How to Help Rebuild a Dyslexic Child’s Self-Esteem
By Manobina Chakraborty, Founder of i for inclusion, Inclusive Education Consultant, India.
Building self-esteem at home from early childhood can be the key to success in an individual’s life. If you have a dyslexic learner at home, your responsibility is doubled because the difficulties children face in school systems and society are enough to ruin your child’s self-esteem.
Help your child build a positive self-image. The child’s home educational/care plan must be used to build on their strengths, not focus only on their challenges. For example, if you are trying to teach your child how many sides a shape has from a book, think of other ways to help them make the shape like using straws and laying them on the table. Remember that because your child has dyslexia, they may want to avoid looking at the book but enjoy using their hands to learn in a multi-sensory way.
If it is a school holiday and there are expectations of holiday assignments to be done, you must plan the day beforehand. Structure the work over a series of days and share the plan with your child in advance. Decide together how the day will be spent to make them feel more confident. A well-defined and organised plan gives clarity to expectations. It can help both students and parents to be more productive.
For example, if the assignment is about fractions, weights, and measures, you might start by going for a walk or cycling for half an hour and talk about the assignment and work up a good hunger. When you return home, prepare lunch together. Use this as an opportunity to work on measurements by baking a cookie recipe, or fractions by dividing a pizza. Finish the assignments within the mutually decided time frame. Please remember that learning doesn’t always have to be formal.
Dyslexia is a neurological condition. Accept it. Help your child learn to not be ashamed of it. Dyslexia is a part of who they are. It is important to help them discover the ways in which they learn best. The sooner they understand it, the easier it will be for them to overcome it, and shine in life.
By Manobina Chakraborty