When the words just don’t make sense

Parent teacher meetings are the stuff of my nightmares.

There is a bone deep intrinsic knowledge that when you’re called in it is a precursor of a storm to come.

After my meeting with Small Boy Aged 8’s teachers I went home, locked myself in the bathroom and wept hot, impotent tears.

My son is brilliant, beautiful and the wonderful boy in the world.

He is not stupid. He just can’t read.

A year ago we placed him in a smaller, more nurturing environment and there has been enormous progress over the months.

He doesn’t shut down so much, his anxiety around school and learning has lessened, he has socially integrated beautifully.

He loves going to school.

He loves learning new things.

But his inability to make sense of letters, words and sounds make him feel inadequate and stupid. The very things he isn’t.

The Small Boy Aged 8 has been assessed by a brilliant educational psychologist, Melanie Hartgill, and is at high risk of dyslexia. His anxiety hampers his learning as he is too afraid to ask for help, get something wrong or even try.

My child is a square peg and he won’t fit in a round hole.

I spent a good hour in self recrimination and blame. When I emerged I knew it served no purpose. I truly believe everyone has done their best, but our best hasn’t been good enough.

I know logically that many parents face the same situation, but I still feel utterly alone facing something I am not prepared for.

I spent a crazy few hours Googling my heart out and what I found out is that there is a lot of support, but I am not in a position to judge one against the other. Now a few days have passed, I have calmed down considerably and worked out some steps.

  1. Full auditory processing test (this is not the same a full audio test, not all audiologists offer it, as I discovered. Also when teachers say your child needs a hearing test, they actually mean an auditory processing test)
  2. A full dyslexia assessment with Melanie Hartgill following the assessment protocols of the British Dyslexia Association as well as a neurodevelopmental movement and reflexes assessment following the principles of Integrated Learning Therapy
  3. Then we can decide which type of remedial therapy or intervention is needed

All the dyslexics I know, although highly successful now, suffered through school day by day facing the same torture.

I know that many brilliant minds suffer from some sort of learning disability and this has not hampered their intelligence or progression, but I wish my son’s life could be a little easier and that he didn’t have to face this challenge.

Whatever happens, I know he will achieve his dreams, that he will soar and he will always be the most amazing young man.

2 thoughts on “When the words just don’t make sense

  1. Both of my children are dyslexic and both have very different symptoms. Take your time and don’t take on too many therapies at one time you and your child will end up overwhelmed. Understanding his symptoms at this stage is more important.
    Sometimes understanding brings clarity to both you and your child.
    Good Luck

  2. BTDT with my son, at about the same age. I remember sitting in the office with the dyslexia counselors at the school crying because I knew my son was starting to give up on school. That was 5 years ago, and while he still has his struggles, he is now a solid student in the highest level classes.

    Getting the testing done is imperative. Not only was my son dyslexic, he was dysgraphic (The thing that gives him the most trouble now) as well as being ADHD (a diagnosis that I disagreed with until it was fully explained to me and had some things about my son pointed out to me.). From then on good communication with teachers and a great tutor made all the difference in the world.

    When we started this process he thought he was “stupid” and that broke my heart. Now, my son is 13 now and is very engaged in school. He’s doing well, and best of all he understands that he is a smart kid who just happens to have some some challenges when it comes to writing assignments, and the organization needed to keep up with his schoolwork. It’s a process but we’re heading in the right direction.

    Good luck!

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