Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The perils of living with a dyslexic

My eldest daughter is dyslexic. This is not all Firstborn is - she is also funny, kind, full of life, inquisitive, independent, sociable, confident and emotionally sensitive - but the qualities and difficulties that come as part of the dyslexic parcel certainly make life more interesting. And often quite amusing.

One symptom that comes with being dyslexic - and looms large at her age of nine years old as she has not yet managed to fit coping strategies to this part of her life - is not having much of a concept of time, which often leads to chronic disorganization. Whilst I've put strategies into place for her in an attempt to make life less chaotic (we have lists and timetables plastered all over to house), it doesn't always work.

Firstborn came home from school this week all fired up about a charity bake sale she was involved in at school. Except that she neglected to tell me until the last moment that I was expected to make fairy cakes for it, and that she simply had to take them into school the next morning. So, even though it was close to her bedtime when the announcement was made, I whipped up a batch and my three girls and I decorated them (although in BB's case this meant throwing silver balls on the floor then trying to eat them). A slightly later bedtime than usual but happiness all round.

Firstborn skipped in to school the next morning, proudly bearing two Tupperware boxes stuffed with sparkly sprinkle festooned cakes. Except that she quickly figured out that the bake sale wasn't actually on Monday, but on Wednesday. Oops.

But what was brilliant was that Firstborn wasn't embarrassed about her mistake, she merely apologized to me, we laughed our heads off and then she proceeded to hand the cakes out to her eager friends.

I was really proud of Firstborn's reaction. She could have easily seen the incident as a negative thing and felt ashamed, but instead she was incredibly positive and saw the funny side.

Dyslexia comes with its unique challenges but, like most things in life, how you deal with it simply comes down to perception and how positive you can remain in the face of adversity.

I think Firstborn has already got it sorted. Good work kid, you're going to be just fine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Firstborn - you're a winner!