Let me tell you about my oldest child, Noemi. She just turned 8 years old. She’s a great big sister, especially with her one and only little brother. She loves to create, build things, and make music. She’s been homeschooled the majority of her life, besides preschool and a month of public school (that didn’t last long…).
Also, she is pretty profoundly dyslexic. Smart as whip. Works really hard. Yet, she still doesn’t always remember the sight word “the”. I knew something was wrong when her little sisters easily picked up sight words and learned their alphabet, but Noemi couldn’t. She would start out eager to learn to read, but quickly devolve into frustrated tears.
She was 5 years old when we started the journey of learning to read, and she hasn’t progressed much beyond “the cat sat”. She can talk to you about many interesting subjects in science (her favorite), social studies, or history. She loves to hear stories read to her and she has excellent comprehension and insight. But, she can’t read.
It isn’t her fault. I strongly suspected dyslexia, and testing confirmed those mother instincts. I was using reading programs that didn’t work for her. It was hard for me because I had my nose in a book from a very, very young age. I love to read. I read to Noemi since infancy! She has been surrounded by books and a love for reading her entire life. It doesn’t matter with dyslexia.
I have come to accept her way of learning. We will continue the journey of learning how to read, at her pace. I will not pressure her or destroy her love of learning. I will work on building her confidence, so she can handle the questions of other kids “can’t you read yet?” with skill.
I will encourage her to go for her dreams. I will never let her give up or accept less. I never want her to doubt her intelligence and beauty and heart.
I will no longer allow the comments and judgement of others to influence me in her education. I trust myself as her mother, and I believe in my daughter.
Noemi is a beautiful girl inside and out, perfectly created by God. She will chart her own course and find her own way, my job is to cheer her on.
If you have a child with dyslexia, never try to stick them in the same box as non-dyslexics. Let them learn their way.