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Unfortunately, the majority of children who are dyslexic are convinced that they are stupid and worthless. This child experiences failure in class, day after day. He/she looks around and sees the other children succeeding only to realize that he/she is failing. What other conclusion but “dumb” can they draw?
Changing that attitude is not an easy task, but it can be done. This is a time to sit with the child and discuss the problem of dyslexia. A good way to begin the topic is by using a parallel profile: If your friend has a broken arm, a cast is placed on it. Everyone can see the cast and immediately try to help your friend with whatever task he is doing. You are good-looking and athletic, but no one can see that your brain works on a different pattern of brain circuits. They can’t see that your brain works differently than theirs. You are intelligent. The problem is that you learn differently than your classmates. That’s ok. Let me prove that fact to you.
Take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns. Label the two columns:
Things that I am good at Things that I am not so good at
Now the two of you begin listing below the “Things that I am good at” column all of the things that the child excels in or is good in. The list may include skills such as swimming, basketball, looking after my pets, collecting making people laugh, being nice to people, knowing about dinosaurs, etc.
Now go to the “Things I’m not so good at” list. Let the child tell you the things like spelling and writing that he/she really finds difficult. Show him/her the truth. The facts are right there in front of the child: There are far more things that he/she is good at than things he/she has difficulties with. So how can he/she possibly be stupid? Tell him that he is truthfully a successful person.
A child who is able to see himself/herself in a new light can be the definite turning point whether the child is young or in middle school or secondary school. Developing self-confidence can lay a firm foundation for the child to be acceptable for the special kind of learning needed to build up the skills that the other students find so easy to accomplish.
The parent cannot expect an overnight change, but will need to nurture his self—esteem carefully through the year. Keep the list that was made in view and refer to it frequently. Add to the list as accomplishments are met even if the accomplishments are not school related.
Continue to talk with the tutor about your child’s accomplishments and review the work still to be done. Building self-confidence will make the world a much brighter place for the child and for the family as the child realizes that he/she is indeed an acceptable part of it and of learning system.