“Had I seen this movie when Dylan was functionally illiterate in 4th grade, I would have been spared an extraordinary amount of anxiety about the future.” The movie that James Redford is talking about is “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia”. Dylan is James Redford’s son and Robert Redford’s grandson. No matter how famous, rich, or successful parents are, dyslexia does not discriminate.
As of October 8, 2012, the second day of Dyslexia Awareness Week is on its way in Britain but there is very little news coverage about it. Nine days have passed since Dyslexia Awareness Month in the United States began and silence seems to dominate the news.
How can an event that has the possibility to change the lives of children and adults be embraced by so much silence?
Maybe one of the reasons is that most people participating in awareness months are people that already know the worthwhile cause. It is time for change.
And change can happen for any child or adult today.
For any parent who has a child that struggles in school like Dylan did, the following signs or characteristics might indicate that the child is dealing with dyslexia or dyscalculia.
- your child is an innovative, creative, independent thinker,
- your child comes up with amazing insights or ideas
- your child likes to do things differently
- your child likes to take a different route and go from point A to Z before getting to B
- your child is strong-willed, strong-minded, likes to argue
- your child has a different sleeping pattern than other kids (likes to be up late, sleep in)
- your child enjoys drawing in a unique way (see Dylan’s drawing)
- your child is not too keen about authority figures (parents, teachers)
- your child has high values, high expectations of himself/herself and others
- your child enjoys talking and uses talking to redirect or distract challenging tasks
In addition to the above characteristics, your child might be showing the following signs as provided by the International Dyslexia Association.
“Dyslexia is not simply ‘reading backwards.’ Some of the warning signs associated with dyslexia include:
- Difficulty learning to speak
- Trouble learning letters and their sounds
- Difficulty organizing written and spoken language
- 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 correctly doing math operations”
According to the International Dyslexia Association,
“Dyslexia affects 1 in 10 individuals, many of whom remain undiagnosed and receive little or no intervention services. For some individuals who have never been diagnosed, dyslexia is a hidden disability which may result in underemployment, difficulty navigating academic environments, difficulty on the job, and reduced self-confidence. Even those who have been diagnosed are likely to struggle with reading or writing in some aspects of their lives. Dyslexia is a specific reading disorder and does not reflect low intelligence. There are many bright and creative individuals with dyslexia who never learn to read, write, and/or spell at a level consistent with their intellectual ability.”
Even as Dyslexia Awareness Week and Dyslexia Awareness Month are in full swing, too many children and adults needlessly suffer. It doesn’t have to be that way.
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