Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Homeschooling and Dyslexia: Part 1 National Awareness Month, Research, Myth Busting

This is the face of dyslexia.

So is this.

...and this

...AND this

Yes, the author of our independence, as well...

If you or someone you love does not have the gift of dyslexia,
 you may not have been aware that these highly accomplished individuals 
think, learn and process information differently than non-dyslexics.
So too, did Michael Farraday, Pierre Curie,  Pablo Picasso,
General George Patton and many
 many more in a  diversity of  fields.
It's key, of course that kids realize,
 especially this as they struggle through the day to day.

For an extensive list of
well known dyslexic individuals, please click here.

October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month here in the USA. 
As the Mom of
a very bright, articulate, literate, artistic, 
theatrical kid who thinks sooooo far out of the box,  
I have found that many many people are still plagued
by myths.

And sadly, that there is still an extreme stigma attached to dyslexia.

What are some of the signs associated with dyslexia?  Although, my son exhibits ( ed) only about half of these~
  • Difficulty learning to speak
  • Trouble learning letters and sounds
  • Difficulty organizing written and spoken language ( expressive )
  • Trouble memorizing number facts
  • Difficulty reading quickly enough to comprehend
  • Trouble persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Trouble learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty with math operations

Many still falsely believe that dyslexics are slow learners or, even worse, 
are  behavior "problems."
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
And in fact, dyslexia affects people of
all intellectual backgrounds.

AND dyslexic symptoms, though they are very hard to specifically diagnose,
are exhibited by 1 in 7 people.
For more please visit the
International Dyslexia Association. 

Even some of our friends and family speak condescendingly to and
 inaccurately  about our son, when in actuality, he is truly 
the most  caring, diplomatic and insightful individual
 my husband, our older son, and I have ever  known.

You know of which I speak, if you, too, parent a dyslexic child.

Though I don't agree with the term "non impaired," preferring instead "non dyslexic,"
the following diagram illustrates a clear  comparison 
of the brain of a dyslexic 
with that of a non dyslexic
 in terms of neural pathways
 along which information is processed.
Illustration and further research by Dr Sally Shaywitz can be found here.

By trade, many of you know, I was a reading teacher turned
 classroom teacher for 
a total of 13 years in city and suburban schools
before becoming a 
Mommy....turned homeschooler.
We're now in our ninth year of home educating our kids
with a 13 and a 10 year old
and every day I learn more and more about
the learning process.
Here in my space this month, I'll share resources, encouragement 
and a few modifications that
I have used in my years as a classroom teacher and most importantly
as a homeschooling mommy that have aided in
our path down this road called dyslexia.

Please join in and comment!
I know you  have valuable experiences.....
We are all  enriched and encouraged  by one another.

Thank you for visiting, friends!

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

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.
{Part 2 of my dyslexia series, 
What Dyslexia Isn't ,
 can be found here}

Until next time,



  1. Very informative -- I'm sharing this around. Thank you for taking the time to articulate this really important information. Lots of misconceptions out there! God bless!! xoxoxo

    1. True, Denise, there are...

      Thanks for stopping in to visit and leave a comment. ;)

  2. Interesting and informative.
    How do we know that the famous people from the past that you mention were dyslexic, since they lived before this label? Just wondering . . .

    1. Hi Elizabeth~

      Thanks for stopping by!
      I assume that we know of their dyslexia through their journals, conversations with others, their experiences etc.....I've wondered that myself and posed the question to someone at one of the IDA sites...there is no real definitive answer as to how we know, esp since even now, dys is so hard to diagnose, as it occurs along with a host of other issues, usually AND b.c it is never the same symptomatically from individual to individual. Nor is it the same even within one person from day to day...from what "the research" says and from what my son tells me.

      I appreciate your visit!

      Take care.

  3. I love this! I'm mildly dyslexic, as are two of my kiddos... and I have one with a visual processing disorder and one who was diagnosed as a toddler with severe autism (now, at 17, he is barely on the autistic spectrum and people who only know him NOW as opposed to THEN have a hard time believing he was ever diagnosed with ASD!) I love the interesting and non-conventional ways my kids brains function. (Oh, and my husband, too. He had a stroke at birth and is missing almost all of his cerebellum and parts of both inner hemispheres. He's a walking miracle!)

    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Wow, what miracles amid your family, Elisabeth...!How amazing that your ASD son is now hardly even on the spectrum...that's a testimony to how hard you worked with him and how much intervention he received!

      Thank you so much for stopping by to read and leave a comment.
      have a lovely day.

  4. Chris, what a wonderful post! My Kiddo #3 is both dyslexic and dysgraphic and I am SO looking forward to reading your series and seeing what other strategies/ideas I could use to help him learn and thrive. I know it is frustrating for him, as he is a very bright boy. He is thriving in homeschool and I know in my heart, that if he were in a brick and mortar school that he would be labelled, not challenged and certainly not allowed to learn in the way that he does best.

    1. Lisa, I love your enthusiasm with regard to your little guy's progress....It's SO true, isn't it...that we can tailor much to our kids' needs by HSing. It;s really a blessing in so many ways, esp with special needs children. Even with caring dedicated teachers, there's only so much time and energy that can be lavished upon one child.

      Thanks for stopping in and visiting, Lisa. :)

  5. I am excited about this series of posts, Chris! Can you tell me, where do you refer a parent who thinks that their child might be dyslexic? Do you start with your pediatrician or do you find a different medical resource? In Kansas (at least), educators do not make the dyslexic diagnosis.

    1. Valerie, Thanks for stopping by....If you go to this site, the Internatl Dys Assoc has tons of info on referrals, diagnosis and such: http://interdys.org/

      I'll go to your blog and lv the link too:)


      Take care "See" you soon, friend


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