Excerpts from DyslexiaLand: A Field Guide for Parents of Children with Dyslexia by author Cheri Rae
Each of us arrives in DyslexiaLand with a different set of experiences, different perspectives on politics, religion, and child-rearing but there is one overriding issue that unites us above all else: the desire and determination to do our best to help our children with dyslexia.
Once you know about dyslexia, it’s almost impossible to keep quiet about it! We who work so hard to help our dyslexic children get through school have such a strong sense of connection with others who do the same; we can strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger—who immediately feels like a friend—and talk for hours about it. Oh, how it helps to tell our stories and listen to others tell theirs, knowing we are not alone, and neither are our children.
We share our triumphs and compare our troubles, seeking safety, justice and a sense of peace that we’re on the right path as we make the long journey through DyslexiaLand. Along the way, no matter what our actual professions or areas of expertise, we develop new skills as we are called on to become advocates, assistive technology experts, behavioral professionals; book buyers, cheerleaders, community leaders, correspondents, counselors, curriculum specialists, detectives, diplomats, document and systems analysts, educational consultants, fact-checkers, financial managers, fund-raisers, grant-writers, homework helpers, legal-eagles, lobbyists, negotiators, peacemakers, persuasive speakers, political commentators, record-keepers, researchers, schedulers, social media mavens, socio-emotional assessors, teachers, test evaluators; tutors—and sometimes we’re magicians, motivators and miracle workers.
All the while doing our best to keep clear heads, kind hearts, cheerful spirits and a sense of serenity as we raise happy, healthy families; maintain relationships outside the home and in the community, and hold onto our sanity and our jobs—even when we have to take too much time off to advocate for our children during school hours. Even when we have to keep our emotions in check and our opinions to ourselves—at least until we get home and let it all out in our safe place.
We take on these roles, develop our skills and work tirelessly to benefit the most precious people in our lives—our children, who depend on us to provide and care for them. Keep this purpose in mind at all times to prevent getting lost in DyslexiaLand. It’s not about us; it’s about creating more dyslexia-friendly experiences in our schools and communities and beyond.
And it’s about the 1 in 5 children who have an extraordinarily different way of learning, thinking and embracing this big, beautiful world just waiting for them to reach their full potential so they can make their mark on it.
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