The blame game is something I see many parents start to do when they realize their child has a learning challenge like dyslexia. The experience of going through the process of identifying your child’s challenge can start a roller coaster of emotions. If you’ve had similar challenges it may also bring back memories and emotions from your own childhood.
During one consultation, in which I shared results of screeners that showed an eight year old girl was struggling with dyslexia, I had a father who realized for the first time how much he had been impacted as a youngster. When he saw the screener his daughter had completed, in which she had to identify letters and numbers that were reversed, his eye began to fill with tears. I asked him if he had become that ten year old little boy again in school, confused, and frustrated. I asked him if he had dyslexia.
This was the first time he had admitted his struggle. He nodded and cried. He had forgotten the pain, hidden it away, and had pushed his way through school. Now he realized just how difficult it had been on him and he didn’t want his daughter to go through the same struggles.
Years of Struggling
I struggled to learn to read and spell in school. I spent many years with reading tutors, pull-out programs, and doing extra practice. When I realized my child had the same struggles, but much more significantly, I knew I had to do something. The thought crossed my mind that my child had gotten his struggles from me, but I wanted to focus my energy on how I could help him.
The most important piece of advice I can give a parent is if you spend your time feeling guilty, remorseful that somehow you have caused your child’s dyslexia, or that it’s your fault, you will be wasting precious energy and time that you need to spend getting your child the help that they need to succeed.
For me I kept my eye on the question, “What can I do for my child today, this week, and this year?”
If you’re feeling some guilt I have some news that might help.
Did you know:
Dyslexia is highly inheritable by no fault of a parent.
In fact, a child who has a parent with some degree of dyslexia will have a 40 to 60% chance of also developing dyslexia.
This risk increases when there are other family members that are also affected by dyslexia. If both parents have dyslexia then the child will have a 100% chance of developing dyslexia. The tendency for dyslexia to run in families has been confirmed by multiple studies. The Dyslexia Research Trust says there are ten important genes that have been identified so far. Many of these genes are involved in the baby’s development of the brain during pregnancy.
A small minority of people with dyslexia acquired the condition after they were born. The most common causes of acquired dyslexia are brain injuries, stroke or some other type of trauma.
Did you give your child dyslexia?
Perhaps, but today should be about what you can do to make learning more accessible and easier for your child.
Get specialized dyslexia screening that will help to better understand and identify the problem so that a better-targeted tutoring program can be provided. Outcomes tend to be better for children who are identified early and receive effective support and tutoring.
To learn more about the dyslexia screening that we can provide please go to dyslexia screening.