Dyslexia a gift?
My daughter will scoff and I can’t blame her. I don’t imagine she can see the gift. In fact, I’m fairly certain she might never see dyslexia as a gift. But dyslexia has been a gift to me and in turn, has made me a better mother to her and to her siblings.
Learning to parent a child with dyslexia meant examining my preconceived notions of what her interests would be, her education & learning style, and my life plans & goals.
We had decided to homeschool when she was quite young, therefore, homeschooling meant finger painting, reading about Jesse Bear, talking about Jesus, and going to the zoo. Good times! Fun & easy! We were golden until the time came when I thought she should be reading.
She was such a little bean, and I had so much to learn. We plugged away with pathway readers, explode the code workbooks, sing spell read & write curriculum, read alouds, wizardspell, computer games, posters, board games, blocks…..are you getting worn out reading the list? We certainly got worn out trying to achieve the list. She would do the work, many times in tears, we would spend far too long on each assignment, I would push far too hard….
It is a sad memory for me & I’m certain sadder for her.
Hear this, “she would do the work”.
If I could have seen she was doing it, maybe I could have slowed down. But no.
Although she was doing the work, it didn’t stick. It took years before anything stuck. Not her fault. Not my fault.
I did eventually wake up from my homeschool mommy fog. We slowed down. I apologized for pushing too hard. I acknowledged things she said. I read aloud, we loved good books, we played. I remembered to breathe.
Has she conquered dyslexia? No. I’m not sure one ever fully can. We both have learned to live with dyslexic quirks, not to bite off more than she can chew and to not be defeated by dyslexia.
How can I not be grateful?
(originally posted 11/2011)