Knowing When Your Child’s Inabilities Are Not Normal

3892755     When my son, Tyler, was a preschooler, I would try to work with him on numbers, letters, shapes, colors and all the other things a “good parent” teaches her child.  Between the preschool he attended and I, he knew the difference between a “v” and a “w”, what an “8” was and how the diamond was different than a square.  However, he struggled with colors.  We would go over them and go over them and he still did not get it.  Frustrated, I felt he wasn’t applying himself – that he would rather play with his matchbox cars than learn what purple was.  It wasn’t until a field trip with his kindergarten class that made me think differently.
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     I was chaperoning his class on a field trip an hour away at a theater.  I don’t even remember the name of the play but, as we were waiting, Ty, his friends and I started playing “I Spy.”  The room was beautiful in tones of gold, brown and other elaborate colors.  It was not long until I realized Tyler was struggling.  When a certain color was called, he simply could not see it, even when pointed out.  As I sat there musing over the events, I remembered that my father was color blind.  It made me wonder if Tyler was experiencing this as well.
4835940   The next day I decided to visit the school nurse to ask her opinion.  She agreed to test him.  The way they test for color blindness is not as simple as saying “Point to the red dot” or “what color is this?”  Instead they have a series of cards with hidden pictures, similar to the one on the right.  A normal person can easily the the hidden picture.  A color blind person cannot.    The color blind person would see the  dots.  They could not see that some were a different color and in the shape of a star, square or circle.  On some they would have two pictures in the dots that were different color.  He could see the one but not the other.  I felt horrible.  I thought he was not applying himself, but he was.  A trip later to the eye doctor confirmed the nurse’s findings.
    Speed ahead a few years to my youngest daughter.  I noticed when she was a preschooler she struggled with shapes.  I thought, “I am not making the same mistake with her.” So I would talk to her teachers.  No one seemed to be worried as she struggled to learn her shapes and letters.  I knew there was something very wrong, but everyone tried to assure me she was normal.  Her teachers would praise how well she was reading, but I figured out the truth,  She was not reading, but memorizing.  But still no one would listen.  Then, in 2nd grade, her teacher called me the end of September and told me she noticed Lexi’s struggle.  She knew exactly what was going on.  Lexi was dyslexic.  That did not surprise me because her father is and I was so glad somebody finally believed me.  And the reason this teacher knew?  The teacher, herself, was a dyslexic as well as the teacher’s own child.  Not only did she know what was wrong but she opened up all kinds of doors for me, one which I will share at another time.
Bottom line: You know your child and know when something is not right.  You can be their advocate to help them get what they need.
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One thought on “Knowing When Your Child’s Inabilities Are Not Normal

  1. Pingback: YOU Are Your Best Advocate! |

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