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Saturday, February 21, 2009

The "D" Word

When I read to Scott he is so curious, he asks 3 questions for every sentence I read to him. It makes for good discussion and language arts. Sometimes I can't answer his profound questions. He has so much insight and wants to know why? why? why? for everything. For example, some great insight is with the Little House books, he asks, "This story can't be all true because she was 8 years old. How does she remember it all when she wrote it later?" I have to explain that either Ma or Pa kept a journal (or letters), or they spent a lot of time telling stories over and over (because there was no xbox) and she remembered."

Scott wants to be an inventor some day. He wants to invent new electronic games. He says I wouldn't understand them. He wants to keep a journal of his ideas because he says, "By the time he finishes high school and algebra 4, he wants to remember the ideas he has now."

Scott is really good at strategy games like mancala and othello.

He is really good with his building sets. Not only does he like to build , he likes to combine pieces to three or more game boards and/or sets to come up with a new 3-dimensional "map" as he calls it. He is very creative. One of my favorites is when he took all the action guys that were as good as new and put them on one side of the fort that he made and than took all the guys with broken arms and missing heads and made a fort for these guys. He called his scene the battle of the good guys vs. mutants(great name for the broken figures).

Scott is sensitive (and emotional) and caring. We aren't an athletic family, but Scott is the first to pick-up healy's, the only one who can hoola hoop. He is flexible and quick in Karate, swimming, and cycling. Always, very agile and able on the playground equipment.

Once again, I asked the Hebrew teacher how Scott is doing. (This is not the "Sunday school teacher.") The Hebrew school teacher said Scott read his Hebrew to the Rabbi this past class and did very well. She says Scott has an ability that the other kids in his class don't have and that is to carefully sound out the words syllable-by-syllable. His teacher says the other kids just memorize.

Scott is well-rounded in that he enjoys stories and movies in many genre. He understands and appreciates them. He is fun to discuss stories and ideas with.

Soooo, it blows me away, it has puzzled me that I can't get him to read English or write on paper.
This past year and a half, I would type into my search engine, "Is it dyslexia?" Any short quizzes and summaries that popped up didn't seal it for me. I've never noticed the d-b confusion everybody thinks dyslexia is. This past week, I've invested a great deal of time digging into the websites beyond the superficial summaries that show up first for a dyslexia search and listening to videos, which provided me with much more useful information. Absorbing all this information (and filtering out the myths) is overwhelming yet productive.

One thing I have learned is that all of Scott's strengths are right brained: curiosity, insight, sensitivity, athletics, 3D creativity. Right brain gifts may be characteristic of dyslexia and the fact that he is so smart in some areas make it even more consistent for dyslexia to be the suspected diagnosis.

The good news is that I found out about reading strategies that will help him. Instead of memorization of letters and sounds, the style of learning will appeal to his 3D thinking and answer all the "why" questions he has about our language that I have not been able to answer for him.

To be continued....


Mama K said...

He sounds to me like a very typical, normal young boy. How old is Scott again? All I know is that my four boys did not like writing any more than the bare minimum throughout elementary grades. Even longer, really, but by college, they have to do it anyway and they learn. One of them was a great reader at a young age, the others, I don't remember, pretty average I think, when little. But about 12 or 14 or so, they loved reading and would read books by the hour. Writing still not so much, but it was not as big a deal as when they were 5-10 or so. I cut all their math assignments in half so they wouldn't get overwhelmed with the tedium of penciling in the answers. I had them do enough that I could see they were getting the concepts, and hopefully not enough to kill the joy of success.

ScienceGeek said...

Great post. I think its essential to see the gifts in our dyslexic kids, and to help them see their gifts as well. While at this stage, they may see their differences as a hindrance, when they are adults, they'll be the ones that are able to come up with the novel solutions to problems that we aren't able to see.

fitncrafty said...

This is the first chance I have had to read any blogs...
This is a a great post... I enjoyed reading it!
sure miss you guys!

Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy said...

I look forward to reading more. I enjoy reading about your experiences teaching your children including what you have learned along the way from your research and observations.

Lauren said...

It's wonderful that Scott is using his decoding skills, rather than memorizing words! This will take him far. I also think it's great that he asks tons of questions when you read to him. It proves that he is bright and is using his higher-order THINKING skills to fully comprehend what is going on in the text. He's a neat kid!

Tammie said...

Scott sounds so much like my little Matthew! He is my second child and it sounded like you were describing him in your post! I'm guess Scott is a really well rounded, fun, and very smart kid!

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