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I hope you and your family have found time this summer to relax and recharge. I know we have enjoyed the summer months. It’s been great to spend time with our family, making memories at the beach, and taking a day trip exploring a nearby city. As they say – all good things must come to an end . . . summer included.
Here in the Atlanta area, schools start going back in the next week or so. We have three more weeks before our daughter starts 5th grade so we are squeezing in as much family time as possible.
As I think about the upcoming school year, I wanted to spend some time on the podcast sharing my thoughts and strategies about how to talk to your child’s teacher about your child’s dyslexia.
Start by introducing your child to his/her new teacher. Let’s create a great first impression, send your teacher a letter or video introducing your child.
Here are a few things to include in your letter (with examples):
- Start with your child’s strengths,. (Haddie excels in coding, math, and science.)
- Include a few sentences about your child’s interests and passions. (Haddie loves to play soccer, violin, and Minecraft.)
- Be sure to share your child’s struggles, so that the teacher can plan her lessons and support according to what will best help your child on day one. (Haddie’s challenges in reading is due to her diagnoses of dyslexia, dysgraphia, and executive functions. It takes her more time to complete written assignments. She is very shy and has anxiety in social situations.)
- Close the letter by telling the teacher that you appreciate her, you and your child are excited about the school year, and you look forward to your child being in her class this year.
The tone of the letter should be positive and with a collarborative spirit. It’s essential that your child knows (and sees) that you and the teachers are working together. Ask how you can work together. One example may be to encourage your child to practice self-advocacy skills. Be sure to ask what you can do at home to support your child’s learning.
I realize that you may have a bad experience in the past, but the beginning of a school year is a great time to have a reset. How can you change your thoughts about the school so that your child will have the best school year?
If your child’s teacher does not have much experience with dyslexia, ask her if you may share some resources with her. There are lots of podcasts, videos, books, and websites (including this one) that can help teachers better understand dyslexia and how to help students this school year. I’ve included a few in the reference section below.
As you start a new school year, how can I help? Email me at nicole(at)dyslexiamomlife.com ~ I look forward to our conversation.
REFERENCES MENTIONED IN EPISODE
- Episode 9 – Dear Teacher Letter – Dyslexia Mom Life
- Overcoming Dyslexia (book) by Dr. Sally Shaywitz
- Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know by
- International Dyslexia Association,
- Orton-Gillingham Academy
- What is dyslexia? – Kelli Sandman-Hurley (YouTube Video)
- The True Gifts of a Dyslexic Mind with Dean Bragonier, TEDxMarthasVineyard (YouTube Video)
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