Dyslexia Resources

My son is in the third grade and has been diagnosed with dyslexia. We have him in special classes five days a week. He also sees the counselor at school. Still, he gets very upset with himself because of his trouble with reading. I am in need of resources, but our local library does not have much on this subject. What can I do to help my son?

Question:

It can be very frustrating to deal with dyslexia. Your son's feelings of anger are completely understandable since his condition makes it difficult for him to process written language. Imagine trying to read a hieroglyphics without a key.

Working with specially trained teachers daily will help your son learnstrategies that will enable him to decode and understand what he is reading, but it will take time. I think it is wonderful that he spends some time with a counselor, too, as that will allow him the opportunity to express his feelings in a neutral and supportive environment.

Since your library system seems to be limited in resources, perhaps you can utilize a local community college library, university library or even your local hospital's medical library. Research on dyslexia is constantly being updated in journals, magazines, and newspapers.

In addition to non-fiction informational books, there are also works of fiction in print on dyslexia. "Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You," by Barthe Declements is a story about a student who learns to face her dyslexia with the support of her teacher and friends. You might consider reading this book aloud to your son.

The accessibility of information on the Internet is also a point of consideration for you. Three of the more interesting sites I found were:

Dyslexia Online
The Michigan Dyslexia Institute
The International Dyslexia Association

You may want to explore these and other sites on the topic of dyslexia for additional resources.

I think it is important for children to foster interests outside of academics as well. It can really build their self-confidence while allowing them to develop a skill -- whatever that skill may be. Encourage your son to become involved in something he enjoys, such as model building, scouts, sports, or music. His need to feel successful will be fed by this and it may give him the courage and self-confidence to continue to work at reading, too.

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