Awareness of Dyslexia – and other Language-based Learning Disabilities – is growing, which is a grateful thing. Prevailing attitudes by a lot of our society really has damaged and disserved those with Dyslexia. Those with Dyslexia – even some adults I know – will say, “Oh, I’m just lazy” or “Some people aren’t cut out for school.” I know an enormously talented carpenter who couldn’t read beyond an early reading level; his cognitive strengths and skill set would maybe project him as an engineer or an architect. I don’t know what his reading instruction was like when he was a kid, but he could have perhaps had opportunities available if his instruction had been tailored to his strengths and weaknesses.
When a child is struggling to learn to read or to process and use language, she maybe does not project the intelligence or potential that she may have. When a person has to use compensatory strategies to make up for areas of weakness, she certainly does not look efficient or smooth. In addition, think of the self-consciousness and embarrassment of struggling in front of her peers. Finally, as a learner going into an environment that emphasizes her weaknesses on a daily basis for 5 hours, why should she not give up, act out, or be the class comedian?
Obviously, schools should be sensitive to these needs within our children. In many cases, schools will answer the call. If they do not, however, parents have to carry that load. As a parent, you sense the struggle your child might be experiencing, and you recognize that there is a window of time, of which you need to take advantage, so that your child can reach her potential.
The organization Made By Dyslexia has created inspiring videos and stories which describes the strengths of folks with Dyslexia who have untapped talents:
At Linguistic Foundations, we think that identifying a child’s strengths and weaknesses is the most important first step. Sometimes her profile of strengths and weaknesses leads to a diagnosis of Dyslexia, Specific Learning Disability, or Language-based Learning Disability, at which time you can begin to have the conversation with her school team about her learning needs and the instruction she needs to receive.
We can identify your child's learning profile through our testing process. We will also help you work with your child’s school to create a teaching program that will target her strengths and weaknesses and help her to reach her potential as a learner. Please contact us at Linguistic Foundations with any questions you have. Thank you!
Growth Mindset is a simple term that has a very important message for those of us who teach and care for children. Kids who may learn differently or have been identified with a disability such as Dyslexia or other SLD desperately need us to understand Growth Mindset.
Carol Dweck is a professor at Stanford University who developed this idea. She has found that people, in general, tend to either have a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Ability Mindset. They give an idea about a person’s approach to learning:
Fixed Ability Mindset – the belief that each person has a fixed amount of intelligence; that you reach a certain level and that’s where you stay.
Growth Mindset – a person’s intelligence can be developed through effort, effective learning, good teaching, and mentorship.
How does a person have either a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Ability Mindset? Is she born with that tendency? Does her environment lead her to think that way? Maybe some of both?
The Fixed Ability Mindset implies that there is one way to learn, and if a child is not successful in that way, then it is because she only has that amount of ability. If that is true, then a child with a ‘learning disability’ will only reach a certain level and then be done…
The Growth Mindset leads us to realize that we can instill the sense that each learner is different, that each learner can grow along her own path, and that a combination of good effort and good teaching can make learning happen.
Of course, Growth Mindset needs to be the basic thought process behind teaching a child with Dyslexia, Specific Learning Disability (SLD), and Language-Based Learning Disability! At Linguistic Foundations, we know that a Growth Mindset will lead us to find the strengths and weaknesses a child has. A Growth Mindset also leads us to put into practice teaching practices that will target those strengths and weaknesses to help her learn and grow. Finally, a Growth Mindset will instill in that child the belief that she can learn and grow!
Please watch the video below. It is inspiring!
If you a concerned about your child’s reading, writing, or language development, Linguistic Foundations can help. We can discover your child’s learning profile (and identify a disability if necessary). We can also build a set of teaching recommendations that will specifically address your child’s strengths and weaknesses because there is a unique combination of teaching approaches that can help your child to learn and grow.
Please fell free to contact us with questions or feedback. Thank you very much.