Dyslexia Awareness Month

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Note to the Teacher

Dear Miss Sinclair,
I’m sorry
I made that loud farting noise
after you’d told me
to stop
three times already.
I’m sorry
I fell out of my chair
and everyone laughed
so hard
that Louis and Elijah
fell out of their chairs too.
I’m sorry
everyone stopped listening
to you
explain about our new
spelling words.
It’s just that I suck
at spelling
and I don’t understand why
an O makes
so many sounds.

 

This summer we realized that one of our kids has dyslexia. We just couldn’t understand why our bright boy was so stressed about school. Now we know. We didn’t realize he has dyslexia because he reads. That’s one of many common myths about dyslexia. Once we heard the news I started studying. I quickly realized our son had many common signs of dyslexia–shockingly poor spelling, a terrible time with handwriting, writing far below his abilities, and low self-esteem. If I’d known a little more, I could have saved our boy from years of feeling badly about himself. So today I want to share this poem, and I want to share this link to a list of a wide variety of symptoms. Please take a look. It’s worth knowing the signs.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Cathy at Merely Day by Day.

17 replies
  1. Janet F. says:

    Yes, Liz. All true. So glad you are figuring things out for you son. And maybe helping his teachers to understand. I taught spelling in a way that was holistic and connected to word IDEAS in my 5th grade. Not sure if I still have the stuff at hand, but I know my friend’s daughter was a non-speller and brilliant and amazing student who later went on to Cornell, but her mother (a reading teacher) was so worried about her. She had early language delays. The girl was thorough, but math was her strength and now her career. There are ways and strategies to help kids who learn differently. In Their Own Way and a book on the brain and neurodiversities by Thomas Armstrong (has an Amazon page) are good. I love your poem. Sending an email. 🙂

    • Liz Steinglass says:

      Thanks, Janet. I am happy to say our son has an absolutely amazing tutor. I will look for those books. I think a friend just lent me In Their Own Way.

  2. Liz Steinglass says:

    Hi Everyone, I think some people may be having problems leaving comments. I think it might help if you put the page on full-screen. I hope that helps. I’m working on fixing the problem. Thanks!

  3. Laura Shovan says:

    Hi, Liz. Everything will be FINE. I know how stressful it can be when you first begin connecting the dots and confirm dyslexia. My son was diagnosed in third grade and is now getting ready for his next adventure: college. Your poem is such a wonderful, real portrait of the classroom. Yes!!

    My favorite book about dyslexia is THE SECRET LIFE OF THE DYSLEXIC CHILD. It taught me that dyslexia affects the brain in many ways, not just reading. It’s a beautiful book.

    • Liz Steinglass says:

      Laura–yes, it was so stressful when we first found out and had nothing in place to support him. I’m happy to say that period is now behind us. I will look for that book. So far, my favorite is The Dyslexic Advantage. I sent it to my mom who is dyslexic and in her late 70s; she read it and said she thinks she finally understands herself.

  4. jama says:

    Thanks for the poem and sharing about your son. Glad to hear he has a good tutor and that things are starting to fall into place.

  5. Bridget Magee says:

    Beautiful poem from the heart, Liz! I’m so glad your son’s abilities and strengths will be properly recognized. Thank you for spreading the word about dyslexia and sharing links for more information. Sending you and your guy peace. =)

  6. Buffy Silverman says:

    Love the poem–such a true portrait of boys who are trying to hide what is difficult (our son acted out like that for reasons other than dyslexia.) And I’m so glad that you have a way forward to helping your son succeed.

  7. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Liz, that poem NEEDS to be published somewhere where kids can read, identify with, and take comfort from it! I’m glad to hear the worst has passed for you.

    I’ve often wondered if my son also has some form of dyslexia, but at this point it seems he’s found his own ways to manage the situation. Is that possible, do you suppose? Or did he never really have it to begin with?

  8. Tabatha says:

    We always wish we could figure out the best path right away, don’t we? But sometimes it takes a while. What you know now may help others who are trying to find their way, though, Liz. Sending you a virtual hug of support and appreciation!

  9. Robyn Hood Black says:

    Wow – thanks for sharing your poem and your family’s experience. Wishing your son all the best; sounds like the light is shining now and I hope you all enjoy a good school year.

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