Hi, my name is Anike and I’m the proud mother of two lovely girls one of whom was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia in 2015 when she was 7.
Though the formal diagnosis is rather recent, we’ve known for a couple of years that things were not quite right as our daughter, though seemingly intelligent with an incredible vocabulary, really seemed to struggle with several activities at school and out of school.
The diagnosis was a turning point for me, finally I knew what we were dealing with and I set about trying to learn more about dyslexia and dyspraxia and to work with school and various other specialists to provide support for our daughter.
I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions since I embarked on this journey. I marvel at and really enjoy the amazing abilities my daughter has – her creativity, her sporting prowess, her ability to see patterns (and remember them) when none else can, her ability to memorise stuff and her wonderful sensitivity. But there are frustrations too – a lot of them. I’m frustrated by the lack of understanding and appreciation of the challenges she faces, I’m frustrated by what I perceive to be a lack of training among school staff about what measures to put in place to support my daughter, I’m frustrated (and very angry) at myself for losing my patience when we go over something for the hundredth time and she still does not know it, and my heart breaks everyday when she tells me she feels “stupid” because she can’t read as fast as her friends or she can’t write joined-up.
There is a minefield of information out there and each day I stumble on a new piece of information or a new resource or remedy which causes me to constantly question myself about whether we are doing too much or too little. Dyslexia and dyspraxia don’t go away the books tell me, the children have to learn coping mechanisms and need specific types of learning strategies and interventions. Gosh – this is a lifelong thing, I’m in for the long haul. I really worry about whether I will be able to get her through it without her hating me, hating learning or both.
My journey, short as it is, has been characterised by stopping and starting, by taking several steps forwards and a few steps back, by frustration, crippling sadness, shame (when I lose patience) and wonderful moments of joy, elation and pride. Its complicated, its challenging but so far, very rewarding.
I thought I would write this blog to share my journey – my musings, my frustrations, my rantings, my breakthroughs, my insights and any learnings that may be helpful to others embarking on a similar journey.
Buckle up. We’re in for a ride.