 8 tips you will be well on your way to empowering your child to understand more about dyslexia.

Executive Functioning: Self-Control

Self-control is the ability to regulate your thoughts, emotions and actions.  It is something we always expect kids to have, but never explicitly teach.  We may tell kids "use your inside voice" or "this is how you should sit on the carpet in the classroom" or "keep your hands to yourself,"  but what about in the instances where self-control is hard to practice?  

Executive Functioning: Task Initiation

Have you ever sat down to work, and realized it took you a while to get started?  Or, have you ever asked your child to do something and came back 30 minutes later and nothing you had asked for has been done?  These are instances that have happened to all of us in one form or another and refer to the Executive Functioning skill, Task Initiation.

What is Executive Functioning?

Executive Functioning (EF) skills are skills we use every single day, but often don’t realize we are using them.  For example, when you make your lunch in the morning, you are planning a meal for later in the day.  When you sit quietly in class or at work, you are exhibiting self-control.  Most of our daily activities can be tied back to executive functioning in some way.

 

How Do I Get Help From the School?

Now that school is back in session, we are getting this question quite frequently. There is a long answer (which we will begin to get into) but the short answer is that it is complicated but not impossible to get help for your struggling student from the school if you know the right questions to ask.

We wanted to walk you through the steps of getting the help you know that your child so desperately needs. Because this can be a complicated process we decided to break it down in the same way we break tasks down for our students.

 

Why Can't My Child Follow Directions?

Parents and teachers often mention that it is hard for their dyslexic child or student to follow directions. There are many possible reasons for this and causes can overlap.

The most common reason could be a weakness in one or more learning micro-skill.

Micro-Skills are the foundation of learning. We tend to think of intelligence as one specific thing. However, it is actually a combination of a variety of smaller skills we call micro-skills. Each learning or remembering task is dependent on, and made up of, these micro-skills.

 

Is it dyslexia or a vision issue?

Dyslexia is a brain-based learning difference. It is a language processing disorder and not a vision or eye problem. In contrast to dyslexia specialists and most pediatricians, some optometrists may try to convince you that your child’s reading difficulties are due to vision problems and may recommend vision therapy or glasses. Some well-intentioned (but misinformed) therapists or teachers may even suggest colored overlays to “fix” the problem.

Are Our Readers Really Reading?

Dyslexia is often referred to as a hidden disability because it can go undetected for so long. On the surface, everything looks fine. It has been my experience that dyslexic students are good at coping, they know how to play school. They work hard, they are highly verbal, love to answer questions in class, they are curious, can make the most amazing connections, and at an early age – when texts are predictable, repetitive, and have strong picture support – these students can look like readers. It’s not until you dig deeper and begin to analyze their phonemic awareness skills or their ability to rhyme and manipulate sounds that you may realize there is a hiccup.

“But, he’s so smart, he can’t be dyslexic!”

When I begin to suspect that a child may be dyslexic, one of the sure-fire things to tip me off is observing a really bright student struggle with reading a simple text.

When discussing my concerns with teachers, they often say, “But, he’s so smart, he can’t be dyslexic!”

Dyslexia does not have any correlation to a person’s intelligence and in fact, people with dyslexia often have above average IQ’s. We assume that if a person is smart that they are a strong reader. Dyslexia defies this assumption.

5 Clues to Dyslexia

Sometimes dyslexia can hide in plain sight and can be difficult to detect. While there are several indicators, here is a list of five more subtle signs that are often overlooked or dismissed as being quirky, too tired to read, or just a passing phase.

My Child Has Been Diagnosed with Dyslexia...Now What?

This can be both a difficult and freeing experience. Now, you know the reason that your child is struggling, but you feel lost and alone and aren't sure what to do next.

There is a two-pillar approach for helping your child close academic gaps. These two pillars stand together forming the "bases" of your child's success in the classroom. The first pillar is getting appropriate accommodations and/or modifications put into place within the school. If you need help getting appropriate accommodations we are happy to help. The second pillar is getting your child intervention with evidenced-based reading support.