Detecting Dyslexia, p.5
Studies show that self-esteem tends to plummet in the early grades in children who have trouble reading. To prevent this from happening, Dr. Lyon suggests pointing out your child's strengths and discussing how people do different things well. "Children should also know the nature of their difficulty," says Dr. Shaywitz. "They should know that it has a name and that it can be helped."
Maria Barton's son worries because he doesn't want to be stupid. "When Elisha doesn't feel sure of himself, he retreats within," says his mother. Concerned that he would lose self-confidence, Barton explained his dyslexia: "I told him that his mind worked in a different way than other people's -- it allows him to imagine and build things differently, which is the good part, but he needs a special way to learn to read, which is the bad part. He found a lot of comfort in hearing this."
Experts stress that staying positive will help you help your child. The rewards are immeasurable. Two years after her diagnosis, Michelle Wallace once again pulled Thank You, Mr. Falker from her bookcase; this time, she and her mom alternated reading pages to each other. Michelle can relate to Trisha's trouble learning to read, but now she's getting help and feeling more confident. Perhaps she'll end up like Trisha, who, as we discover, learned to love school. "I know," writes the author in an end note, "because that little girl was me."
Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the September 2004 issue of Child magazine.