When dyslexic superpowers don't work...


Struggling with dyslexia in the classroom sucks.

We saw this with our son. He started school as a happy, creative, outgoing soul.

But years of feeling left behind in the classroom changed him. He slowly began to feel like maybe he didn't belong in that classroom anymore.

Surrounded by kids who found reading and writing so easy - being taken out for special classes - resulted in him moving into the shadows.

He built an armour around himself to hide behind.

Brené Brown in her book, Daring Greatly, describes this beautifully.

She says our kids when our kids lose their sense of belonging in a classroom, they feel the emotions of shame and unworthiness.

They withdraw and develop feelings that they will never be good enough.

Their armour goes on. The shields go up.

Here's the kicker.

We're always reading about the strengths of the dyslexic brain and how we should be encouraging these - creativity, innovation and out-of the box thinking.

I totally agree.

But guess what happens to these strengths when you are feeling shame? They are shut down.

Feeling shame works just like kryptonite to Superman - it shuts down our kids superpowers.

What we came to understand is, if our son was to shine in the classroom, showcase his strengths - the classroom environment had to be a place where he felt a strong sense of belonging, where he could stand up and be seen; where he was prepared to take risks and grow.

Sometimes being aware of what is really going on is your greatest tool for creating change.

This week have a think about the places your child might be struggling against the kryptonite.