This is first hand information on how I felt in my classrooms & I’m sure many kids can relate to me. But they may not be able to tell their parents.
The young dyslexic student (nursery & early elementary school kids) may have separation anxiety from parents due to the uncertainty of the classroom life. They know they don’t “get” anything about what you are teaching & don’t want to go to school. They are already afraid to be found out, to be recognized as being “stupid”.
It appears to them that all the other kids understand the school work you are teaching.
These students may be the ones who guess at words they are reading, spell phonetically, never raise their hand or volunteer to read.
However, they probably excel at many other things.
But School work is not a strength for them, it’s a weakness & they are ashamed everyday because they don’t understand it. They don’t know why they don’t get any of the work you are teaching. They just want to disappear.
Older students may try to be class clowns, or get in trouble for not paying attention to the teacher/parents assume they aren’t smart because they get bad grades on all their school work or they play sick not to have to go to school as their struggles are getting harder to hide from classmates. They will always dread homework & probably not know how to do it & won’t want to do it.
They are not independent learners & will not be able to just do the work handed to them.
The biggest misconception is that dyslexia only affects reading. Like that is all is affects.
So you only think dyslexic kids suffer in reading class.
Do you realize that you must read in every class/subject!
I will tell you my personal struggles in every class.
Not to mention we usually have another issue as well as being dyslexic, like I have ADHD inattentive type.
Which makes me Not comprehend anything I do read, even if I read it correctly.
In math class it looks like this for me: I couldn’t ever memorize my “math facts”, I must always count on my fingers.
I Can’t read or understand how to do word problems, count money & lots of other issues.
Spelling: I only spell a word the way the word sounds to me. I can not “sound out” a word & I don’t even understand what that means.
If the word is Knee, I spell it “ne”, if it is “why”, I spell it “y”, dyslexic people don’t do all the silent letters.
If the word is “spell” I write, “spel”. I couldn’t get “sight” words when I was in kindergarten like all the other kids. I see words in pictures.
Well there is no picture for “a” or “what” or “the”.
My mother tells me the worst word for me was “each”. I would ask her, “what is each?”
My mother would say, “we love each other”.
That was nice, but I still couldn’t make a picture example of the word.
My mom & dad would use math flash card with the number on one side & the word on the back with pictures of how many things were on the card.
I could never remember the number no matter how many times they showed me. I could count out loud & I would count the pictures of how many turtles or cars were on the card but that’s the best I could do.
My mom tells me it took her & my dad forever to teach me 1 to ten in sight words & just as long to recognize the number. My mom said it was exhausting and she remembers crying to my dad at night saying it took us months to get Sky from 1 to 10, how are we going to make him understand 11 – eleven!
My mom knew I was going to ask, “what is eleven?”
And she didn’t have the strength to try to explain it. Because you cannot make a picture in your head for words like, “the, eleven, and”.
You can make pictures in your head for words like, “horse, dog, fence, jump, car”.
What doesn’t work for dyslexic kids.
How could having more time to read something you can’t read correctly get better with more time?
We will read the same sentence wrong 20 times!
Who thought of this accommodation?
Why would more time help us?
We can’t read the correct words, giving us more time doesn’t help us.
Would you give a crippled person in a wheelchair more time to get up the stairs?
This accommodation never made sense to me. Because it is insane & doesn’t work. Giving dyslexic people more time is NOT the proper accommodations we need.
I’ll tell you what works for dyslexic kids in your classroom:
We need Wilson Reading http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/programs/wilson-reading-system/
Program. That is one of the Only ways to teach us how to read.
So start hiring Wilson certified reading specialist!
We need scanning and reading software like “Wynn Wizard”
Software that reads back to us. As we can’t proofread our own work.
We need To listen to Audio Books from “Learning Ally”
We need to be able to watch “videos” on every subject & lesson from From Brainpop.
These are the tools that must be offered in every classroom.
I’m trying my best to make Educators understand that EVERY child can learn from these tools.
But dyslexic kids Can’t learn without them!
I always said, everyone can learn the way I need to learn, but we can’t learn your old fashioned way.
When you incorporate all these tools into every classroom & offer them to all children, you will be teaching ALL the students!
No one needs to feel embarrassed or humiliated or Stupid or alone.
I’m giving you the Answers!
If schools had reading teachers skilled in Wilson Reading program, they can teach kids in their classrooms how to read.
If you offered all the tools I suggested, you won’t need an IEP for every other student.
Incorporate all of this software & educational tools as options & you will see a more unified classroom.
You will engage all of your students.
You spend money on books & other classroom essentials.
The list I gave above needs to be in your educational arsenal!
Stop treating the kid who learns differently like they are the Stupid ones!
We are NOT stupid!
Who decided there was Only one way to learn?
And the people who learn differently are disabled?
That’s like only offering Vanilla ice cream.
We are all different people, you cannot expect us to all learn the Exact same way!
Just because YOU ONLY know how to teach one way.
Please start helping the children in your classroom & stop telling their parents they are “sinking”
Or they have “gaps” in their learning.
It is Not the children, it never was!
Who assumed that ALL of humanity learns the same way.
Isn’t it time to stop the madness & start realizing that you need to offer kids multiple ways to learn?
Start spending what ever money you get, trying to help all students learn in your classrooms.
Believe me, everyone can learn the way I need to learn.
Give it a try, I’m begging you!
Stop making us feel like we don’t belong in school because we are different.
We are all people & we all deserve an education.
It’s not as hard as you think.
Just give us other options.