If we are to help our children and young people to be the best that they can be despite the challenges of being dyslexic, then we need to be able to boost their self-esteem not just their academic abilities.
How do we do that?
What is more likely to help a dyslexic child reach satisfactory (from the child’s perspective) attainment throughout their experience of education? Is it having the skills to be academic or is it having the belief in oneself to handle whatever the education system throws at that child? It is probably a mixture of both and they go hand in hand but what we see in the education system on the whole is a lack of investment in supporting both. Recent calls from the British Dyslexia Association has indicated as much with their focus on the ‘Human Cost’ of dyslexia.
So as parents we need to take responsibility for what we know and understand about emotional development. I don’t say this in a patronising way, as I constant have to remind myself and that is with my ‘children’ now being in university. Emotional development for our children AND ourselves is crucial.
One way of exploring this process is to attend meetings across the UK where parents come together. The British Dyslexia Association have been running workshops for parents across the UK, but more recently, another event has been announced that seeks to provide information and resources about dyslexia from the contexts of parents, education and the workplace.
This event, the aptly entitled ‘Dyslexia Show’ has been set up by Arran Smith, a huge dyslexia advocate who is the chairman of the Leicestershire Dyslexia Association and who is severely dyslexic himself. Arran has, for many years, had a dream of bringing together people from across the UK who want to raise awareness about dyslexia, find new ways of excelling within the context of being dyslexic and to share information and resources.
I am pleased to announce that I will be delivering two workshops and the first is called “Dyslexia:How Can I Boost My Child's Self-Esteem? Tips For Parents From A Parent.”
Many dyslexic children are at risk of developing a poor self-esteem, which often comes from their experiences within education, if they find that they are working at a level of attainment that is easily surpassed by their peers. With schools constantly assessing the performance of pupils on areas of education that are experienced as weaknesses when dyslexic, a child can start to feel that they are not good enough and lose hope.
I will share insights about my own experiences within my family with self-esteem and what worked in empowering my children to be the best that they can be.