In the case of dyslexic children, it must be understood and accepted that the child’s low results are not caused by laziness, ignorance, lack of attention or character, but by dyslexia.

Empathy to the dyslexic child involves our capacity to place ourselves in the child’s shoes, reason with what he feels and understand his/her torment.

Dyslexic children realize that they are different, that they cannot cope with requirements and are always behind the others, that younger children know things they don’t. They feel that things that are natural for others are impossible, inaccessible for them. Dyslexic children realize that their results do not correspond to their parents’, teachers’ expectations and are not according to their own efforts either. Because they are unable to read and write correctly, they can start thinking that they cannot do anything properly, repeated failures can lead to the opinion that they are not good at anything. These children feel incapable, useless, inferior to others. They become more and more passive, lose their initiative, do not trust their own abilities, do not take chances, expect failures. Self-esteem becomes unstable They gradually lose interest in studying and become unmotivated on the long term. Many of them react to learning failures through behavior disorders, which are often not understood by the family or school. Parents become worried, concerned because of the child’s school progresses, his/her results, school adjustment and future.

In such families, studying until late in the night becomes a custom. The child has to study a lot so as to respond to school expectations, but despite countless exercises, in most cases, the results are not as expected. In many cases, the child invents anything else so as to postpone preparing his/her lessons. The permanent tension at home associated to studying also influences the parent-child relationship. If someone else takes care of the co-repetition process, the parent can still be a parent, offering emotional support to the child and does not change into a tutor or teacher in the child’s eyes.

The child must be supported to become a balanced adult, with the will to live, integrated in society, a person able to accept his/her issues caused by dyslexia. The child’s strengths need to be identified and developed, so that he/she feels valuable despite school difficulties. The increase of the child’s self-esteem can be ensured through the appreciation of the poor or high results obtained at school and through various activities: sports, music, art, hobbies, volunteering, etc.

Human relationships are very important. Support groups for children, parent counseling can help parents on this hard and lengthy road. Meeting dyslexic adults is a source of hope for the parents. The relationship with a speech therapist, psychologist or empathic teacher can offer real support, responsibility sharing and support in handling crises. By collaborating with the speech therapist, the parent can also become involved in the child’s development process, through various speech therapy exercises or games.

“The only thing that prevents me from learning is the teaching system.” – stated Albert Einstein, one of the renowned dyslexics. These words seem to be true today for persons suffering from dyslexia. Many of the teachers haven’t even heard of dyslexia, as the information on this topic is not part of their professional training. The parent will have to become involved in the child’s education throughout the school years, becoming a partner for teachers and specialists (speech therapists, psychologists, kinetotherapists, doctors). Open communication, good intentions and common sense, trust, understanding and mutual support will help this relationship turn into an actual partnership. The parent can inform inexperienced teachers in the field on dyslexia on this phenomenon, on the peculiarities of the child, his/her learning style, strengths to be capitalized on in the learning process. Unlike in the EU and the USA, where the rights of dyslexic children are stipulated in the Education Law for many years, such provisions were not yet passed in Romania. However, a lot can be done while waiting for such regulations. Dyslexic children need devoted parents and teachers who see this phenomenon as a professional challenge.

What kind of parent am I?

  • I empathize with my child.
  • I appreciate my child’s learning efforts.
  • I know and appreciate my child’s abilities and strengths.
  • I handle my child’s reactions to school failures with understanding and tact.
  • I permanently encourage my child.
  • I appreciate my child.
  • I let him/her know that I enjoy spending time with him/her.
  • I am a role model for my child in as far as accepting my own mistakes and failures, coping with hard times.
  • I can teach my child how to handle his/her own problems, though I sometimes am overwhelmed.
  • I explain him/her what his/her problem is.
  • I encourage him/her and teach him/her to persevere despite difficulties.
  • I provide my child with a healthy development through appreciation, love, new experiences, stimulation, as well as various responsibilities and duties.
  • I am positively involved in my relationship with the child, I have realistic expectations.
  • I do not take out my hurt, despair on the child.
  • I am involved in the child’s education.
  • I always look for information on dyslexia.
  • We discuss the child’s issues in the family and try to find the best solutions together.
  • I am convinced that my child will find his place in life and I talk to him/her about that.
  • I collaborate with specialists and teachers.
  • I help my child make valuable support friends and acquaintances.
  • We laugh a lot together.