Thursday, September 12, 2002

Sometimes, I don't know who has it worse -- the kid who has dyslexia or the parent who has to see their child learn with this disability. The kid has a mild case of dylsexia and he's in a phenomenal program at school to help him learn. In the year that he's been in the school's dyslexia program, he's raised his grades from C's and D's to A's and B's. So, it's great that he's getting the help he needs, but God, it's really hard to see that sometimes.

I was going over his review sheet for Social Studies. They're learning all about maps. The review sheet is your typical review sheet, I guess. It's basically map vocabulary. A word followed by a definition written by the kid. Only alot of what the kid wrote is horribly misspelled. Here's a few examples (the kid's words in italics):

cardinal directons: mian deshon
compass rose: small drawing to sho derekson
intermediate directons: beetwen direchoins
One of the seven continents: Atrallia

Interesting how the word "direction" was misspelled differently each time. But that's dyslexia for you. It flips things around in your mind so words look spelled correctly but they are not. And as you can see from above, it's not just switching two letters around. Dyslexia makes the kid's brain interpret all of that as correct.

We were going over his map and globe study sheet for his test tomorrow. The teacher knows about his learning disability and says she's not the spelling teacher so she won't be taking off for spelling but will point out misspelled words. But, it still brought a tear to my eye looking over the stuff he's supposed to be studying from and I can hardly read it. Seriously, I was tearing up asking him what the defination of a map key is (telse what the symbols mean). I kept wondering how can he be learning from this sheet. How did the teacher not see this and help him correct it. Worse, what kind of parent am I for not seeing this sheet earlier and helping him correct it?

Don't think that my kid is stupid. He's probably smarter than you are. Believe it or not, he was 7 and reading about dinosaurs when he said something like, "Mommy, look at this" and then said the name of the first bird to come from dinosaurs. Something like Ar-key-op-a-trucks. Only he said it, very fluently. I'm 27 and can't even say it, much less spell the damn thing. He can say and spell really big words; it's the small one that really mess him up. Firecracker -- No problem. Fire -- well, he had trouble with that word before...

We're just grateful that he's in a wonderful school system that can help him learn with this disability. And his grades are reflecting that...

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