Monday, October 14, 2013

Children With Dyslexia

I was serving a church in a small city and knew a number of teachers in the elementary school. At a community meeting I was engaged in a discussion about problem children in the school. One teacher was venting that one boy was dyslexic and would be stupid all his life. I asked her why she thought that and she replied that there was no cure for dyslexia and no hope for those with it. I looked at her and said, “I that is not true, I am a dyslexic and while I have to work harder than most people I have made it. There are therapies that can be of great help for that boy.” The result of that conversation was that the boy got help and the teacher learned a lot about advances in dyslexia treatment.

I was blessed when I was in elementary school and was having trouble with spelling and reading. No one in our small town knew about dyslexia and I was not diagnosed until I was in collage.  My mother was the one who took charge and helped me. She did not know what the trouble was either but her love and instinct saved me from being shunted aside as being stupid in the school system. She would sit down with my spelling list and say the word and spell it and then make me repeat it over and over. I learned to spell by doing that. She also made me read slowly by moving my finger under the words one at a time. I became a reader doing that and I love to read.

At Texas Christian University my drama teacher noticed the difference between my oral exams and written exams and recognized that I share a problem with her husband, dyslexia. She gave me the name of his doctor and he started me on a therapy that made all the difference. While I still have a lot of trouble reading and writing, yes spelling too, I am able to over come with a lot of patience a disability that could have sidelined me.

Today there is no excuse for not helping children with dyslexia. People have different degrees of difficulty but learning is not impossible even if it all has to be aural it can be done. Never give up on the children just because they are different.

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