Hi Swit Cuppies,Swit Cuppies wrote:Hi everyone. My son just got diagnosed to be dyslexic last year. How do we get the child to cope to prepare for PSLE? I can see that he is pretty stressed and often say he is tired. Oh btw, he is in P6 this year. And only this year he had to be in the foundation stream. Not a bad thing to me but some nasty stuff was said out to him by his classmates. It somehow made him feel kinda low. Any pointers mummies?
I'm an ex-school teacher who just left service last year and a mother of two big kids. I may not be specially trained in teaching children with special needs but I have taught quite a number of children who have special needs.
I would like to share with you a few suggestions and hope that they will be useful to you and your son.
Firstly, being transferred to another class or stream is always very difficult for any child. However, this is way better than needing to repeat the level if he or she does not meet the criteria for promotion. With the reduce in pace and curriculum, your son can better cope with his learning and have more time to fine-tune areas he is weak at. I believe he is frustrated every day, as at this age, peer recognition is important. Support him, encourage him and assure him that there are many successful people who are dyslexic. He needs to work hard just like everyone else if he wants to reap the rewards.
Both my own children were transferred between classes / streams and had(have) to handle the emotional burden of being mocked at or ostracised. However, both are doing well in their own way - one in an IP secondary school, the other topping a number of subjects in her NA cohort. So, tell him, he can still shine. He needs to believe it and work towards his target.
Secondly, is your son's school giving him any support after his diagnosis? You can request the school's AED (Learning) to teach him some strategies to cope. You can also ask for reference from the AED for contacts of professional support outside the school. It is not too late to start now. The professional help may be expensive but can truly boost his confidence and the strategies taught can help him a lot with his school work. Eg with spelling
One of my P6 student was only diagnosed in July of his PSLE year. He had always been labelled 'playful', 'inattentive', 'naughty' before he came to my class in January. It was important to finally get the diagnosis in order to apply for the extra time for his examination. After that, his teachers worked very closely with the AED to support him. She taught him strategies while we were more patient and wrote our words more clearly for him on the board etc. For Prelims, his English improved 10 marks and his Science from D to B. So, do engage his teachers for support. They are usually more than willing to help.
Finally, how you can help at home.
I cannot suggest anything too concrete. Some children with dyslexia see letters that rearrange themselves, some see letters as if they were looking through a drop of water. One thing for certain is the exhaustion. Imagine having to cope with trying to understand the science concept or recall the grammar rules while waiting for your brain to register the letters to form words to make sense.
So, ensures he has sufficient breaks in between his revision and homework, make sure he has sufficient sleep and be there to cheer him on when he feels low. Do not judge his handwriting or criticise his untidy work. If you need to correct his written mistake, write them down in clear, printed letters, not cursive, so he can process them better.
I do hope my insight is somewhat useful to you.
To other parents in the thread for suspect that their child might have some learning difficulties, request for a diagnosis. The earlier it is confirmed, the earlier your child can be taught strategies to help him or her cope. P2 - P3 is a good time as younger children do need some time to develop psycho-motor and fine-motor skills. However, if your child constantly misspells common sight words and struggles with recognising MT characters, do raise your concerns with their teachers or a GP.
My former students who had early intervention coped much better in school as compared to those who were diagnosed much later.
Apologies for the long post.
Cheers, with love!