As those of you who follow this blog knows there are two overriding missions that drive everything done in the blogs, books, tid-bit tips, and in interactions that take place with parents.
- Help parents to cut through the tremendous amount of misinformation that exists children and their struggles.
- To talk to parents in plain, down-to-earth, non-jargon terms about the various issues. (We like to think of this blog as a “jargon-free” zone.)
Essentially, it’s been the same mission for a number of decades (not saying how many at this point).
Here are some points to keep to keep in mind as we talk about the “pie chart.”
- In most schools, just walking in the door, approximately 20-25% of the children will show mild, moderate to more severe problems with reading, spelling and writing. Within lower income communities the numbers soar to over 60%.
- Of the population of struggling children not all of them will be “dyslexic,” but up to about 70% of that group will be showing some difficulty with “decoding” and reading fluency.
- Beside struggling in reading, spelling and writing, a significant percentage of this group (over 70%) will also have issues with things like sustained mental effort, inattentiveness, inconsistent focusing, lowered motivation, low frustration tolerance, and other related emotional/behavioral variables.
- Probably about 85% of this group will have mild, moderate and more considerable issues with self-esteem, anxiety and insecurity..
- Nearly 100% of the time with the struggling children, it will always be a “pie-chart” of variables (as opposed to one-factor explanations, such as, “He has ADD.”)
The pie chart of may not have equal pieces of the pie as is illustrated in the pie chart above of a recently diagnosed 8-year old. In fact more often than not the reading, spelling, writing piece may be as large as a 70% piece of the pie, but the important point is for you as a parent to move away from “black-white” thinking as in “has it” – “doesn’t have it.”
It’s the pie chart that matters.
Unlike something like taking a Covid test, where the result is a “has it” – “doesn’t have it” diagnosis, in this corner of the universe, that does not exist. There are always a mixture of variables interacting to a greater or lesser degree
To help you get perspective, it would probably be a good exercise for you to get out a few colored pencils (I know very old school) and start creating your child’s chart.
Keep focusing on your child’s pie chart.
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