Dyslexia and Me: Dyslexia, Self Esteem and Depression

pediatric profiler pictureThis is an important blog to read about Robin Williams.  I have to admit that I did not know that he had dyslexia although I  was well aware that Whoopi Goldberg had it.

It is so important for us to realize that dyslexia and other learning struggles do have an impact on children.  What they don’t need to hear is that they have to work harder and then they will get it.  What they need is for teachers and parents to realize that the “usual” way of teaching them might not be fitting, and to look at other methods which have evidence to back that they help.  The use of multisensory, structured, language-based reading approaches have been around since the 1930’s but most schools still don’t use them, even for the struggling readers. While the most severely impaired students with dyslexia may not make as much progress they still will make more than with the right brained approach of look/memorize, write and rewrite approach. They need to have the left side of their brains activated in order to develop the phonemic and phonologic neural pathways.

I hope that you approach children differently who are struggling with learning after you read this.

Dyslexia and Me: Dyslexia, Self Esteem and Depression.

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See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is a great article to remind us about the unintended (mostly) messages that we send new mothers every day.  I know that with my first child – who was born with PMS!!! – I always felt like I was doing things wrong.  I feared that my every decision would ruin her life forever.  And I am a developmental pediatrician!

Now think about the effects of your comments on parents with children experiencing developmental and behavioral challenges.  You are not in their shoes.  You don’t know what they have tried and not tried to “get” their child to behave or do their school work.

And what about the things you say to the child who is struggling?  I have actually talked to these children and teens for the last 30 years and they all say the same thing.  “If I could be who you want me to be, I would do it in a second.” They hate being the focus of criticism or pity.  They want to be competent. But it is not coming naturally and no one is taking the time to teach them or find someone who can.

Let’s think harder before we speak to others.  Think about our intended meaning and the possible other meanings that may be taken from what we say.  You just may help someone feel loved, accepted, and respected.

The link didn’t make it on the post, so here it is: The Worst Things You Can Say to A New Mom

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Teaching students how to have belief in themselves

different yet beautiful

different yet beautiful

I travel around the country speaking about the developmental and behavioral challenges of children and teens. My purpose is to be their voice in order to help others understand and approach them with more compassion, empathy, and a willingness to work and think outside the box.

Now I find it funny that I do this because I was shy and reserved as a child and teen.  I didn’t want to rock the boat. I was mortified if a teacher or peer found fault with me in some way.  I even backed out of a school talent show with three friends, 2 days before the show, fearing that  people would laugh at me or boo me off the stage for not being able to sing well enough. My parents never had to give me a curfew because they KNEW I would be home on time and would make sure everyone else would be home too.

What changed?  I became so frustrated at how misunderstood children and teens with neurodevelopmental disorders were ( these are intellectual disorders, communication disorders, learning disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and motor disorders). My strong belief in right and wrong pushed me past my own social anxiousness into the classrooms, auditoriums, and conference rooms of the professionals who work with these youth to help them understand what science has been uncovering as to the “whys” of their behaviors.

I had to learn on my own by observation and analysis of good speakers (and now through the awesome mentorship of members of the National Speakers Association – NSA) how to present myself as an expert. I watched and learned about nonverbal language to convey confidence, even while the butterflies were banging in my stomach.

Now there is research to show how learning these nonverbal behaviors can indeed change how you view yourself.  Check out this TED talk about the research.  When you are done, I would like you to think about how to bring this knowledge to the classrooms of children with developmental and behavioral challenges. How can you help a child learn to see themselves in a more positive light? Provide them with opportunities to take chances since even failures are learning experiences, as long as we debrief afterwards in order to come away with more knowledge.

Want a copy of my free report on oppositional children?  Click here.