When COVID became a household name, a new friend asked if we could read the TEA Dyslexia Handbook together. She told me it was overwhelming to read alone, so we decided to offer it to the group. A handful of us met virtually and we intended on taking two sessions to complete the handbook. Six weeks later we were wrapping up our first “book study.” During what we thought was the last session, the same friend asked our growing group if we could read Overcoming Dyslexia, 2nd Edition by the renowned Sally Shaywitz, MD. A few months later and two virtual visits by Dr. Shaywitz herself, we were ready for our third book choice.
Teachers and parents are a part of our group and all on varying journeys through dyslexia. Themes kept coming up in our meetings like resilience, anxiety, trust, worry, homework, caring, executive function, empathy…words that are not exclusive to a dyslexic journey, but feel like they all have to be faced really early on in a dyslexic student’s life.
I remembered early on in my search for why my child was struggling in school. Before I ever heard the word “dyslexia” I heard an interview with Dr. William Stixrud and Mr. Ned Johnson on NPR talking about their newly released book, The Self-Driven Child. This was the kind of radio program that I drove extra miles to justify staying in the car to hear until the end. Never wanting to be a helicopter parent, I found my words and interactions at my child’s school sounding more and more pilot-ish. I didn’t want that, but couldn’t find the right balance, especially because he was struggling.
This book was the pep rally I needed to understand my footing and my place at his school and at home. It helped me stay the course and give me the tools to build a relationship of trust with my son. I read this every year before the school year begins to remind myself of why it is so crucially important to support him as a consultant and resist the micromanaging that is the natural expression of my fear.
Celebrate Dyslexia, Jewish Family Services and City Education Partners are hosting a special time this Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 7 pm to enjoy an hour with Dr. William Stixrud and Mr. Ned Johnson as we discuss their work, the science and sense of giving your kids more control over their lives. Join this conversation about why giving your kids more control over their lives can lower stress and boost success.