5 Ways Dyslexia Can Affect Your Child´s Social Life

Dyslexia and social skillsMost people with Dyslexia in their family know how much of a struggle reading and writing can be, but did you know Dyslexia can also affect social skills?

Here are some common social skill challenges and things you can do to aid in development of these important skills.

  1. Your child doesn´t understand jokes or sarcasmChildren with Dyslexia have trouble understanding humor. Tell jokes or funny stories at the dinner table to help your child practice responding.
  2. Your child have trouble finding the right words-Children with Dyslexia have trouble finding words  especially if they feel strongly about a subject or need to respond quickly. Give your child time to think before responding and slow down the overall pace of the conversation.
  3. Your child misses social cues-Children with Dyslexia may not pick up on body language and other social cues. Watch your child´s favorite shows with the volume turned off. Ask your child to guess how a character is feeling based on their body language and facial expressions.
  4. Your child hesitates to message their friends-Your child may shy away from texting because they have difficulty understanding abbreviations, to help show them how abbreviations work. Some are based on spelling (“I don´t know”= idk) and others on how letters and numbers sounds (“later”=l8tr).
  5. Your child remembers things inaccurately-Children with Dyslexia usually have trouble with their short term memory. Help improve memory skills by playing games like having your child name the different cars on the street and having them repeat it back to you a few minutes later.

If you feel like your child´s Dyslexia is limiting their potential at Learning Foundations, we use a scientifically proven multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham based program to help students with Dyslexia. If your child is struggling with reading, give us a call today at (210) 495-2626, or

JOIN US and other parents at our Parent Information Meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to ask questions and explore possibilities about how to best help your bright but struggling child.

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Don´t Let Your Child Lose What They´ve Worked So Hard to Achieve Over the Summer

As the end of the school year looms near most kids are overjoyed with the thought of a Summer without books and homework, but taking the summer off can lead to a loss of those hard earned skills and is what educators call “the summer slide”.  Studies have found this is especially detrimental to student with learning difficulties.

Not to fear here are some fun educational activities you can do with your children to keep  their brains in shape over the summer:

  1. MakeSummerReading summer learning part of the fun by encouraging struggling readers to use audiobooks to build their knowledge and vocabulary while exposing them to age-appropriate content beyond their reading level.
  1. Help kids “frontload” for the next school year by exposing them to information they will be able to apply to next year´s curriculum. For example, students who will be learning about American history next year might prompt a family trip to the Freedom  Trail in Boston or to a local area of historical interest.
  2. Sign up for a library summer reading program these usually offer awesome prizes and incentives to inspire students to read and improve their school performance
  3. Limit screen time to activities that build competencies-games that build math skills, word games, and films that will inspire students to the read the book on which they were based. Even education screen time in no substitute for unstructured play or quite reading under a favorite tree.
  4. Read books together as a family and make a treat or visit a place that goes along with the theme book when you finish it.
  5. Make one day a week science day and build a project, collect specimens on a nature hike, or try out some interesting experiments.Summer-Learning
  6. Taking a family trip or vacation? Help your children create a travel journal and document events of the day and gather pictures and mementos.
  7. Do your children love to help you in the kitchen? Have them practice measuring and following recipes directions while trying out some new recipes.
  8. Visit local museums, galleries, city gardens etc.
  9. Sign your child up for an academic based day camp or class in a subject they enjoy.                                                                            At our learning center we offer fun and challenging summer programs to help keep improve your child´s abilities and keep their brains in tip top shape. Give us a call today at (210) 495-2626, or JOIN US and other parents at our Parent Information Meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to ask questions and explore possibilities.

Jack Muir Laws, Naturalist and Artist, Shares How His Dyslexia is a Gift

Jack Muir Laws calls himself an “Exquisite Dyslexic” and explains how his Dyslexia has allowed him to be more present and observant.  Take a look at his lecture he gave for the nonprofit Dyslexic Advantage´s conference on Dyslexia and Talent. 

 

Click here to see more videos from the conference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyab_VSBCAk

At Learning Foundations, we use a scientifically proven multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham based program to help students with Dyslexia use their gifts and achieve their potential. If your child is struggling with reading, give us a call today at (210) 495-2626, or

JOIN US and other parents at our Parent Information Meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to ask questions and explore possibilities about how to best help your bright but struggling child.

New Research Sheds Light on the Link between Dsylexia and Visuospatial Processing Strengths

A student with visuospatial processing strengths is a student who learns holistically rather than in a step by step fashion. Visual imagery plays an essential part in these students’ learning process. Meaning the student processes primarily in pictures rather than words. These students have many talents in non-language visuospatial domains, such as art, architecture, and various arenas related to three dimensional thinking. Unfortunately the American Education system if based on linear sequential thinking, which is particularly difficult for these types of students and requires them to translate their usual thought processes to take in new information, which can be a daunting and time consuming task.

Click here to learn more about visual spatial learners http://www.dyslexia.com.html

According to a new study by Haskins researchers in which they examined the cognitive and neural bases of visuospatial processing abilities for different kinds of material in adolescents with dyslexia compared to typically developing peers, students with Dyslexia show a visuospatial processing advantage. It’s well known that children with Dsylexia, although they have specific problems with language impacting their ability to read, their brains are different not defective. This study suggests their difference could be the source of their many strengths. Research found that subjects with Dyslexia showed more expert-like brain activation patterns than non dyslexic subjects when processing figures, while the opposite was true for print processing.

Click here to read the entire article  http://interdys.org/DyslexiaAndVisuospatialProcessing.html

If this sounds like your child, at Learning Foundations we offer programs that utilize your child’s strengths while retraining their brains to process language and print more effectively. Give us a call today at (210)495-2626 or

JOIN US and other parents at our Parent Information Meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to ask questions and explore possibilities about how to best help your bright but struggling child.

The Story Behind “Embracing Dyslexia”

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When our son, Alejandro, was in 1st grade, we transferred him from one school to another.  Prior to entering he was evaluated for reading and math to see if he was at grade level.  My wife and I were informed that Ale was behind in reading, which was a surprise because his previous school never said anything.  We just assumed that this new school was more advanced because that was their reputation.  It was recommended that Ale meet with the resource teacher for reading and that we hire a tutor for additional support.  It was expected that by doing this he would catch up and everything would be fine.

Everything was far from fine, however.  Ale would come home exhausted.  He’d complain that his head or his brain hurt.  We’d give him a break before diving into homework, but it didn’t help.  Doing math was okay but when it came to reading, we’d have mini-meltdowns. Ale would start reading but quickly become very defiant and give up.  We’d scold him for giving up and not really trying.  We’d tell him that he was being lazy because clearly he was smart enough.  He’d cry and cry but we wouldn’t give in to what we believed to be crocodile tears.  Then there were the many, many times he would say that he was stupid or dumb.  We told him to stop using those words because they weren’t true.  All he needed to do was try harder and focus.

At the end of 1st grade we met with the principal and his teacher and they informed us that Ale hadn’t progressed in his reading as they had hoped.  They felt that if we held him back a year, then he would surely catch up.  We thought about it very carefully.  We weighed the consequences of holding him back a year.  We believed that maybe Ale started school too early (he was born in July and was the youngest in his class) and that’s why he was struggling.  Dyslexia was never mentioned to us and, honestly, the concept never popped into our heads.  So we held him back.

1st grade, the second time around, was a better experience for Ale and for us — at least for the first two quarters.  Eventually we started falling back into the same difficulties as before.  But at the end of the year everyone felt he had progressed enough to move on.

The first half of 2nd grade was really bad.  There was more homework, more reading, more spelling and writing and this led to more anxiety and frustration.  Ale’s anxiety had even begun to express itself physically.  He’d complain of being sick in the mornings before getting ready for school.  At school, he’d complain of headaches, fevers, stomach aches and nausea to the point of actually throwing up.  On more than a few occasions the school would call me to tell me that there was something wrong and I would have to go pick him up.

Meanwhile, I had begun doing some research online trying to figure out why he was getting sick at school, but then he’d be perfectly fine at home.  I remember reading a post in some forum where someone shared that they had a similar issue and that it was happening because their child was dyslexic and that the stress and anxiety from having to read in class or take tests where reading was required was the cause.  At the same time, my mother had been spending some time with Ale and she had approached us regarding Ale’s reading difficulties.  She believed that he may have dyslexia and that we should have him tested.

In March 2011, two months after starting the testing process, we were given the diagnosis.  Ale had dyslexia as well as ADHD.  At first we were worried because we didn’t know what that meant for his future.  Would he be able to go to school like everyone else?  Would he be able to go to college?  Would he ever learn to read like his peers?  I went back to the internet for the answers and I found them.  Things were going to be okay.  Being diagnosed with dyslexia was not going to be the end.  It was just the beginning.  We met with the principal and Ale’s teachers to let them know of the diagnosis and to figure out the next steps.  We were told that we needed to get a 504 plan which required us to make an appointment with the school.  This also meant that from March until the end of the school year nothing would change and his struggles would continue.  But there was a huge difference at home.  We now knew why he struggled and Ale knew why he struggled.  Accusations were a thing of the past and our frustration levels were greatly reduced.

There was one more thing that happened at our meeting with the principal and teachers.  I remember bringing up the issue of how do we help explain to Ale what dyslexia is and what it means for him.  The principal quickly stepped in and said that she doesn’t like to use the “D” word because it labels the child and labels are not helpful.  Eventually I found out that she doesn’t even allow the teachers to use the word with parents or children!  I was shocked by this because I saw what a difference acknowledging the “D” word made in our lives.  Why would other affected families be denied this opportunity for a breakthrough?

At the beginning of 3rd grade, Ale’s resource teacher informed my wife and I that Susan Barton, an expert in the field of dyslexia was going to be giving a free seminar at a nearby facility and that we should consider going.  She also said that she had informed the entire school personnel hoping that they would make it.  We ended up going and despite repeated reminders, only four teachers went.  This included the resource teacher and the kindergarten teacher.  None of the 1st through 8th grade teachers made it.  I had already known that Ale’s teacher wouldn’t be there because when I asked her a week before the event, she was quite quick to inform me that it was her birthday and she had plans.  Here was an extremely important opportunity to learn about something that affects at least 15% of our school’s students and the moment was squandered.

It was after the seminar that I realized that I needed to do something to help educate others about dyslexia — especially the teachers and administrators.  And that was the moment that Embracing Dyslexia” was born.  This film is my chance to make things right.  I can’t take back the decision to hold Ale back a year, something that will always be a terrible memory for him.  I can’t take back the many times I accused Ale of being lazy and not trying hard enough.  This film is my way of trying to prevent other children and their families from having to go through what we did.  Schools need to acknowledge that dyslexia is real; they need to understand what it is and not be afraid of the word; and they need to know what can be done to help these children. With this information they can work with parents and together make a tremendous impact on a dyslexic child’s life.

Please join us this October 28th at the Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak  for the San Antonio premiere of  “Embracing Dyslexia”. I will be there, as well as other dyslexia experts, parents, teachers and adults with dyslexia to answer questions and share their stories of what has worked.  I guarantee that being part of this event will help you change the lives of those smart but struggling children that, like my son, thought they were stupid.

Fill out the Comment Form on the bottom of the post or call (210) 495-2626 for tickets.  Tickets are by donation and all proceeds will go towards Marin’s Mission 4 Dyslexia and Standing Strong for Dyslexia, two local non-profits whose goal it is to raise awareness and provide resources for families of kids and teens with dyslexia.

If you suspect your child may have dyslexia and would like to talk about testing, please call us at (210) 495-2626 or email info@learningfoundations.com.  Don’t wait until the pain and frustration is unbearable.

Embracing Dyslexia to Debut in San Antonio for Dyslexia Awareness Month

Groundbreaking documentary takes a hard look at dyslexia and its impact on children and parents.

As part of National Dyslexia Awareness Month, Learning Foundations will present a screening of “Embracing Dyslexia” on October 28th at 6:00 P.M. at the Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak. Director Luis Macias will introduce the film, and answer questions along with a panel of dyslexia experts following the documentary.

“We were frightened for him because he was shutting down on every level.  He felt so frustrated, so stupid, so unworthy and incapable.  And that word ‘dyslexia’ changed everything for him.” Says LeAnn Harbaugh, a parent featured in the film.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 15-20% of the U.S. population has some degree of dyslexia, which affects reading, writing and spelling.  Millions go undiagnosed and do not receive the appropriate intervention through their school.

The film is a moving exploration of dyslexia from the perspective of parents, adult dyslexics and experts on dyslexia.  “Embracing Dyslexia” explains the difficulties faced by dyslexics, the shortcomings of our current educational system and the available options for parents of dyslexic children.

The screening will serve as a fundraiser for Marin’s Mission for Dyslexia and Standing Strong for Dyslexia; two local non-profits whose mission is to raise awareness and provide resources to families of dyslexic children and teens.

Learning Foundations is a learning and diagnostic center in San Antonio and Executive Producer of the film.  We provide testing and specialized tutoring for children and teens with ADHD and Dyslexia.

If you would like more information about how to get tickets, please contact Rafael Scarnati at (210) 495-2626 or email rafael@learningfoundations.com.

Dyslexic High School Student Talks About Finding Your Passion

Piper Otterbein is a senior at Cape Elizabeth High School. This amazing young woman talks about her experience growing up with dyslexia in school, and how she found her passion.

To the many parents and students who are suffering from dyslexia, this is a story of hope.

Never forget that dyslexia comes with as many gifts as it does with challenges. The great news is that the brain can be trained to correct challenges with reading and spelling.

But the gifts, that people with dyslexia often have (creativity, visual spacial skills, people skills, empathy, problem solving) those are all skills that are not typically learned.

If your child is struggling to read and you believe may be dyslexic, get started now on a multi-sensory reading approach so that he doesn’t have to go through life crippled by this condition.

Visit http://www.learningfoundations.com/dyslexia for more information or call (210) 495-2626 to schedule a consultation.