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Your child is a late reader. Things just aren’t falling into place like they did for most kids. Your child is 8 and still struggling with sounding out simple words. It happens. Your child doesn’t even have to have a learning disability like dyslexia to be a late reader.
But this world wants to label everything. If you are off the normal timeline and standard acceptable pace then the shaming starts.
Most people don’t set out to deliberately make your child feel like a loser or make them ashamed of not being able to read but sadly that is exactly what happens.
“You can get candy ONLY if you can read the label.” Says a loving grandparent believing that their grandchild just needs more incentive. Reality is your child can’t read the label and they try so very hard but no candy today. Only a sad shake of grandma’s head as your child realizes they have failed.
You privately talk to the Sunday School teacher and ask her not to call on your child to read aloud. She is a school teacher and ignores you calling on your child to read anyway to ‘get a sense of her reading skill’. That is bad enough but to do it in front of your child’s friends.
Sitting at the dining room table and there is a pile of books that all require reading. Today’s history lesson calls for 5 pages to read. Science calls for an experiment write up and read aloud. Even math has detailed instructions that your child struggles to read through and understand. The burn is their sister is sitting right beside him and flying through material years ahead of her because she loves reading.
How can we help our child without being an overprotective smothering parent? Lets look at the first situation a family/friend causing issues because they don’t understand. Keep your explanation simple. You don’t have to get into why your child is a late reader. They only person that really needs deep detail on that is you and your husband.
Keep is simple and to the point. Jacob is a late reader but he is making progress and doing well.
Next example when you are dealing with a class situation like Sunday school or a co-op remember you are the parent! It is completely inappropriate for others to surprise test your child. If your child had diabetes would that teacher feed them a bon-bon just to see how bad their sugars could get? NO never! Your child has the right to privacy and the expectation of a pleasant class. Take a situation like that to the teacher immediately and then to her/his direct boss. If you have to, take it up the chain of command. Then if you aren’t heard and understood then it’s time to find a new class or co-op.
Yeap that stinks. We had to do that for my son. The teacher would not leave him alone, and tried to make his sensory issues into our parenting failures. I took my son out of that atmosphere. We are having a tough enough time learning new ways to deal with sensory issues I don’t need her to add anxiety on top of that.
Finally, how do we keep our children from feeling like a failure at home? First try to extinguish competition between the siblings. Sure we have game night and it’s fun can even be cut throat but never in school time. I tell my kids that the Lord blessed each person with abilities that helps them in some areas and some areas are tougher. No one is perfect.
I also make sure to use Subject Specific Learning where if my child is struggling with reading they are not having to read all their subjects. History and Science can be listened to on an audio. Reading time is a specific time where I am helping hand in hand with my child so they will learn and excel. The other subjects as per my child’s abilities and passions I encourage them to be independent. That will boost their confidence.
Late readers really do catch up! My daughter who didn’t learn to read until she was 10 learned to read and caught up to her age range within a year. She still struggles with her dyslexia but her Senior year she read Pride and Prejudice for fun.
Keep reading to your child. Keep encouraging them in their progress. Surround your child with words, books, and audio books so the world of books is just waiting for them. You will retain their love of reading even if they are late readers.