DS (age 8, yr 4) has been having a bad week with his friendships at school. He came out of school in tears today so I spoke to the headmistress this evening about some potential bullying and she is putting in a plan of action which I’m happy with.
This evening, me and ds sat down to write a list of his worries for the school “worry box”. I know kids are very much in the moment, and he might feel differently next week, all the same it was heartbreaking to hear some of the stuff he was coming out with and felt the need to share it, especially as I’m a lone parent and no-one to talk to right now.
DS is severely dyslexic. He spoke, I transcribed, without interruption. 3 A4 pages later…!! Here are some excerpts:
“I feel a bit scared and worried about how people will react to me. And sometimes in my head I feel like I’m never going to get another friend. It makes me miss my home and it feels like people want me to leave school. And it makes me feel like the dumbest and uncleverest person and that I’m different and everyone else is smart. And I think people don’t want to see me around because I’m really untough and stupid. It feels like I’m never going to be like anyone else. I really like my friends but they’re being mean to me and it makes me feel stupid and like I want to leave school forever. It feels like they never want to talk to me again because we had arguments by accident or it wasn’t me. I feel like I’m the baddest friend that everyone has had and it feels like they hate me when I get things wrong or I’m confused.” He then drew a picture of himself crying.
It does, however, make making friends hard, in the simple pecking order of primary school you don't quite fit in.
Subconsciously DCs want to be friends with someone like them, DD isn't like them, she was the worst reader in the class and probably the best scientist, her comprehension skills are as good as any of them, and better than most, but she can't spell 'could'.
She doesn't fit in, she doesn't want to fit in and she can't fit in.
Just as she can't see the structure in words or learn her tables, she doesn't remember names or gossip, but most of all she doesn't pick up subtle social cues.
She mostly gave up trying by the end of reception, but as your DS says sometimes it hurts, sometimes it's impossible to understand why they kick you and hide your things.
Sometimes you want to be part of the gang,
I'm afraid I can't give your DS a magic cute I wish I could, DD finds her escape in singing, which she does well enough that even the bullies say well done, and strangely in books.
At 11 she finally learnt to read.
In Y5 she made friends with a geeky Dr who mad Y4 boy and she is great friends with two girls from guides.
School has got better, but it took until Y9/10, which is little comfort to a Y4.
All I can do is say that I bet there is something he's good at and someone to be friends with, but finding them can take a long time.
Why is it that dyslexia can have an effect on kids socially? Have you read about this or just witnessed it? DS has always said he feels different to everyone else.
The impact of his dyslexia and the fact that he is a sensitive boy, not as street wise or tough as most of the other boys, is having more of an effect on him as he gets older - as I thought it would. I am dreading secoundary school. I so wish I could afford to send him to a dyslexic school.
It's good to read about your dd though, and I'm glad she has found her place at school, this gives me hope.
That is very interesting, The indented section about social immaturity, not picking up social cues and not giving people personal space is DD1 to a tea.
She also can't always find the right word, although that's far more when doing written work or explains something rather than in ordinary conversation.
I wonder too about the ordering events bit, she had awful trouble with a teacher who planned very elaborate lessons with many bits to remember.
The rest of the article doesn't describe her at all. She is the least anxious and beneath the dizzy fussy exterior, most coldly confident child (well young woman as she's 15) you could wish to meet.
Not being able to write quickly or spell irritates her and is an annoying cause of extra work, but I don't think it deeply frustrates her. Not being able to read never bothered her except when she was forced to slog through something really dull. I think she could read a lot better in her head than out loud. She certainly seemed to be able to extract meaning from a cloud of mistakes.
I guess she's lucky in that she is very bright and applies her brains to finding ways to cope. Also I'm mildly dyslexic too, apart from reading which I don't remember finding particularly hard, I share some of her writing, spelling and social difficulties.
So I guess I guessed she wasn't making a mess of reading without good reason and we mostly understand each other.