Why dyslexics have low self confidence and suffer is because they struggle with reading and don’t think this can change. This just isn’t true.
Many kids start to have problems reading at a very early age, when they first start school and even before. Their struggles often continue their whole lives and become the reason why dyslexics have low self confidence.
It’s a problem many of us can relate to. Public speaking is good example. Public speaking is one of the most common fears people have. The idea of speaking in front of others makes people nervous. It reminds them of being back in school and having a teacher pick them to read or answer a question in class. If this ever happened to you, you know just how scary this can be. Now imagine how much worse this is for someone who doesn’t read very well.
In my experience and speaking to hundreds of other families, most teachers don’t know how to help students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Many don’t know which kids struggle. It may be because they’ve never been shown what to look for. Or maybe the student is ashamed to tell them.
Even when parents tell teachers their kid is struggling, they probably don’t know what they can do to help. It’s often up to the parent to tell them. Until you tell them they probably don’t know that kids with dyslexia can get more time for tests, for example.
This leaves parents stuck about where to turn for help. They realize something’s wrong, but just don’t know where to go or who turn to. They end up spending a lot of time searching online, just like my parents did.
When they think they’ve found what’s wrong, they have to do more research to find out what to do about it. It would be nice if their school would help, but teachers and counselors in school don’t know much about it.
Why dyslexics have low self confidence?
1. They don’t have a stress-free, non-judgmental environment to practice reading.
As a struggling reader, practicing reading is very important. It makes a big difference how and where you practice. You need to be in an environment where you won’t be judged and criticized- it’s the most important part.
Being able to practice reading in a stress-free environment where you won’t be judged not only helps improve your reading skills, it helps build your confidence. If your child is anything like me, he’ll spend more time reading if he likes it and isn’t being judged.
So how do you find somewhere to practice reading in a stress-free, non-judgmental environment?
First, you need to find a location that creates the “right environment”. In my experience, the “right environment” is a location outside your home and not with your family. That might sound strange. Trust me, it’s very important. Reading to someone not in your family and not in your house gets rid of the corrections family members make.
Then, you need to make sure that you have enough time to practice, that you won’t be disturbing others and that the person you’re reading to can hear you. Make sure they agree not to judge you or correct your mistakes.
I learned what to do from my own experience.
A while back, I told my parents how nervous I would get about being called on to read in class. When they heard this, they decided I would take turns reading to one of them each night before going to bed. It didn’t matter which one I read to, they both corrected me as I read. They thought they were being helpful, but they made me feel worse.
We decided to try something different.
One day my dad and I walked into Harbor Chase, a new assisted living facility that opened just down the street from my house. We spoke to their life enrichment director, Kolette. We asked if I could read to a few residents one day. My dad told Kolette that I was dyslexic and thought that I could practice reading to them as long as they wouldn’t judge me.
A few days later I went back with my mom. I brought a book and sat at a small table with two ladies who lived there. I read my book for about 20 minutes. When I was done they actually applauded! That never happened before. That simple change, reading to strangers who didn’t correct and judge me, made me feel better than reading to my parents at home.
I wanted to share that experience with other kids. So I started working on a plan to develop a software application that would connect kids with locations in their community where they could practice reading just as I did.
The project set out to find out why dyslexics have low self confidence and how to help them overcome this problem.
As the project has continued to grow, we’ve formed relationships with assisted living facilities, animal shelters and rescue centers and even a horse stable so that dyslexics have options where they can go to practice.
Another reason why dyslexics have low self confidence is . . .
2. They don’t have incentives to practice reading and a way to track their progress.
It’s important to have incentives to practice reading. Unfortunately most kids won’t practice reading without being rewarded. The bigger the reward, the more incentive kids have.
In order to encourage someone to read, you need a system to track their progress, track their reward points and give them a way to cash in their rewards for great prizes.
Our software application provides a way for the family to keep track of and view their kid’s reading over time. This allows parents to establish their own recognition system in addition to the recognition system we’re putting in place that will issue certificates the more they read.
Because each appointment a reader makes is tracked within the software, we’re able to create rewards based how many reading appointments are made. We’re thinking real big with our reward prizes and can’t wait to share them in the near future.
There is also a built-in community service reward for both the reader and the person or animal being read to.
Since the project began, I’ve read to more than a dozen seniors, read to dogs at Big Dog Ranch, read to a few cats at Furry Friends and was even reading to a horse named Pepper at Horses That Help stables. I think Pepper thought I was reading a joke book because he started laughing as I read to him.
It’s hard to resist a cute dog or cat at a shelter and our partners can look forward to increased adoptions as our reading to dog program expands.
We’ve learned that assisted living facilities have life enrichment programs and our reading to seniors program fits right in.
The third reason why dyslexics have low self confidence is . . .
3. They don’t know where to turn for help online, on social media or in their community.
Finding the right resources regardless of where you live, as well as providers in your local area are very important – for many families that’s easier said than done.
Every struggling child has his own challenges. As a dyslexic, I know how difficult reading is for me. Some kids have more than one learning disability too. That’s one of the challenges because our learning disabilities impact each one of us differently.
In many ways there’s almost too much information online and on social media. It takes a lot of time to sort through all of it. This makes it more difficult for families to find out what’s really wrong. And when they do, it’s real hard dealing with getting the help their kids need.
My parents realized I was having challenges reading at the very start of second grade. My reading skills were behind others in my second grade class. I attended a school for gifted kids. My second grade teacher didn’t offer to help. She told my parents they should pull me out of the school. That wasn’t going to happen. We moved there so I could attend that school.
My parents hired another teacher to work with me before school each morning. Things really didn’t progress too well, so my parents decided to have me tested. The reading center where I was tested told my parents I didn’t have dyslexia and that I just needed one-on-one tutoring.
They realized pretty quickly something was wrong. They had me tested for a vision problem, thinking the problem had to do with my eyes. I ended up in a year of weekly vision therapy appointments.
After a year of a weekly reading tutor and vision therapy, my struggles with reading continued. I hated reading and especially reading out loud.
My parents decided to move to West Palm Beach and enrolled me in a different gifted school. They decided to have me re-tested, convinced (based upon their own research) that I had dyslexia. And you know what? The test results proved it. I’m dyslexic.
At least now we knew what was wrong.
The next question was . . . what to do about it? Back to the internet for more research! Yep! That and asking around the school and other parents. My parents found it difficult to speak to other parents. Being a gifted school, there’s a lot of competition between students. Other kids parents didn’t really want to discuss any struggles they had.
My parents didn’t care if I was class valedictorian, they just wanted me to get the help I needed and any accommodations I was allowed to get.
We found a reading tutor that worked with other kids in my school and over the summer between second and third grade, I worked with her every morning. By the time school started again, I had a process for sounding out words and putting them together to read. Before working with this woman I was never taught how to do that. I just learned on my own to visualize words instead of sounding them out.
Why tell you all this?
My parents and I don’t want you to have to go through the same thing, wasting years of your kid’s childhood they’ll never get back. Not just that. We don’t want you to have to spend the thousands of dollars my parents spent on the wrong treatments.
You’ll find two areas of our website to help you.
The first is our RESOURCES. We’re adding new resources every day. Things like: Facebook Groups, Associations, Videos, Ted Talks, recommended books and devices. The resources are modeled after the Drudge Report, providing links directly to the various resources.
The second is our LOCAL PROVIDER DIRECTORY. We’re beginning the build out, one community at a time, starting with south Florida. We’ll be adding and featuring providers who offer pro-bono services for those who cannot afford the services. While most providers will charge for their services, our directory is provided at no cost to you.
Having Dyslexia or Other Learning Disabilities Shouldn’t Hold You Back
There are so many stories of famous dyslexics who’ve overcome their challenges to become huge successes. There are many more that go unrecognized.
As a dyslexic who overcame my reading struggles and low-self confidence to obtain an investment from John F Scarpa, one of the founding members of The Cellular One Network, for LEt’s Get Booking, I can help you.
My Let’s Get Booking Dyslexic Confidence Building System will help you overcome your challenges and become a confident dyslexic and make the most of your gift.
Leave me a comment below telling me how you’re going to move forward?
By Shane Herman
(with a little help from my Dad)
Dyslexic, Co-Founder Let’s Get Booking