When you have multiple children, sometimes it can be hard working out what “normal” is, or if your benchmarks and expectations are out of whack because, as much as you try not to, inevitably, baby number 2 gets compared to baby number 1. The first child pretty much sets the benchmark for what you think is “normal” and when. So with a first child who was reading at 3.5, we figured it was pretty standard for kids to be reading and writing before they went to big school…until number two got to school and couldn’t read. That’s fine, he’s just taking a bit longer. Year one came and went, and there wasn’t a huge improvement. By the time we were half way through year two, there were lots of signs that it wasn’t just that he was taking longer than average to learn how to read, but there was something deeper going, which we has suspected for a while. And so began the appointment merry-go-round, with multiple trips to Brisbane to see specialists and see if we could figure out exactly what was going on.
Early on in the proceedings, our sweet Mr9 was diagnosed as dyslexic (plus a few related issues flagged) at the beginning of last year. We have used a multi-pronged approach to accommodating his dyslexia, which I want to stress, are not trying to work towards a “cure” – his beautiful amazing brain is just built this way, and doesn’t *need* a cure. They are simply a way we can help support his focus, memory & processing without detracting from the amazing strengths that his dyslexia have blessed him with.
The very first thing we tried with great success, is coloured glasses. These are a somewhat controversial option for accomodating dyslexia, and only work for approximately 50% of those with dyslexia. *For him*, the glasses were sparked a massive change in his coding and fluency skills. At his annual check up, the red that he responded to originally is still the best choice for him, which meant we didn’t need to be swapping out lenses, and is a good sign that it will be a pretty stable prescription for him.
At the same time, we were recommended to stick with serif-style fonts, as that’s what he responded best to, so since switching to homeschooling, if I need to print materials, I will use Times New Roman to create them in. I was told that the various dyslexia fonts available weren’t worth wasting my money on, but I have tested him just this week using the “Open Dyslexia” font on my kindle for him, and even without his glasses, it made it much easier for him to read and his letters stopped moving, so that is something we will be working with more moving forward as well.
And, of course, we use essential oils to help support him. One of the first things I did when I came home from that first diagnosis appointment was to hit up google and get my blend on! I will come with the disclaimer again – these are not an attempt to cure or change him, I would never want to change the amazing way his brain thinks and sees the world. They are merely little supports to help him process visual inputs, and improve his reading so that he can make the most of the fabulous strengths his dyslexia gives him.. And like the glasses, the same blends won’t work for everyone, I am simply sharing what works for us.
What we have found helpful:
📚IQ Mega – fish oil supplement to give his brain all that omega goodness to fuel his thoughts.
📚Brain Owl – applied daily along the spine. Five drops each of Frankincense, Wild Orange, Spearmint & Sandalwood
📚Dyslexia Owl – helping support memory, focus & processing. 10drops InTune, 5 drops Rosemary, 5 drops Balance & 5 drops Peace in a 10mL roller. Again, applied daily along the spine or on the back of the neck
📚Grumpy Monster roller – used as needed to head off impending meltdowns when he is overwhelmed beyond his processing limits. 5 drops each of Frankincense, Wild Orange, Elevation, Balance, Forgive & Spearmint in a 5mL roller
📚new to try this week – one drop each of Frankincense, Lemon & Peppermint (with FCO) massaged into the base of the skull each morning.
Hopefully, this gives you some ideas of things you may like to try to help acommodate dyslexia. It is an every evolving process as he grows and learns and matures, so I’m sure I will be back with another post at some point sharing how we have adapted this plan as his needs change.