Monday, October 7, 2013

Homeschooling and Dyslexia: Part 2: What Dyslexia Isn't

Hi friends and welcome to my little corner of the web!

Thanks for stopping in 
 for part 2  of my series on homeschooling with dyslexia 
during National Dyslexia Awareness Month.
You might wish to begin there if you have not already.

 Knowledge  is key around the symptoms of the 
learning difference that dyslexia is.
From day to day and from individual to individual, 
dyslexia manifests itself differently.
That is, of course, one of the most frustrating and 
challenging aspects  of dyslexia......the diagnosis....
As well as moving forward with  suitable-for-your-child
intervention and ongoing remediation using 
tools that enahnce not frustrate.
In this post, I'll share what dyslexia is not.

I'm not an expert in  the field.
 Though I did earn a Master's Degree in the
Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Disabilities,
and taught for many years,
I feel I have gained most of my knowledge in this area
 homeschooling my son, who is
honestly a brilliant, kind and creative child.
I have read extensively on the subject so as to help my child succeed.
Perhaps through this series
you might gain a  little insight you've been searching for, too.

divider booksbar

What dyslexia is not~
1. Dyslexia is not  the reading and writing of letters  backwards.
 Writing letters backwards is something that many kids do when they’re first learning to write,  whether they have dyslexia or not.  Even among educators--including university faculty, special education teachers, and speech therapists—70 percent believe that reversing the order of letters is a defining feature of dyslexia. Rather, dyslexia is marked by, among other things,  difficulties in the processing of written language.

divider booksbar

2. Dyslexia  does not occur in any one type of learner, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background IQ level.
Rather, dyslexic symptoms manifest themselves in all people in every walk of life. In fact, conservative estimates suggest that 5 to 10 % of the entire population may be dyslexic.

divider booksbar
3. Dyslexia is not accompanied by behavioral and attention issues.
Dyslexia is a severe reading problem of neurological origin. There are no physical, 
medical, or psychological conditions which account for the language processing deficits.
Of course, if a dyslexic child is inattentive in class, I maintain that this is due to
his inability to focus on the concept being taught due 
to the limitations placed on him because of the dyslexia.
Sort of the chicken or the egg syndrome?
Why is it that so many dyslexics also have ADD??
However, you might find interesting that dyslexia is a registered disability under the Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons’
 Act of 1970, Education Act of 1993 and the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995.

divider booksbar

4. Dyslexia is not a condition which affects "slow learners."
In fact, dyslexia indications are found within students of average and above average

divider booksbar

5. Dyslexia is not caused by "bad" or neglectful parenting.
No indeed.....The  dyslexic person uses his right brain hemisphere instead of his left to process language, thus requiring the use of different neural pathways ( "detours" if you will ) than the non dyslexic person.

Additionally, dyslexia is thought to be genetic and occurring in families. 

divider booksbar

6. Dyslexia is not "curable."
Dyslexia is not a disease. There is no "cure." However, with appropriate and early diagnosis and suitable remediation, intervention, patience, love, encouragement, support from teachers, family and other individuals in roles of guidance, dyslexics can thrive in school and beyond, even achieving high levels of success. 
Don't forget that fellows such as Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell and good ole Tom Jefferson were dyslexics......

I wouldn't go so far as to say that my son wears his dyslexia as a badge of honor. BUT he is no longer as uncomfortable about it when situations arise and it is apparent that he has a language issue. He is in fact,  thrilled to be in the company of such accomplished individuals. He's also pretty happy to hear that Captain Jack Sparrow ( Johnny Depp) and Mork from Ork ( Robin Williams) are dyslexic as well. But chagrined to find that his favorite Founding Father, John Adams, by all accounts,  was not. Ah well. Can't win 'em all.

Don't get me wrong. Many days I feel as if we are moving backwards. However, patience and perpetual support are vital---for child and for Mom.

Part 3, coming soon, will have as its focus,
resources that may help a teacher / homeschooler
 who is educating a child with dyslexia.

Thank you so very much for stopping in!! Your visits are important to me and very appreciated!

divider booksbar

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

I'd love to see you 
subscribe to Campfires and Cleats,
so we can be in touch regularly!
Here you go~

Enter your email address:

You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,


Post dividers courtesy of Shabby Blogs


  1. Great post! I was surprised to learn so much about dyslexia at our local parent's festival. One thing the dyslexia coordinators said was that dyslexic children tend to be highly gifted in one or several areas!

    1. Thank you Tricia:)

      Isn't that interesting....??! I do see that my son is quite a divergent thinker and much more creative than anyone else in the family.

      Thank you for the visit and the kind words

  2. As an educator, I've never identified with any of these myths, but I certainly can see how friends and extended family members of a child with dyslexia could cling to these. I had to giggle at the "reverses letter/numbers" point...every year it seems I have a panicked 2nd or 3rd grade mom who has self-diagnosed their kiddo with dyslexia b/c they reverse their b and d letters. *smile* I always have anonymous student work samples of the average 2nd or 3rd grader to show how letter reversals are still common at this age. Dyslexia is so much more than the random p and q reversal!

    Looking forward to Part 3 as we think that we might have a kiddo in our building headed toward this diagnosis. She already receives Title 1 Reading Services, but I will begin servicing her as well in the afternoons. What I did find enlightening was how you shared how dyslexia looks different from person to person...and from day to day with the same person!!!! YES!!! How frustrating for my poor kiddo who while reading a passage to me read the word "bark" and 2 sentences later had no idea what the word was...where she had seen it...or how to "sound it out". I've read that "sounding it out" is a completely foreign concept to a non-diagnosed or non-serviced dyslexic. When they begin to get proper reading/math interventions that help THEM to learn, they often tell us "I had no idea what you meant...sound out what?"!!!

    Great series, Chris!!!

    1. Yes!! I definitely have experienced the same type of thing while reading with my son! Even if he encounters a word that he "knows," a word that's a sight word, for ex, he may not recognize it in his reading. Or he may recognize it today but not next week. And yes, Sounding out...same thing. He can actually tell you the phonic rule, but not apply it when reading.

  3. As a homeschooling momma of 9, 2 of which have dyslexia, and well there are many other "letters" as well with some of my other babes.......THANK YOU! It has been a huge challenge to me, and to our children, but we are determined together! Would love to hear more about how you work with your son, different ways to help. Of course as you pointed out - there are many variations. It's like saying one of my sons is autistic (which he is) what does that mean? Looks totally different than the next person.

    1. Aw, thank you so much, friend, for stopping by and for the encouraging words.
      I do plan to share some of our strategies and resources that I use ( as well as resources that have not helped too and in fact have set us back!) I hope some of the books and etc do lead you down a road that is positive!

      Be well and thanks for the visit.

  4. Really thankful for these posts. My husband has dyslexia and had to be retested at very school he went to from grade school through graduate school on order for them to categorize him as having special circumstances. Fortunately, he never minded. Because of his certain kind of LD, he was allowed extra time on tests as well as access to notes teachers wrote during class, as he couldn't record them fast enough himself. Every once in awhile a teacher would complain that if he couldn't cut it in school without special treatment, then geothermal could he in the "real world." My husband knows exactly what it takes in order to get the work done well that he needs to get fobe, and has continued to be moved to higher and higher positions in his field since his first job, almost 20 years ago. What the LD and "special treatment" taught him was that he needed to work hard, and that is exactly what he had always done.

    1. Wow, Rebekah,great testimony to a strong work ethic! Good for him!!

      I do see that similar tendencies are developing within my son and I suppose he knows that he does need to strive "harder." He is quite dependable....give him independent work ( that won't frustrate him) and he gets it done in a timely manner.....he really is diligent.

      Thank you so much for stopping in and for sharing your thoughts and your husband's road!
      Be well!

    2. Thanks, Chris, and obviously, please forgive all my auto correct errors!

  5. As you know, my 11 year old is both dyslexic and dysgraphic. It saddens me so knowing that if he were in a public school setting, he would be labelled as "special ed," when he is truly such a bright boy. I have to admit that it is truly a challenge to educate him sometimes, though. :-( But, we muddle through and he is succeeding, sometimes a little bit at a time, others times in huge leaps. You know how it is. ;-)

    I am SO enjoying this series. Firstly because it is wonderful to know that I am not alone. Secondly, because I truly want to know from your education and experience what has worked with your son, as I am always trying to improve what I do with my son and learn all I can! :-)

    God bless you,

    1. Lisa
      I completely hear IS reassuring to know that we're not on this road alone and that there's encouragement when we reach out. That is truly the best part of blogging....I do feel that no matter what strategy we use, as long as there's support, patience and love, it will be successful.
      I am so happy and blessed to be apart of such an amazing group of friends who want the best for their kids,

      I do agree about the spec ed label. I do think though that handled appropriately which is not, most often) the modifications the IEP brings will help kids thrive. I do think in so many cases that kids are made to feel inferior b.c of the spec needs label.

      Thanks so much Lisa!!

  6. Enjoying reading this series and looking forward to the third part as I am pretty sure my always been homeschooled 11 year old daughter is dyslexic. I have never had her tested nor do I intend to put that label on her but I have talked to her about it and how some people have to work harder that others. She is very bright but she was a late reader. She is spells and writes probably on a first to second grade level. While she knows letter sounds she reads sounds of letters that are not even in the word. She comprehends well what she reads but is just starting to figure out how to break up a word to spell it but even then if she was to read the same word she may add letters! Any resources I find to help her would be most appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to link up at the Homeschool Linky Party Week 7!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.. .....
I will reply right here in the combox; so please check back if you'd like to continue the conversation.
If you'd like, you can contact me instead via email ~
campfiresandcleatsATgmail DOT com.