Dyslexia — Anxiety and Depression
Since 2006, I have come in contact with hundreds upon hundreds of dyslexic parents and dozens of dyslexic teachers and a few principals. From these conversations, I've come to the conclusion that the main emotional issue that is disrupting the dyslexic child’s ability to learn is the mood disorder of anxiety.
Anxiety is the fear of what may or may not happen. ~ Brett Smith
The mental uneasiness or distress arising from the fear of what may or may not happen is worry. Worry is a German word which means to strangle or choke. And in the case of the dyslexic child, this worrying or anxiety leads to mental and/or emotional strangulation of their mental capacity. The consequences of anxiety are:
For me personally, when I look back at my elementary, high school and college years, I see them fraught with too many anxiety episodes to begin to count. Fortunately, these episodes were not long in duration. During these years, I knew I had emotional academic performance issues that could very quickly inhibit my ability to think straight. It wasn't until my college sophomore year that I learned the term for them was anxiety or really an anxiety attack.
If anxiety is not checked, it can or will lead to depression. During these formative years, I had a pretty good diet, but what really saved me from long episodes of anxiety was sport. No matter how uncomfortable academia was for me, I could always count on 2 to 4 hours of pushing myself physically in sport. In short, I was good at it. I looked forward to it. Whether it was organized sport or just a pick-up game with my buddies, I played to have fun and I played to win. Perhaps more importantly, the camaraderie with these friends meant the most to me back then, as well they still do today. As a consequence of this "working it out”, I slept good during these years. I can't begin to stress how important sleep is for recovery of the mind, body and spirit.
The month I graduated from college an emotional bomb exploded, I had a falling out with the person with whom I had built an unhealthy dependency upon for the English language. There is no doubt in my mind that I knew that I couldn't write a business letter upon graduating from college. But … I had no idea of the emotional dependency I had created nor did my mother know the devastating mood disorder effects this mental and emotional dependency would have on my psyche. For the first time ever, anxiety did not disappear in an hour or two. Sleep was disturbed and incomplete. Days of anxiety lead to weeks and then after 4-5 weeks, I dropped into my first beyond emotionally brutal depression.
Beware: The role of the parent is to help their child correct the reading and writing disability associated with their child’s Dyslexia. Once this is accomplished, the parent can guide (parent) the child, but can no longer help the child by doing the work for him or her. If you do… the mood disorder consequences could become unbearable for your child as well as for you!
In today's ever-expanding digital world, there are so many vehicles that can be used to pursue learning. The plethora of new products using old methodologies are not the solution for the dyslexic’s learning issues. These tools act as another subject or book that they must learn, hopefully to learn to read and write and do well in school. Even to this day, as a corrected dyslexic of over 20 years, I push back on any new tool in which I have to read to learn. So, as a parent, you have to decide which product/methodology your child is going learn from and stick with it. If after 6-9 months you see no marked improvement, then try something else. Fortunately, for you and your dyslexic child, Magical I Am-Sky Village can be played on a parallel track with any phonics or phonemic awareness learning methodology your school uses. Simply put – Sky Village is edutainment and these other learning tools require the dreaded age-old rote and drill technique(s), which often make learning to read and write difficult for the dyslexic child.
Sleep for your child and you is a necessity. I recommend you pursue an alternative medical approach first, if you are going to work on remedying your sleep behavior. If that does not work, then pursue pharmaceuticals. What I have told my clients over the past two decades is that if you find something that markedly improves sleep and focus, then by all means use it. Hopefully, once your child has corrected the reading and writing disability associated with their dyslexia, the medication can be left on the shelf. I firmly believe that if you correct the reading and writing issues before fourth or fifth grade, the medication can be left behind. That said, I have only my gut and my intuition to rely on here.
Worry does not benefit either you or your child. Mark twain said it best, "I had a lot of worries in my life, but most of them never happened." It is important to know that anxiety doesn't come from thinking about the future, it comes from wanting to control the future. Be concerned about your child's future, and realize that worry doesn't take away tomorrow's troubles. Worry takes away from today's peace. So, take it step-by-step. Use the tools on the Magical I Am website and day by day begin the process of correcting the reading and writing disability associated with your child’s Dyslexia. I am quite confident that one day in the not too distant future your child as well as you will view dyslexia as a treasured gift. A gift not to be traded– A lifelong friend!