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Thread: 8th grader with dyslexia. In tears today.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default 8th grader with dyslexia. In tears today.

    My 13-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with dyslexia last spring is in tears today. Like many students who struggle, she is a hard worker. She is starting Third Form Latin this year in 8th grade because she was already half-way through Second Form before we realized she was more than just a struggling reader. School had always been a little harder for her, but seventh grade brought new challenges which prompted further testing. And now here we are at the beginning of 8th grade.

    The tears came today because she is struggling with the Latin spelling of words and especially how they change with conjugating/declining. I don't know what to do. She's doing well in her other subjects, which are on grade level or maybe even above by some standards. I'm not pushing. We aren't trying to win any races here. I just don't know what to do about this Latin because part of learning another language is knowing how to spell it correctly, right? She is harder on herself than I am on her. I can see that she's starting to compare her progress to her peers. Self-esteem issues are starting to enter the picture.
    Angel
    Mom to 5 Teens.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: 8th grader with dyslexia. In tears today.

    Angel, I am so sorry, both about the delay on responding and about your daughter. Something happened to this post earlier in the day, but it is here now!


    First, a few questions:

    1. When your daughter was diagnosed, how did she receive the news? (relief, worry, dread, uncertainty, surprise -- all of the above?) How has she spoken of it since the diagnosis?

    2. What, if any, formal support has she received for her dyslexia (therapeutic interventions, training in compensation strategies, good information on dyslexia, tutoring)?

    3. What does she love to do more than anything?


    She will need a three-tiered approach.

    1. Help her understand dyslexia with whatever will alleviate her concerns and give her good, factual information to explain her challenges. Clearly she is bright (e.g., she studied Second Form Latin!), so you can appeal to her intellect. She needs to understand what is happening when she attempts to spell, and why she needs some compensatory strategies. Find basic books or online articles explaining dyslexia. Find lists of famous people with dyslexia. Find common, appealing traits of people with dyslexia. Given her age, you can begin to explain much of this to her. Your support will begin to be very important now and through her young adulthood.

    2. Find local support, if possible, or tutoring, if needed, or at least some specific strategies to teach her to use by herself. If she needs a desk chart for Latin spelling, even though she can recite orally, explain that this is perfectly reasonable for her. Remind her that very few people ever study Latin at all!
    (I often used this reasoning with my children.) If she refuses to use a desk or wall chart, you might ask her if she would like to make flash cards or her own dictionary of difficult-to-spell Latin words. At a time apart from the emotions, brainstorm ways to compensate. Whatever you used successfully to teach her to spell English words, tell her you will help her with her Latin just the same.

    3. Her loves --
    This is a critical time to notice and nurture anything she loves and does well. Her trials need to be offset by her joys. For many with word-related challenges, this might take the form of cooking, baking, cake decorating, athletics, dance, gymnastics, swimming, caring for animals or older people, or just being a good friend. If she enjoys audio books, you may want to build a strong audio library at home, or let her listen through a subscription to a service.


    In many ways for your newly diagnosed daughter, this is only the beginning of learning about herself, and often the beginning is the hardest time. As she becomes more comfortable in her understanding of herself, she may begin to tell others about her dyslexia. She might even serve as a helper for other children with dyslexia one day, or maybe even at HLS Nashville!


    Summarizing the three-tiered approach:
    -Helping her understand herself and the dyslexia that she will always have.
    -Helping her learn to accept needed modifications and assistance while striving to achieve in realistic, exciting ways.
    -Helping her use her free time to relax, enjoy, and even serve others through her talents and loves.


    This is a hard time as a mama, so your own informational books or supports will be important toward helping your daughter. I know from other conversations tbat you already have a deep love for your daughter and others with "learning differences" (a good way to phrase this, btw) and a desire to see such children thrive, AND a willingness to learn more about all of this, so that will help immensely! It is a beginning for both of you.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 8th grader with dyslexia. In tears today.

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    Angel, I am so sorry, both about the delay on responding and about your daughter. Something happened to this post earlier in the day, but it is here now!


    First, a few questions:

    1. When your daughter was diagnosed, how did she receive the news? (relief, worry, dread, uncertainty, surprise -- all of the above?) How has she spoken of it since the diagnosis?

    2. What, if any, formal support has she received for her dyslexia (therapeutic interventions, training in compensation strategies, good information on dyslexia, tutoring)?

    3. What does she love to do more than anything?


    .
    Cheryl,
    Thank you so much for this thorough reply. As you know, I'm still learning.

    1. When we told my daughter about her diagnosis, she seemed relieved. She hasn't talked about it much or asked a lot of questions, however. I tried to explain to her that it has nothing to do with intelligence or lack thereof. But I'm not sure if she was hearing me, really hearing me.
    2. She has only received speech therapy through the local public school system for the past 3 years. We have been in contact with Learning Matters to set her up with a reading coach, someone who can help her learn to decode. We seem to just be taking turns leaving messages for each other with Learning Matters. Having a hard time getting on their schedule there. I am truly considering becoming trained in one of the approaches (recommendations welcome: Wilson, Orton-Gillingham, SPIRE) because I'm seeing a long-term need for this with other homeschoolers.
    3. She loves anything athletic. She will try any sport and is currently asking me about joining a triathlon team.

    I think I need to educate her more about her "learning difference" (thanks for this language). I spent a lot of time educating myself when we first got the news, but I don't think I was clear conveying to her what I was learning. Thank you for this advice. Because she is such a hard worker, I think it's difficult for her to accept modifications...like she's taking an easier route than everyone else. Clearly, I need to educate her about her learning difference some more.
    Angel
    Mom to 5 Teens.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2014
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    Default Re: 8th grader with dyslexia. In tears today.

    Angel,

    Susan Barton has been helping students with dyslexia for around 20 years. She has a lot of free information on her website. Her materials follow the Orton-Gillingham pathway. It is definitely beneficial to become trained as there are many levels of dyslexia. These students can use help learning how to decode and spell.

    Blessings,
    Michelle T

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,551

    Default Re: 8th grader with dyslexia. In tears today.

    Agreed. You have many options for training! See which resonates best with you regarding your daughter's needs. Then see which best fits your current schedule and budget. Some are online, some involve intensive 3-day onsite training, others require 8 months or more.

    Start somewhere: Barton, Wilson, O-G, etc. You can always add more later.

    You are right, Angel. This will benefit even more than your daughter long-term.

    Keep us posted --

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