Learning Difficulties

Ideas for Educating Children with Dyslexia

From time to time we have received inquiries concerning teaching children with dyslexia. We offer some resources for a variety of special education needs, but since we are not experienced in such teaching, we sent out a email to our customers in September 2011, requesting advice from those who have experienced this type of educational challenge. The immediate response was a great encouragement. It blessed us greatly to know that so many people care about others and want to help. May God bless each one.

We have been given permission to share many of the emails we received, and these are published below, having been edited for privacy and clarity. If you have any additional comments or experience you would be happy to share, please tell us.

I began the first grade about 1943 during World War II. As far as I know, people were not categorized according to learning disabilities in the "good ol' days." School was just easier for some children than others. The teachers did try to help us slow learners. Having read your responses, I realize now that our teachers must have had some difficult days. I was not classified, but for some reason learning was not easy for me. Somehow I survived the process, and today I am 74 years old and still functioning. Praise be to God. Having been a slow learner myself, I have a real heart for the children who find "school learning" difficult.

One thing which became obvious from your responses and from a little research is that there are many different kinds of learning difficulties. It may be wise in some cases to get professional help to identify what kind problem you are dealing with, yet each child is unique and you will need to tailor your teaching program to his particular need and what works for him.

One of my personal observations is that success in life is not determined by how "smart" a child is in school. Learning to live with one's disabilities is valuable. It helps us to be humble and respect others. Often those who do not do well with conventional "school learning" have special gifts and abilities. This was noted in your responses. In many cases the child may be very talented, and our challenge is how to unlock those abilities in spite of his difficulties with conventional learning. Don't ever assume your child is dumb! I hope what follows will encourage you and give you some tools and ideas on how to unlock your child's abilities.

Silas Martin, September 2011

The following letters, edited for privacy and clarity, are arranged in alphabetical order by first name (unless written as a follow-up to a previous letter). If you would like to get in touch with any of those who have shared, let us know, and we will forward your contact information to the writer. If they are interested in corresponding, they will contact you directly.