When I tell people that my eldest son has Dyslexia, they would usually ask..
1)How did you discover it?
2)When did you discover it?
3) Someone in your family is dyslexic?
And the answers would be:
1) We realized that he is confused with the letters “b” and “d” at the age of 4. We were comforted by his teachers and Dr that it’s normal for kids that age.Only when he was 8 years old, that we were told that he shouldn’t make such mistakes anymore.
2) It was not until we moved back from Miri, a month after he turned 8 that we confirmed that he’s dyslexic.
3) Yes, someone in my family is dyslexic too.
To be honest, it doesn’t really matter now, when we discovered it, how we discovered and whether or not it’s genetic.
I feel very bad for James.
He went through his first two years of Primary school as a student, misunderstood for being lazy, playful, not intelligent, very slow.
His school teachers punished him. His first tuition teacher thought that he can’t adapt to big group tuition classes. His 2nd tuition teacher, God bless her, was absolutely patient with him not knowing that he’s dyslexic.
We at home, misunderstood him.
I’m guilty of blaming him for not wanting to put in effort, guilty of shouting at him, guilty of punishing him for not wanting to finish his homework.
I didn’t realize it’s because he couldn’t.
He was struggling to read,spell and remember.
I was even puzzled as to why he speaks fluent English and yet he can’t relate it to what he’s reading and remembering it!
We all started as “illiterate” when we first went to Primary school but somehow it all connects easily.
I didn’t need someone to teach me to read using phonics or someone to read to me every day or even someone to tell me what each word means and how to use them.
I just learned to read and write when I went into Primary school. I went to a kindergarten that focuses on learning through play. (Well, naturally Lao Niang only remembers the play part. Hehe..)
I thought, perhaps I need to start being a tiger mum. Perhaps I should stop being an #assholemum and start reading to my kids every night. Perhaps I need to just spend that money and get my child a private tutor.
I have to admit, I was still at these thoughts until I recently started understanding Dyslexia further.
It was a huge slap in my face!
He was misunderstood all these years and getting to know him more now has made me more at peace with his inability to catch up with his friends in school.
I’ve stopped asking around what help that parents use to help their dyslexic child recently cos for one, it may work for their child, may not work for mine.
But of course, many would say…”You won’t know until you’ve tried.”
If you know of the ways to “intervene”, you will know that it’s not easy on our pockets at all.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not money huggers, we spend on our kids, giving them the best that we can but it’s practicality, affordability, sustainability all that has to be taken into consideration.
Hence, we made a choice to help him discover the best way of learning. Help him understand that it’s his happiness and his ability to stand up against the norm that is most important.
To help him finally rise from being misunderstood.
James wrote this by himself and gave one to my husband with “❤️ Dada” at the bottom.
And in hope that he would indeed try his best and know that he would be part of changing the world’s perspective on a person with dyslexia.
As for my personal goal, sharing my journey here is in hope that one day, some day, ALL educators in Malaysia would be able to identify Dyslexia and other learning disabilities in children, so that each and everyone of them would never be misunderstood for what they didn’t sign up for.
(And of course praying that there are more affordable remedial courses available.😬)