Dear Teacher: My Son Has Dyslexia

Focus-MD | Dear Teacher: My Son Has Dyslexia

With the start of the new school year, children are excited to get back to pencils, paper, and of course, the playground. However, children with behavioral issues such as dyslexia and ADHD may be dreading the start of another challenging year.

Josh is one of our wonderful patients. He is a 9-year-old boy with both dyslexia and ADHD. Josh’s mother wrote this letter to her son’s teacher to introduce her to the learning challenges and social difficulties that Josh faces. Take a look at the first part of this letter, where she discusses his dyslexia.

Dear Teacher,

It was a pleasure to meet you last week. Josh is very excited about starting the school year. I put together some notes for you about Josh’s behavioral conditions and some things that we believe might benefit you to know as you teach him this year. We strongly believe that it is our responsibility to arm you with as much information as possible to facilitate both yours and Josh’s success this year.

Within the past few weeks, we have discovered that Josh has dyslexia. While we are learning more about dyslexia daily, some of these symptoms that you might see in Josh are:

  • Sequencing — Josh struggles to keep track of proper sequences of tasks or instructions. I have seen this in how he tackles a chapter book — read and flip, read and flip, in no apparent order.
  • Word replacement — Josh often replaces words or phrases with synonyms when reading.
  • Name and term recall — Remembering names of classmates is a huge challenge for Josh. He also has difficulty recalling names of items that have similar application (i.e., mustard/ketchup, bagel/waffle). This has begun to cause him frustration to the point at which he will say, “I’m not good at remembering names…” and then give up trying.
  • Difficulty with reading — Josh never made the expected comfortable transition to reading chapter books last year at school. He can typically read the words he needs to read, but the pieces do not come together comfortably when he reads longer stories.
  • Difficulty with simple math word problems — Josh loves math and is happy to sit for hours doing fact worksheets. But, common word problems that assume a level of intuition or assumption are a huge challenge and frustration to him.

If you think your child displays these symptoms and may be dyslexic, schedule an appointment with us to have him or her evaluated. Check back next week to read more of this parent’s letter, when she discusses Josh’s ADHD.

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