Tag Archives: Learning Differences

Hearing test.

Siva’s English teacher wants to get his hearing checked to make sure that that it is not the root of his spelling problem. And also his inability to answer spontaneously. ( His main spelling problem is with consonant blends. He will just jumble the letters. And when you ask qns he will just stare back. It is sometimes socially so embarrassing )

What the teacher says is he may be having difficulty to identify some syllables . And when I told her about his adenoid problem she was all the more convinced. ( Siva had several bleeding nose episodes and we had to pick him up from school ) .

I very much appreciate her differential diagnotic nature. She also told me it could be that he is converting the picture images in his mind into words that causes the delay. That is really good. You seldom see a teacher who has indepth knowledge about LD.I am grateful that he has teachers who are so keen and insightful.

Sometimes I have personally felt that most of them are so short sighted. When you ask a teacher ‘ how is my child’ ;  they will look into the marks and simply say ; yes, He is good. I don’t think that marks are the ultimate index of a child well being. Our ultimate aim is not make them score good marks.

After school reopening I had so many parents calling me to know about the marks. But I sort of kept low. Not b’coz Siva scored less. He has got fair grades for all the subjects. After following this unschooling principles I don’t feel marks are important anymore.

Coming back to the hearing test , I tried to tell her several times that he has got good hearing.Actually even better than any body in the house. When he was smaller I used to converse in English or Hindi if I wanted to tell anything that he should not hear. But now that is also not possible. May be I will have to learn some other language which he doesn’t know.

But she kept on asking me about the hearing test  over and over again whenever I went to meet her. And with the open house coming in two days I am too ashamed to say again that I haven’t done the tests.

So yesterday three of us went to the ENT . When I told the Doctor about his LD problem and what the teacher wanted , she only had one single question for me. Why did you think your child has LD. Now this is one most difficult qn. I have ever faced . Giftedness is a condition which CANNOT be answered in a one word.

Trying to answer the qn in the shortest way possible I said her about his spelling problems and lazy nature and moodiness. Immediately she jumped to a conclusion. You were being very strict. That is it.

I was really taken aback. May be I was a bit strict with him. But that is not the reason for his problems. .And that is not the reason why he couldn’t read and do things by himself like other kids do .That is not the reason why he suffered a lot in his early years at school.

And getting resource help is not a crime. It is just not bcoz I don’t take proper care of my child.  I always look at it in the positive way. He is having a swell time there . And his spelling and writing skills have really improved with their help.

Whether she wanted to know more about LD kids or  she wanted to know if there was a hearing problem involved I don’t know. Otherwise she was very welcoming. Some tests were done using a tuning fork .Thankfully she says my son’s hearing is okey and we shall do some other tests if the teacher again thinks it could be hearing problem.

But you normal parents out there, I will tell you one thing, Your child do everything on his own, thinks and acts and behaves on his own and you all take it for granted  so much that you will never know how difficult it is to maintain the balance with a dyslexic child.

What should I do?

My son is in third std. He has Dyslexia. He keeps a time table and is able to do the chores by himself.He is now friendly with his classmates even though he does not have a constant friend. He is very interested in science. Trivia about space, ocean, earth ,nature , working manuals , alignments and a lot. And of course TV and cptr games.

I have some other areas where he struggles and I don’t know how to handle them. Please give me your idea so that I can help him out more efficiently.

1. His areas of interests are so vast I cannot point out in which area is he really gifted.

2. He used to enjoy drawing and legos very much and is good at it. Now his ideas are much bigger and he doesn’t want to do it because he cannot complete it the way he wants it. He doesnt seem to be pleased with himself no matter how much we appreciate him. He also seems to be worried becoz his friends told him that his drawings are not that good. How shud I tackle this?

3. He is very interested in books . Small books and comics he reads himself. But other books like Harry potter, secret seven etc. he wants me to read them to him. He can comprehend them very nicely . Should I read to him or should I insist that he read by himself?

4. Some times he gets bullied by his van mates. Every day he has to run about for a seat becoz the boys wont allow him to sit along with them. Now I have asked the van driver to give him a permanent seat. Is it okey to interfere in such trivial matters ?

If you think this is  ridiculous please take it as whining of an ignorant parent.  Otherwise please help me.

Giftedness , Learning Disability, Dyslexia; Please Don’t feel bad to get help!

I have only heard every body telling me that my son can do better. “He is just not trying “and “he is distracted “.

Even though we realised earlier he may be having a learning problem I hadn’t asked any body for help. I thought they may, well, think I am exaggerating or even worse think that my son is just dumb which I don’t want to hear.

I weighed in mind several times whether I should or I shouldn’t when I asked his Paediatrician , Dr. M.Venugopal about his problem. Then he asked me, ” Why didn’t you tell me earlier. Please get your child assessed . That is the simplest thing to do. It will not affect his confidence. And more, you can be sure if anything needs to be done.”

He gave me a referance letter to Child Care Centre . I was dumbfounded. Help was so near, within an arm’s distance and it took me so much time to realise it. I think this is where the importance of awareness comes.

I tell about this to anybody I come across , bcoz only God knows may be their child is also suffering and may be he/she needs help and they do not realise. I think about the years my son suffered, I think about the change I could have bring if I had known.

As Siva has got a very good memory he does good in his exams. Otherwise he struggles a lot in lot of areas.

But this year they have more self writing questions. While preparing for the exams I found that he stumbles with basic words like ‘ on, the , be’  as though he has never seen them before. That is when I decided to go straight away and take an assessment.

This time he cudn’t write first term exams as he was ill and so there were no marks to look out for. So I cud get through and get assistance from resource dept. And his new class teacher couldn’t have been more considerate.

When I went to meet his resource teacher yesterday it was a completely different story.

No complaints of being distracted or not trying. Till then I had been defending him all along .

Actually she told me ” Your son  is getting bored in his class. Give him more mental and physical work. Please  Don’t stress him about spellings. I know what you have been going through. Your son has a ‘Bright normal  IQ ‘ and it is very good.We will see that he is properly taken care of . Principal Mam wants a list of gifted children. We will give him work that matches his IQ. ”

Suddenly I found out that I have no more words left to say. It was the first time he was wholeheartedly accepted for his intelligence and God given gifts. I could feel tears welling in my eyes . I somehow managed to  mouth a ‘Thank you’ and simply left the place !


Walking with my son.

The very first glance of him changed my world.

When he was a baby I used to wonder how it would feel to see him walking and waited impatiently to see those small feet set its first steps. Even when I saw other kids running I would say to myself ” just a few more months ” and he will also be out there running!

Now he is in third standard and I wonder where all those years have gone.

As a baby he was smart , friendly and intelligent. But somehow he was different from others even though we couldn’t tell what was it.

He is very intelligent but he is not like other kids. That was what always confused us. He would struggle with the most simplest things. His memory is , well, I don’t know what to say. I just rely on him without any doubt. He will align anything simply looking at the pictures in the manual . How he could see it fully in his mind I always wonder.

He always found it difficult to strike a friendship especially with kids of his age. But I have found him immensely enjoying with kids smaller than him.

He became very moody once he started to go to school.The problems seemed to increase when we would scold him for that. Teachers always complained about him for being very sensitive.

The real problem started when the spelling lessons began.  He  wrote every thing upside down in mirror writing.   jumbled the spellings. And would not read anything if he could help it . Lost umpteen number of pencils, and rubbers, scales and umbrellas . Never completed his notes. Would never remember his home works or assignments.

And I always thought it was his laziness. I will never be able to forgive myself for those times.

I recognized that he is a child with learning differences only after seeing the  movie ” Tare zameen par”. Thanks to Ameer and his crew for the effort they have taken. ( I was a hard core Ameer fan even from my school days, but never thought that he would give a message that will change my child’s life.)

I identified this on the verge of losing him.  We had almost forgot how he laughed and he had become very stubborn . For the first time we realized, it was his helplessness that we thought as stubbornness.

It was the most shocking experience that happened in my life. After that I made a promise to myself that I will help him get through and will always be there for him .
Thanks to all the guidance on net.

At first he would not speak of his class or school or anything personal. The mental pain I had inflicted trying to make him perfect was more than I could imagine.

But I wouldn’t give up.  I kept on asking him about  every silly thing I had always taken for granted.  I Hugged him , kissed him . Every day I would tell him, ” We love You!”

We started to work on his strengths. Elocution, drawing, building blocks, puzzles , computer , school projects and so on…

Slowly, very slowly he began to respond. He began to respond to our love, care , support and patience.

The Evening sky

When he lost his things I said to myself that  my son is more precious to me than all those silly things. Instead I gave him a check list and a smiley to make him remember that we love him for what he is , and nothing , absolutely nothing would ever change it.

And believe me, slowly the child who used to lose all his things , who could never complete his class works and could only be found crying,  slid into the back of our memory and a  sweet boy who is very understanding , most lovable and confident of his strengths evolved . It took more than a year.

Rocket race

Now we learn every thing in our own way. I don’t have to teach him the portions taught at school as he knows them better than me. But I teach him how to write them  correctly for exams.

For maths I send him to Abacus classes and now he has improved a lot . When I think of the 1st and 2nd std boy who was so much teased for his slow writing he has gained so much .

My special thanks to his Abacus Trainer Ms.  Priya. . She  gave him confidence, support and company. Even then, I don’t know what will happen in the next term as it covers multiplication and division and he hasn’t reached that level for Abacus.

Sunset fishing

Thanks to his 2nd standard English teacher Ms Anitha who somehow did the magic and made him read books. He has become a voracious reader. Reads anything he could lay his hands on. Reads beautiful bed time stories  to his little sister.

( One thing about Dyslexia is it cannot be handled by a single individual . It needs the support of the family and society or anybody who comes in contact with the child. As these children are very observant they can sense even the slightest change in your facial expression . So you have to be alert almost always.)

Now he is  the captain of his team . I help him with every work he has to do even if it is some what out of the way. He has his own ideas of doing his projects. And believe me, the results are amazing.

One day we were making a chart on Delhi  and casually my son told me ” Mother, Now I have so many friends . I don’t know why.” It was his way of saying that he was very happy with it . It took some time for the words to sink in.

It were the most beautiful words he has ever told me. Just like some body had said, it may be a  small step for his friends but  a great leap for my son who had spent most of his time in school alone. Now, he goes to school with his cricket bat and ball and sometimes with his precious red football his Uncle had presented him.

I am happy that our  love and care has brought back smile on his face.

Even now sometimes he drive me out of my limits. Has difficulty in  making and writing sentences. Now also  he lose his things once in a while , gets bullied by his  class mates or van mates now and then, may not complete his work or may became frustrated when things doesn’t go his way.

But after a while he realizes that he can get through . And we know the hard work he puts to adjust with his exceptions and that makes all the difference.

Today when I walk with him holding his hands there is hope ! Hope of a future not so far away when those small hands will be big and strong enough to hold me !


Note :  I write this for all those parents out there who don’t realize the turmoil their child is going through . To those who don’t realize the effort your child puts to keep up with your standards.  All they want  You is to accept them.

Realize it !

Set down your standards a little bit. Let your child smile, laugh and play! Let them do what they love to and let them not be afraid to wake up in the morning worrying what awaits them today at school and at home!

Make this world a better place for him/her to live.And it is never too late!