Dear Hon Collier & Ms Ellery, My name is Karen and I am the mum of an extraordinary 9-year-old boy called Noah.  As a typical mum of a...

Karen's Red Letter

21:16:00 Dyslexia Australia 0 Comments

Dear Hon Collier & Ms Ellery,

My name is Karen and I am the mum of an extraordinary 9-year-old boy called Noah.  As a typical mum of a 9-year-old I cook, clean, care, love and ferry him to his many sports. Sadly, I also have to see him struggle every day with anger, frustration and anxiety.  Noah has dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.

All of Noah’s school years have been filled with tears and tantrums and we have endured an emotional roller coaster purely because Noah struggles to read. He has very little comprehension of what he is actually reading.  

We as a family and especially Noah have made many sacrifices to help him through his learning journey.  I have endured countless teachers telling me to do more at home, that he is just a typical boy, he will get there in the end but my gut feeling was always that there was more to his constant struggle.  Noah has felt different, stupid and conscious of his lack of reading skills around all of his peers and for a young boy this has had a huge effect on him as a person. 

I feel the education system has severely let Noah down and if I had not pushed so hard at the beginning of year 3 to find answers and take matters into my own hands to find a diagnosis I think the school would have continued to ignore his dyslexia.  I paid a substantial amount of money to private specialists just to be told what I already knew and why? Because teachers can think that a child is dyslexic but not advise a parent of their concerns.  I would like to know who makes up these ridiculous boundaries between the education department and the welfare of children like Noah.

Evidence shows that if dyslexia is diagnosed at an early age and intervention is given then they can excel in school. It only takes a more visual, multi sensory approach to teaching to achieve this.  There are so many talented people in the world with dyslexia and I feel the education department in Australia needs to understand that small changes in the way we teach these children can make life changing effects for all children with dyslexia.   

My son endured 2 terms of year 4 trying to grasp the concept of times tables. Again I endured the tears, tantrums and disappointment every week that he failed in his weekly tests at school. Once again I paid money and both Noah and I sacrificed our weekends to attend an explicit times table programme that uses multi-sensory concepts to help dyslexic children achieve this very important math concept. In 6 weeks he was the 2nd child in his class to know all of his times tables and he felt on top of the world, it actually worked. Time, patience and a different approach to learning had paid off. Why can this not be offered in main stream education? Why do our teachers have a one to two hour lecture on dyslexia in their 4 years of full time study on this prevalent condition?  

I suspect money is a huge factor in why dyslexia is not a recognised learning difficulty in our system today and possibly lack of knowledge and education on the part of those that make such decisions that effect our children.

My hopes are that one day children with dyslexia can be given the support and the education they need to excel in school.  Small changes will make a huge impact in helping dyslexic children of the future. These children are so talented in many areas of their life however if you cannot read, write or understand words how are they supposed to succeed in their adult life? 

I can categorically say that they would not have been able to write,  read or understand this letter like you can? Would you want this for your children? 

Kindest regards