One of my kids barely crawled. She transitioned into our home at seven months of age. She was already not showing any interest in scuttling across the floor. Sure enough, she did very little and ended up going straight to walking.
She was always on the lower end of those developmental charts. We didn't fret. The charts are averages. Yet, it was obvious that certain things took longer for her. We have just waited and given her the time and freedom to learn and explore and develop at her own pace.
She wants to read.
Well, she wants to WANT to read.
It's painful for her. She has her moments, but then the exhaustion overtakes her. At that point, even the simplest of words is overwhelming. She wants to quit, but she doesn't want to quit. She's just plain mad. It has continued to escalate.
We back up. We repeat lessons. We have been trying so very hard to keep the pace slow and follow her interests. Yet, we still find ourselves in these immense battles. Battles we are trying to avoid, and have no need for - just let it flow as she wants it to.
It finally began to click. Just as I said. She wants to WANT to read. Yet, reading quickly becomes unbelievably exhausting and then crosses into "impossible" within minutes. In a lot of cases, just backing up and saying, "No biggie. There's no reason to learn to read right now," would be ideal. But she is surrounded by readers. She watches her siblings and friends curl up with books for hours.
And she feels left out. She feels like the whole world is leaving her behind. She can't figure out why people would purposefully grab a book and a blanket and curl up to torture themselves!
There are definite signs of dyslexia. And for every sign, there are approaches and theories and programs. I am spending more time talking to people who actually struggle with reading and writing. I'm immersing myself in the people who live their lives in a left brained world, while their reading insists on existing on the flip side. People are coming out of the woodwork.
There are a lot of dang dyslexics out there! Who knew? But it's not like it comes up at dinner parties. However, because I am broaching the topic, I am finding person after person in our lives who have found their own way, in their own brains.
I am currently struggling with the best ways to feed her interests. We are searching out every audio resource we can find that meshes with her passions and her developmental level. We're already documentary junkies. Now that I can see the struggle clearly, I'm doing all I can to create an environment for her that meets her needs while not dumbing things down.
Easier said than done.
I welcome your own experiences, and your favorite resources - particularly on the grade school level. Most of the people I have talked to suffered through early years of unaware school teachers, miserable homework battles or programs that just left them more frustrated. So, yeah ... I welcome the flip side. The, um, right brain solutions, if you will.
(photo by Elizabeth Knox Photography - firstname.lastname@example.org)