My “go to” item

My “go to” item

I’ve found having a “go to” item, created by Jasmine to be very therapeutic.

When I am having a low period when nothing seems to be improving or we suffer some sort of set-back on our dyslexia journey, I “go to” a little poem that Jasmine wrote at the end of year 2.

I attach 2 photos of the text. Its called “Love is”

IMG_2902 IMG_2901

The words are not well aligned or particularly well formed and the spelling is all over the place, but I just LOVE what she has written – the thoughts and the sentiment blow me away every time. Masked as it is with the imperfections that come with dyslexia and dyspraxia, what I still can see clearly is her thoughtfulness, her sense of appreciation and a way with words that is just lovely.

Reading my “go to” poem cheers me up no end and is just what I need when I am feeling a tiny bit low. Its pretty well thumbed now so my next task is to get it framed until I can replace it with the next “go to” item.

I look forward to whatever treat Jasmine has in store for me.

If you read only ONE book…

If you read only ONE book…

If there is only one book to read on dyslexia, its this one. Its amazing!

I read this book on holiday shortly after my daughter was diagnosed and it literally changed everything for me.

It breaks down the traditional view that “dyslexia is simply a reading impairment” but goes on to explain that its “a different pattern of brain organisation and information processing that creates strengths as well as challenges”.

I understand with greater clarity all of my daughter’s challenges that simply baffled me previously – her quick understanding of concepts but even quicker ability to forget them, her ability to read a word correctly at the start of a page and not recognize it at all at the bottom of a page, her struggles with writing and the disparity between her spoken word and comprehension and her reading, to mention a few. This book explains them all!

The book gives a very honest and truthful account of the challenges and realities of dyslexia which can seem daunting, especially as there are chapters on every stage of life from early education right through to dealing with dyslexia as an adult (just proving that this is a lifelong thing). For every stage though, there are practical tips, tools and ideas on how to provide support.

What is most encouraging though is the underlying positive message – that the dyslexic brain has many many advantages. It explains that there are four areas of dyslexic reasoning: Material; Interconnected; Narrative and Dynamic, MIND, that enables dyslexics to excel in various fields to amazing effect. It encourages you to observe and identify these strengths early and to support them.

I love that the back of the book has this caption: “What links Winston Churchill, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Keira Knightley, Jamie Oliver, David Bailey, Will Smith and countless other high achievers in a huge range of fields?”

Having read the book I understand better what dyslexia is and I appreciate that it will be a challenging journey. What I was not expecting to feel after reading the book is excitement. I am encouraged that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I’m excited about the possibility that if I can just see beyond the bad spelling and handwriting, that I may indeed spot an emerging talent waiting to break free.

How amazing is that?

If you’ve not read this book – run out and get it. You will read it and may even feel a tad jealous that you are not dyslexic!

 

 

 

The art of patience

The art of patience

Ok, so I’ve had one of those weekends where I’ve really struggled with patience. Everything seemed challenging: reading, writing, behavior and by Sunday evening, I was at the end of my tether. I sent my daughter to her room just so I could have a break from it all. I know, not stellar behavior on my part.

I really wanted to write about patience today and how it really is a struggle sometimes.

I went searching for inspiration online – I thought I’d find some quotes that would lift me up and boost my spirits as I prepare for the week ahead. Here is a little selection of what I found:

“Patience is not the ability to wait but how you act while you are waiting”  Joyce Meyer

“Patience is the gift of being able to see past the emotion” Rodney Williams

“A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves a thousand moments of regret” Anonymous

There were many more such quotes and they served not to lift me up, but to make me feel even worse about myself! On greater reflection, I guess what I am really seeking is some tips of how to be more patient.

So with greater clarity I consulted the web again, this time searching sites such as Lifehack, Dailyworth, Mindtools and even Oprah. I found lots of articles and lots of wisdom. I summarize my favorite takeaways (please note, I have ignored patronizing advice such as “enjoy the moment” as this does not work for me in my tense situations with my daughter):

  • Breathe – seems the age-old advice of taking 5 deep breaths or counting to 10, is still top of the list when trying to invoke patience.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. Love this one!
  • Look at the big picture – ask yourself “will this matter to me next week? Next year? In 10 years time?”
  • Stop demanding perfection of yourself. You are only human. Amen to this one!
  • Keep a journal – write it out, in detail and in Technicolor. Apparently this is very therapeutic.
  • Practice active and empathetic listening (if you can in the situation).
  • Practice patience everyday – apparently you can become “better” at being patient by practice. So walk home the long way some days, stand on a longer queue at the supermarket or perhaps sit through an excruciating TV programme/football match – whatever you don’t like that your partner loves.
  • And if all else fails, zone out.

A final little tip from me: if you are into meditation checkout Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world– it’s all the rage at the moment. Alternatively, checkout the app “Headspace” which you can download on the App Store.

Here’s to a more patient week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video

Think Different

I love this amazing advertising campaign that Apple launched in 1997.

Steve Jobs was famously very dyslexic as is Johnny Ive, the legendary designer of the Mac, iPod, iPad and iPhone.

I think its amazing that such creative and inventive individuals were dyslexic and still managed to contribute so wonderfully to technology and indeed shaping the world of consumer electronics. Very inspirational for children struggling with the challenges that comes with learning differences such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.

I love this “Think Different” campaign as the message is all about celebrating people who think different. A wonderful message for our little ones.

Enjoy!