Tuesday 23 January 2018

Dyslexia: I explain to my sons that it's just like being short sighted

Eadaoin Briody from Virginia, Co Cavan, was delighted when her two sons, Colm and Tadhg, were finally diagnosed with dyslexia, she explains:

"To be honest it was a relief to have a diagnosis. With Tadhg I knew something wasn't right. His teachers seemed to think he was just being bold but I knew he was bright and couldn't understand why he was struggling so badly with learning.

"Because he wasn't coping in school we made the decision to home-school him from the age of four. I think there can be a problem in some schools that if you don't fit into a certain box then you're going to get left behind. Even if I'd moved him to a different school I was worried he'd disappear in the large classes.

"I remember a teacher handing me a book on dyslexia with the cover face down. It implied that I wouldn't want any of the other parents to see it but dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of.

"I would have walked out wearing a dyslexia T-shirt if I'd had one! As far as I'm concerned, it's not an illness; it's just like being born short-sighted. That's the message I've always tried to pass on to the boys: it's important to focus on what they're good at, not the fact that they find it hard to spell.

"Colm was only diagnosed a few weeks ago. He'd worked out ways to deal with it himself, so it was less obvious than with Tadhg. When I hear them talking, it's amazing how enthusiastic they are about the way the world works and wanting to understand everything. They think on a completely different level.

"When people hear the boys have dyslexia, their reaction tends to be, 'Ah, God love them, they're not very bright'. But Colm has an IQ of 140 and Tadhg's very bright too! Colm's very mathematical and Tadhg's best subjects are computers, design and graphics.

"They've done well in secondary school because there are more young teachers willing to try different teaching styles and engaging with technology, which really suits dyslexics. I have absolutely no doubt that both of them will be successful with whatever they go on to do."

Irish Independent

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