I love working with children who have Dyslexia! One of my primary missions in working with this group is to keep the inspiration alive. The moment these children feel as though they are unable to keep up, they begin to shut down. There is a great deal of significance in telling children they are doing a wonderful job & their hard work is paying off. They need to be reminded that though they learn differently, they are not stupid. As educators and parents of children with dyslexia and other learning differences, we need to be instrumental in giving them a desire to learn and to not give up.
Here are 2 motivators that I use & without fail, they inspire perseverance:
- Constant words of encouragement: Often, children with Dyslexia feel as though they are behind everyone else academically & they attribute this to the inability to read and spell on grade level. Teachers do not always have the time to provide one-on-one intervention for these children and thereby, learning becomes overwhelming. The learning gap widens between them and their mainstream peers & a lack of motivation to continue ensues. Though they are running the same race, they are faced with many more hurdles that slow them down & they can never quite catch up. Children need to know that their hard work is noticed & that given perseverance, their hard work will pay off.
- Work WITH them. Reminding children with Dyslexia that they are not alone means so much to them. It becomes easier for children to put forth effort when they know they not only have the support network around them, but they also know they will be rewarded for their efforts. I find that just being there for encouragement, answering questions along the way & providing them the reassurance that the scaffolding is in place to give them the confidence they need to reach their potential makes all the difference in the world to a child’s stamina & motivation to continue.
As educators, we have a small window of opportunity to make a life-changing impact in the lives of the children we teach. Our children with Dyslexia are very bright and creative. They bring tremendous value to the health and well-being of our society. If they can get through their school years unscathed by the insistence of fitting inside a conventional box & if they reach graduation well-equipped to fully express themselves and their learning styles, they will prove to be among our greatest assets.
We have an enormous responsibility to inspire our children with Dyslexia. Let us not conform to only what we can find inside the conventional box, but rather, let us step outside to accommodate those who most certainly will teach us a thing or two, or three…
Brittany Monro, M.A. CMHC – Brittany is an OGOA certified Orton-Gillingham tutor and trainer. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a focus in cognition and learning, and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with a focus in childhood disorders. She works with children who have Dyslexia and other cognitive disabilities. It is her passion to assist children with Dyslexia in finding optimal success. Brittany has provided tutoring services for low-income families, and has volunteered to work with the homeless youth in Nevada. Currently, Brittany serves the Orton Gillingham Online Academy as chief operating officer, onsite and online training facilitator, product line developer, and practicum extension supervisor.