I have been talking to a parent who feels that her child’s school is not doing enough to support her  moderately dyslexic son. From our conversation, two issues have emerged.

Firstly, her child is a visual learner, as many dyslexic children are. For years, he says he has been struggling to take part in mental maths sessions because he cannot keep up and his memory is letting him down. So my plea here is for children to be allowed to jot (sometimes) in order to engage with mental maths, and not let poor memory interfere with thinking. Dyslexic children are not unintelligent. On the contrary, dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects only certain areas of learning. It is, therefore, important that such children do not regard themselves as ‘thick’ or ‘slow’. Confidence is everything.

The second issue is more distressing for both child and parent and is to do with asking questions in class. This child had the courage to put up his hand and ask a question in Geography. Good for him! Whereupon, the teacher suggested that his question was ‘stupid’. No question asked by a child is stupid! We need to encourage all children to ask for clarification or explanation – how else will they learn?

Both issues are to do with self-esteem and well-being, without which learning suffers. This parent, following my advice, sorted out her child’s entitlement to additional support and made her views known. Parents have greater power than ever before to insist on the right kind of additional support for any child who has been assessed as having Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. My book on this lays out what all parents can do to work collaboratively with schools to ensure success.

Available as an ebook or printed version.

Parents: Help Your Child Succeed at : www.sylviaedwardsauthor.co.uk

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