Typical classroom settings can be a struggle for students with learning disorders like dyslexia – but fortunately, there are ways to overcome your struggles and stay on track. Here, Redmond, WA and online tutor David S. shares his story…
Many people reading these words I type have always taken for granted the ease with which they can read them. I am not one of them, because I grew up with dyslexia. The experience of actually having the learning disorder has always been difficult to explain. To the outside observer, unfamiliar with the challenges that are being overcome, it can seem like a dyslexic child is just lazy or lacks comprehension. The truth is that a dyslexic student is struggling with a disorder that can be overcome with the right educational methodology. I’m living proof of that.
Overcoming A Learning Disorder
I was one of the lucky ones. When I was in elementary school I was enrolled in the Slingerland program, which I still believe to be one of the most comprehensive and effective ways to educate those suffering from dyslexia. For those unfamiliar with the methodology, the Slingerland program is a multi-sensory approach that expedites learning by engaging multiple senses simultaneously. Not many public school students are as lucky these days, as budget cuts have shut down many such programs and left dyslexic students to fend for themselves.
When I learned that my old school had shuttered the program that had rescued me from virtual illiteracy I was shocked. A Multi-Sensorly Learning (MSL) program is essential to helping dyslexic students manage their condition. I had gone from not being able to write to being a published professional writer thanks to the skills that I learned. This was when I decided to go into private tutoring and use the methods that worked to help dyslexic students overcome their disability just as I had.
What Every Dyslexic Student Should Know
In the documentary “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” by HBO Films, many of today’s most successful and fascinating people are interviewed about their experiences with dyslexia. They include billionaires, finance gurus, doctors, and lawyers. They include those who achieved masters degrees and PhDs. Clearly, having dyslexia does not mean that you will never be successful in school or in life.
Dyslexic students are offered certain protections by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Among these protections are accommodations for their disability, which could include more time to take tests or complete assignments. Although it can be difficult to ask for these accommodations, they are your legal right. Many of these accommodations were not available when I was growing up.
How Tutoring Helps Students Overcome Dyslexia and Learning Disorders
Having dyslexia does not mean that a student will never learn to read or write as well (or better than) their peers. It just means that it will be more strenuous and require more mental energy. Working with a tutor or reading coach on a daily basis is indispensable to the learning process of these students. Every reading session, whether academic or for pleasure, should be viewed as a workout. In the gym, when you are lifting heavy weights you get someone to spot you. That is why dyslexia specialists like me are here. We know what you are going through, and you should never be afraid to ask for the help that you need to succeed.
David S. tutors various academic subjects in Redmond, WA and also through online tutoring. He has two BA degrees in History and English from Seattle University and is working on a Masters in Teaching at the University of Washington. David specializes in teaching children with Dyslexia and ADHD. Learn more about David here!
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