Thursday, January 29, 2009

Multiplication Resource

This is a great resource for learning multiplication facts. For those of us who are not dyslexic, the stories that are used to help kids remember the facts are crazily complex! But they totally make sense to the kids! It is great fun to watch them go thru the stories and remember them! Well worth the cost.

Words Of Wisdom

This is a rule we use in our family and it is even more important if your child has dyslexia:

Only compare yourself to yourself.

In reference to dyslexia, this means:

Don't compare your reading level or math scores to the others in your class. Ask yourself, "have I improved in the last 6 months?". If the answer is YES! Then celebrate it. If the answer is "no", then rethink the intervention you are doing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

4 Parts to a Dyslexic

You need to consider 4 different aspects of your dyslexic child. Each is as equally important as the others. You need to make sure you understand and nurture each aspect. I think it is really important for us to keep in mind that it is not just the academic aspect that is important - it is the whole child which includes all these areas:

Academic Skills:
  • reading
  • spelling
  • writing
  • math
  • science
  • social studies

Learning Strategies
  • Strategies for spelling (logic based spelling)
  • Strategies for memory
  • Strategies for match concepts (stories for math facts)
  • Strategies related to organization
  • Strategies for reading (books on CD, etc)

Gifts and Talents

  • Sports
  • Music
  • Art
  • Empathy/Community Involvement
  • Drama


  • Self esteem
  • Self advocacy
  • Social skills
  • Self awareness

Each of these areas are critical to a child's success. Don't just focus on the struggles in the academic areas. Celebrate the successes in the other areas!

Monday, January 26, 2009


If you are just starting to say....there is something not quite right with words and my child, then I would highly recommend that you buy the book, "Overcoming Dyslexia" by Sally Shaywitz. It is the best scientifically based book on dyslexia and other language learning differences. You will know as you get into it if you are dealing with dyslexia or other language disorder.

And what I like the best is it gives scientifically proven suggestions for intervention. Not the "flavor of the month" stand on your head and it will solve your reading problem solution.

Parents who have kids that are struggling are willing to do anything that someone tells them will work. And there are many people out there willing to take your money and make promises. Don't waste your money because you will need it for interventions that really works and can be quite expensive because they are professionals who provide it.

Symptoms Over Time

I have found that it is sometimes helpful to list the symptoms/issues that have arose in the time frame that they occured.

When I am talking to folks who are seeking to understand the learning difference that their child has, I often start with this list. It not only gives them some concrete examples, but it is often an "Aha moment"...the "Aha" being - "I am not alone" and "I am not crazy".

Take a look at this list and I encourage you to start your own list. If you have not yet made a diagnosis, it will help when that time comes. If you already have a diagnosis, it will give you a sense of accomplishment when you look back and see how far your child has come. I include this list in my Action Plan that I have for my daughter. I update the plan at least once a year and provide it to her school and teacher.


Lack of appreciation for rhymes
Difficulty learning letters
Mispronounced words

Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Speech trouble (r’s, s’s)
Trouble with sight words
Trouble with word families – did not see the relationship
Difficulty sounding out words
Reading errors that show no connection to the sound of the word “big” for “goat”
Trouble with spelling
Consistently substituting “of”, and”, “for”, “the” and “from
Adding words into sentences

2nd Grade
Continuing letter reversal at age 8 years 6 months
Continuing difficulty sounding out words
Continuing spelling difficulty with a lot of effort
Utilizing capital “B” in the middle of the word
Mispronounced words – words come out all garbled up, as do sentences sometimes
Difficulty with word recall

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why a blog?

I am a long time blogger. My regular blog consists of the adventures my family gets itself involved in -from backpacking to boating to snowshoeing to rescuing kayakers and people stranded on the side of the road.

Included in those adventures was my daughters dyslexia diagnosis at age 8.

Since I am a MBA trained businesswoman, I threw myself into understanding dyslexia like I would any business problem. I gathered data, organized that data and developed a strategy and action plan for dealing with the diagnosis. My plan included long term and short term goals and a strategy for getting to those goals.

Part of my plan was to ensure that my daughter saw dyslexia as something positive and that her dyslexia did not affect her self esteem and confidence.

In addition, I felt that it was important to share our knoweledge and journey with others so that we can educate people on learning differences (and help eliminate the stigma) and help others who might be having the same experiences. To that end, my friends and family started asking me if I would speak to friends or relatives of theirs who were having similar experiences with their children.

I happily do so everytime I am asked and hope that it helps. In fact, my daughter and I feel like we are so fortunate to be able to help her that we need to give back and feel like it is our jobs to help others with dyslexia. We always say...."if we can only help make their lives a little easier...".

When reaching out to these folks, I always look back at my notes so that I can be sure to accurately share our experiences and provide the best resources I have found. In doing so, I often thought, there has got to be a better way.....thus the "dyslexia mom" blog was born.

With it, I plan to provide our experiences (good and bad) in hopes that it will help other families. I will also provide my favorite resources and tips.

So stay tuned and share this resource with those who need it.