When we broke the news to my husband’s, there were huge reactions such as tears and plenty of worries.
Plenty of questions like “WHAT?!”, “ARE YOU SURE?”, “WHY BEORN GET IT?!”
In year 2017, both the husband and I tried to teach Beorn the 26 alphabets, numbers and some phonics yet he just can’t remember. It got us worried as he will be going to K2. Hence beginning of this year 2018, with my buddy’s help in researching, we came across Dyslexia Association of Singapore also known as DAS. We hesitated to go for any psychological assessments because we know it is gonna be costly. But after inquiring from DAS, they do offer psychological assessment at a super affordable rate. You can find out more information or to apply for assessment here.
The assessment at DAS, Bishan Branch was quite fast. After they assessed Beorn, the assessor spoke to us to find out more about Beorn, in terms of his behaviors in school and at home, his characters and etc. The assessor also shown us some worksheets or tests that she had done on Beorn. Even though i went mentally prepared that he is dyslexic, the truth still hurts when the assessor highly suspected Beorn is dyslexic and is best that we allow Beorn to get the right guidance and help from DAS.
The school fees per term isn’t affordable but with the subsidies, we still struggled a little though due to Belen’s health conditions. Still, because we want the best for Beorn. We want him to receive the best help from DAS, the right group of teachers who are able to teach Beorn. Normal teaching methods aren’t working on Beorn. A lot of time, effort and creativity to be put in to make learning fun and easier for him.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. Different people are affected to varying degrees. Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, “sounding out” words in the head,pronouncing words when reading aloud and understanding what one reads. Often these difficulties are first noticed at school. When someone who previously could read loses their ability, it is known as alexia. The difficulties are involuntary and people with this disorder have a normal desire to learn. The underlying mechanisms of dyslexia are problems within the brain’s language processing.
Image credits: https://sites.google.com/site/demystifyingdyslexia/about-dyslexia/a-dyslexic-s-brain
What causes Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is believed to be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Some cases run in families. It often occurs in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is associated with similar difficulties with numbers.
How is Dyslexia being tested?
Dyslexia is diagnosed through a series of tests of memory, spelling, vision, and reading skills.
What are the treatments for Dyslexia?
Treatment involves adjusting teaching methods to meet the person’s needs. Dyslexia is separate from reading difficulties caused by hearing or vision problems or by insufficient teaching.
It wasn’t easy to teach him. Honestly, we lost our tempers at him and constantly wondering why he just can’t remember or get it right? Why he can’t remember the 26 alphabets? Why he can’t remember the sequence? That was also the reason why we decided to look for professional help. In long run, it will be unhealthy for us and our bonding with Beorn too.
After hearing the assessor and getting the paperwork done for enrollment, Beorn was still happily hopping while both of us, as his parents, are flooded with many blames and questions. I even doubted myself if i ate the wrong food during pregnancy! Having dyslexia or rather the diagnosis of dyslexia, to many, it sounded like down syndrome. It took awhile for my husband and late mother-in-law to accept that dyslexia isn’t any abnormalities.
I’ve decided not to explain much to Beorn about his diagnosis. He does know that he has dyslexia without knowing the exact meaning of it. I do not want to complicate him and makes him feel demoralized as he has low self-esteem. All we told him was that he needs some special guidance hence we are sending him to DAS for extra lessons. He was dread to attend but i assured him that after a few lessons, he will feel good about himself.
He started his 1st lesson in March 2018. After the 1st lesson in DAS, teaching him spelling became easier. Surprisingly, he got full marks! I dont expect 10/10. As long as he passed, i am contented. For the 1st time, when i picked him up from school, shyly, he came out with his form teacher and his teacher was so proud of him! Since then, teaching him spelling no longer needs days to teach only 2 simple words. Every day, he can learn up to 4 words! So in 2.5 days, he finished learning his 10 English spelling words! Means more playtime! From there on, every spelling until he graduated, he got full marks!
Every Sunday after his DAS lesson, he will shared with us what he had learnt. Through Teacher Yao’s guidance, he picked up his phonics, the foundation well. He was diagnosed with dyslexia so he is able to get additional help from school since he is still poor in reading.
Now whenever we are outside, he will try to read. From signboards to menus and short descriptions! Me being an emotional mom, many times i’ve watery eyes. Seeing him making the effort to use phonics to read the word and the confidence in him, makes me a proud mommy because my son is willing to try!
Parents’ moral supports and positiveness are important! Whenever Beorn insisted he can’t, and each time he rejected me, i will speaks louder and made him repeat after me,
If you suspect your child might have dyslexia, book a slot at DAS and get the free assessment done. Even if after the assessment, your child is alright, at least it gives you a peace of mind. Remember, if they suspect your child might have dyslexia and recommend you to enroll your child for lessons, don’t feel embarrass or shameful. There isn’t a need to. Dont let your ego rule you. Worries, definitely yes. We would worry how is Beorn going to manage in Primary school, if he will be able to catch up etc. So far he is still coping fine with the additional help from the school. I’ve joined a support group in Facebook with other parents in it whose children are dyslexic too. With each other’s support and sharing of ideas, it does help me to come out with more creative ways to teach Beorn!
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
– Ignacio Estrada