As Parents Of A Dyslexic Child...

As parents of a dyslexic child, we see how hard our children work every single day. They stay strong at school to the best of their abilities and often times work so much harder than the rest of their peers even if they don’t get the results. They continue day after day without giving up even if they want to.

As parents of a dyslexic child, we are grateful and relieved when our child’s teachers recognize and praise our child’s efforts. We remember those educators forever who measure success beyond test results. They become the angels who bring that best self of our child.

As parents of a dyslexic child, we fight and advocate when we have to, not only for our child but also for those who will walk in our steps for years to come. We endlessly try to educate others on dyslexia.

As parents of a dyslexic child, we focus on our child’s strengths. We are amazed every single day how they find creative ways to navigate through life. We are inspired by their creativity and wisdom.

As parents of a dyslexic child, we worry and stress that the academic life will leave deep scars in our child’s heart and soul.

In the end, as parents of a dyslexic child, we realize sometimes the callus that we cannot prevent and the experiences we cannot protect them from may not be that bad after all as long as they know that home is always a safe haven and they will always be welcomed with our unconditional love.

Deep Dive Into Self-Compassion with Jess Hopkins

Deep Dive Into Self-Compassion with Jess Hopkins

We all have that little voice in our heads that says “you’re not ____ enough.”  (not cool enough, smart enough, skinny enough!) It’s too easy to compare ourselves to what other people are doing and quickly get derailed with overwhelm. Self-compassion might just be the right tool for not only surviving but thriving emotionally in today’s academic world.

How Retained Primitives Could Affect Learning Disabilities

About a year ago, both my children were tested for retained primitive reflexes and to my surprise, they both showed high levels of many primitive reflexes still retained at ages of 7 and 10. I want to be clear that this is a non-traditional approach and it is certainly not evidence-based. But as I studied the science behind it, I began to believe the power of this non-invasive approach.

I realize this is not for everyone. My goal is to put the information out there. You can decide whether this is a match for your family. 

So if you are against non-evidence based approaches, please STOP reading now.

During the training to eliminate these reflexes, I have met many children and parents with amazing stories. Realizing this may not be for everyone, I am sharing my experience with those who might be in search of alternative solutions just like I was.

The beauty is, there are many resources online that can guide a family through the exercises without any cost. Dr. Robert Melillo’s and Solve Learning Disabilities’ website, as well as Kathy Johnson’s YouTube video series are the best I found so far. Although the exercises are simple and can be fun, it sure will also be tough in the beginning. They have to be done exactly and repetitively every day up to three times for about 30 days or more. The just of it is that the exercises break the connection for the reflex in the brain and reform new connections by repetitively performing the specific physical movements. As the reflexes are “consumed”, we experienced that the exercises became much easier to complete.

We eliminated more than half of the primitive reflexes in couple of months. The ones still lingering along are the ones that were severe and are now reduced to mild or moderate. Some of the major benefits we saw were:
- Improved handwriting, reading, attention, impulse control, fine-motor skills (pencil grip, using utensils), hand-eye coordination, swimming, bicycling, core strength and posture
- Reduced sensory overload, moodiness and motion sickness
- Eliminated hair eating, sleeve sucking and messy eating

So what are these primitive reflexes? We are all born with them. A reflex is an automatic muscle reaction in response to outside stimulation. The primitive reflexes are the reflex actions typical in a newborn that naturally inhibit during the first year of life. They are critical for the survival of the infant and serve as the training wheels for the brain early on in the infancy. Older children and adults with intact neurology do not show signs of primitive reflexes. Instead, postural reflexes replace the primitive reflexes once they are successfully integrated. These more mature postural reflexes control balance, coordination and sensory motor development.

The presence and the severity of the primitive reflexes are an important benchmark for the development and function of the nervous system and the brain functions. Therefore, if the training wheels cannot come off and the reflexes are retained beyond the age it should normally disappear, the child’s brain cannot take off full speed and it could potentially cause developmental delays.

A variety of factors may cause retention of primitive reflexes. Some major factors are traumatic birth experience, atypical neurology such as people with cerebral palsy, head trauma or falls that could affect the brain. Some other factors are easy to overlook such as birth by c-section, chronic ear infections, lack of tummy time, delayed or skipped mile stones such as crawling.
Although there is no scientific evidence based on current knowledge that primitive reflexes play a role in disorders such as ADHD, sensory processing disorder or learning disabilities, more scientists are investigating the potential relation between retained primitive reflexes and these disorders. A the results of a study, for example, by Integrated Learning Strategies showed that children with ADHD had a high occurrence of primitive reflexes compared to the control group.

For a list of primitive reflexes, please click here. Landau Reflex, which is not present at birth but typically emerges around the third month of life, is also included in the list. 

An Interview on Special Education with Pamela Guest, Chief Editor at IEP Magazine

An Interview on Special Education with Pamela Guest, Chief Editor at IEP Magazine

Pamela Guest is the Founder and Chief Editor at IEP Magazine. More importantly, she is one of us, a parent of a dyslexic. Her family and quality education are her passions. We did a deep dive into special education and struggles throughout her son's academic life. Thank you, Pam, for sharing your story with us. 

Are My Parenting Strategies Frustrating My Dyslexic Child?

Are My Parenting Strategies Frustrating My Dyslexic Child?

Parents want what is best for their children.  Yet, sometimes our best intentions might stress our children. These are the three changes I made to my behaviour as a mom of a dyslexic child and improved the happiness and successs of my son.