Did You See That?

This weekend we took the boys to see the movie PAN. Without giving any of the story line away, there is a moment where Peter is trying to read and what you see on the screen is the words jumping around the page and letters changing form. He says “I can’t read this.” And someone else reads it to him. This theme continues, but for me, it spoke volumes.

Three boys.
Each with their own abilities and challenges.
We have been suspicious of the younger two boys reading ability for a while. We read to them, but they refuse to read to us. Reading frustrates both of them. We work on handwriting (because we understand the importance) and words and letters, and the boys take piano lessons (where the youngest transposes his hands). We have tried so hard to make books a natural part of their lives, as they (books)  are a natural part of our home.
I realized while doing homework with the youngest that he reverses many of his letters and even writes them quite literally backwards. I then asked him to read me a page, he did, and while the first letter matched sound, the words did not make sense and did not create a story. They were just words.
Luckily he knows words. A lot of them.
Our middle son is in a year at school where there is more homework than he can do in an hour, and every two weeks he needs to complete the reading of a book and do an Independent Reading Response (IRR).  He has read half of a 300 page book, and written the same IRR twice. I had to pull answers from him to get him to write. So I asked him to read. Words that were close to other words were switched, and it ended with him in tears.
He told me “you remember in PAN when the words and letters moved around the page? That is what it looks like when I try to read.”
Reality check
Dyslexia – A learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading.
  • a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence.
    Do Not Affect General Intelligence
    I needed to read this. They will be ok. But damn. Two boys at once? How did we get here? How did I not know? My major is special education. I am trained to assess, but I missed this?
    Reality is, I did not miss it. I just didn’t want to see it. I tried to help the middle boy read. Pretended that everything is ok. I tried so hard to believe he was ok, and just didn’t like reading.
    I don’t think I’m going to get the hang of this mom thing ever, but then will any of us ever? I will be writing a letter to the principal asking that both boys be assessed. Why? Because I need to know. I can’t ignore it.
    Mama might only be human, but mama knows her boys, and mama should have acted sooner.
    But mama won’t sit back any more.
    It is time to figure out what they see when they read, and how we as parents can help them.
    *we do not have a diagnosis of dyslexia, but we are seeking an opinion. If you or a loved one has concerns please reach out to the teachers, caregivers, and doctors in your child’s life. More information can be found at: http://dyslexiafoundation.org/