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Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic!

Impacted Roots and Broken Wings
"Two great things you can give your children: one is roots,
the other is wings." –Hodding Carter

This is the quote I use for my business, wingsTutor. It's on my web page for dyslexia, and it's on my business cards. It's a great quote; you (as a parent) give your children roots and foundations, and I (as a dyslexia tutor) will come alongside you to help them spread their wings. It's such a great concept. But sometimes we don't have the right tools for the job we are trying to do...

  • parents may have dyslexia, or ADHD, or other learning disabilities, and
  • our own difficulties can get in the way of helping our children, or
  • we simply lack the skills and patience to support our children as they need.

Sometimes, as parents, we end up giving them impacted roots and broken wings! It's not for lack of desire to give our children the best possible advantages. And many, if not most, school systems are coming alongside families to lend support to children who are facing disadvantages due to learning differences. But are there other things we can, and should, be doing to assist our children in becoming successful adults?

Getting a diagnosis is important for your child, as well as yourself. Many parents are unaware of their own disabilities until their child starts having difficulty in school. Teachers and professional educators in schools can sometimes spot learning disabilities that may have been undiagnosed and untreated for years. There are simple treatments that can make a huge difference, especially in relationships at work, at school, and at home.

It isn't possible to give to someone else what you don't have, not even your own children. I have no desire or intention of accusing or placing blame on anyone, but we know that our children will do what we DO, and not necessarily what we SAY: they copy the behaviors, coping mechanisms, and compensation strategies that they see in us. For the most part, we already know we need to do everything possible to get the personal help we need, so that we will have more to give to our children. For people with ADHD that means any combination of things: taking medications, receiving behavior therapy, requesting learning accommodations, and taking advantage of special education services. It might mean learning to use graphic organizers and bullet journals, or it may entail changes in what we eat and when we eat. It probably means that first we must learn about our own weaknesses and disadvantages, and how to strengthen those, or learn ways to adapt to and modify our world, so that we are standing in a position of strength. Most of all it means learning about ourselves: our own differences and difficulties and how to overcome them, and our own strengths, managing and making the most of them. Using the right tools makes the job simpler, faster and the end product stronger—for ourselves and our children. Then we will have much to give to them—if not whole and complete, at least with a full toolbox, less broken and less impacted.