Don’t let dyslexia keep your child from fulfilling their potential

Dealing with dyslexia himself, Ben Foss has detailed how to identify and deal with children with the disorder is new book “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning.”
Dealing with dyslexia himself, Ben Foss has detailed how to identify and deal with children with the disorder is new book “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning.”

If you’re reading this article during your daily commute on public transit, chances are there are at least five dyslexic people in your midst. The  reading disorder effects 10 percent of the population, with about 400,000 children diagnosed per year.

Dealing with dyslexia himself, Ben Foss has detailed how to identify and deal with the disorder in his new book “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning.”

We asked Foss how to identify and foster a love of learning in students who are struggling.

Identifying dyslexia:

Knowing if a child has dyslexia starts with paying attention to their habits and strengths. Foss says that if children mispronounce words or avoid reading aloud under any circumstances, that could signal to parents that it would be a good idea to have the child tested. Some dyslexic children have trouble memorizing a series of numbers, or confuse words that sound familiar. But dyslexic children have strengths, as well, Foss stresses.

“If your child is dyslexic, you should find where their strength is and you play to it,” he says. Stressing the things that a child is good at strengthens their self-esteem and makes any anxiety related to dyslexia easier to manage.

Orient your thinking

Foss says a perspective shift is also in order. “You want to make sure you don’t think about dyslexia as a disease. I am from New Hampshire, I’m not diagnosed as being from New Hampshire, I don’t suffer from being from New Hampshire I just am from New Hampshire. What you suffer from is being in a school system that expects everyone to do everything the same way. If you’re in a wheelchair, the problem is not the wheelchair, it’s the stairs.”

Tips:

Encourage your child’s resiliency

“I cannot emphasize enough, you really want to explain to your kid that they’re not broken and that they’re smart and you love them. The main thing you’re looking to build in your child long term is resilience,” says Foss. “You can do this by giving your child unconditional love and giving them responsibility.”

Get your child formally identified

Foss explains that this will be a defense against schools trying to tell you “your kid’s just developing slowly” or “your kid’s just not college material.”

Get the facts

“Learn what dyslexia is, learn the background, explain it to your child and then teach your child how to explain because they’re going to run into people all day at school who have questions for them,” says Foss.

Dyslexia myths, debunked:

“Your child needs to be fixed.”

“I think one of the biggest myths is that we’re going fix your child. The thing is, your kid’s not broken in the first place,” Foss says.

“It’s better not to tell your child they have dyslexia.”

“The child will figure it out and they’re going need to be a part of the team,” he says. Dyslexic students “need to get out there and do the hard work of telling their story and self-advocate, so you really want learn to embrace the profile.”

“Reading is the best way to learn.”

Foss reminds parents that reading is not like blinking or breathing. “It’s only been in the last 100 years that humans have been expected to read,” he says. “I completed Stanford Law School while never reading a book with my eyes.” Foss suggests other options such as audio books or iPads that read aloud to you as extremely productive ways for your child to obtain information.

“It’s your fault.”

“The only thing you contributed were your genes,” explains Foss. “Dyslexia is genetic.”

Celebrities with Dyslexia:

Whoopi Goldberg
Steven Spielberg
Richard Branson
Cher
Magic Johnson

Follow Julie Kayzerman on Twitter @juliekayzerman



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.