ME & PROUD

Being a parent must be the most rewarding job in the world, and also the hardest. When they are first born it’s a 24 hour, 7 days a week responsibility. You never seem to get a minute alone. With each month they get bigger. I thought when they are sitting up things will get easier, then they are walking things will get easier, when they are talking etc. etc. There becomes a lot of when’s……… 

Things do get easier but something else replaces the initial worry. Starting school, starting a new year, moving up to a junior school, and I know we have a lot more “whens” in the years to come. 

So, this blog is a personal blog and I’m sure as I sit here and write this, many parents have the same feelings. Some of you maybe at the start of your journey, some in the middle and some heading towards the end. But let's be honest, there will never be an 'end' when it comes to worrying about our kids. So, let me tell you where we are and why I write this. 

This is about my son Tye, he is an amazing 8-year-old who loves life, is cheeky, witty, knows a lot about the world and loves being with his friends. But what you don’t see when you first meet him, is the struggles that he has with learning, writing, reading and getting him to school, most of which he has suffered with in silence. He meets his best friend every morning in the car park and they walk the 100 yards to school happy as can be. As that’s what best friends do, make each other happy. Secure knowing there is someone there that understands them. But on the inside, getting him to that point has been a challenge. Getting him to go to school for another day is a challenge. Especially Mondays as that’s the spelling test day. Even though he has been learning his spellings every morning and night for the whole week, in his words “why do I have to learn them? As tomorrow I will have forgotten them” This has been a re-occurring emotion since I can remember. As parents we try to do everything to make our children happy but sometimes it seems like an endless task to see that happiness shine through when it comes to school, school work and homework.  

It wasn’t until a close friend (who I hadn’t seen in a while) asked me how I was and how everything was going, that my worry with Tye was put in the spot light. On telling her my worries about his learning she gave me so much knowledge and advice about what to do next. I believed over two years ago that Tye had issues with reading, he would read words back to front, miss words out and pronunciation was said incorrectly. My Husband also noticed that Tye struggled to copy techniques by watching them first, even when they were explained to him (and he already knew the techniques) when he taught him martial arts. But it took me up until a few months ago to do something about it. After doing research and knowing that learning tests he had done were not conclusive, we decided to have a private assessment to see if Tye had dyslexia or not. 

The day of the assessment arrived and though I had prepared him for what the day was going to be, I wasn’t 100% sure how he would get on with his assessment or his assessor (who he had never met) Like normal, Tye was very shy and tried his best. But when he doesn’t know someone he doesn’t say much and he can come across as not being bothered or caring enough to try his best. Luckily, our assessor was an amazing lady who knew this instantly as had worked with children for many years and is well versed in the best way to get the most of out him. He spent a good couple of hours going though different questions and assessments, and the way she interactive with him left Tye unaware that he was being examined. He had breaks and he came to tell me that he like it and liked working with her. 

After the assessment was done, it was my time to have a one on one chat about how Tye did. It wasn’t until this point that the only answer I wanted to know, was “Is Tye dyslexia or not?” I suppose I wanted clarification for my own sanity. Had I been making up these issues? Making up problems that weren’t there and the fact when he picked up a pen to do his homework he got so upset. The wait was no more, and the answer to my question was yes, Tye has dyslexia. In fact, Tye has severe dyslexia. At this point, I cried. Yes, I did the number one thing I told my-self not to do, but I did. I think it was more through relieve, knowing I hadn’t made this up and that we now had light ahead. I knew there would be a plan to tackle the issues that Tye faced. At last we had an answer, now we have to find a way to help him learn using a different method or methods. I know we have a long way to go and we are only at the start of his journey, but with the help and guidance we have sourced, we will help him every step of the way.

There are many different forms of dyslexia and there is not one answer to solve it and nor will this ever go away, but what we can do is learn as much about dyslexia, as parents can. Learn how to help our son and what works best for him. With the help of his school and the changes that have already been put into place I now have hope for him going into year 4 and look forward to learning new ways to help him move forwards. 

So, I finally get to the point of writing this blog and yes it comes down to photography again. The other night Tye couldn’t sleep (as is quite normal for him, he was still awake when I went up to bed, and he wanted to talk. He always seems to want to open up and chat about this and that late at night. This night we were chatting and he said his head was so busy, he couldn’t sleep. I asked what was worrying him and he replied “just over thinking. Too much to tell you but my head is so busy.” I don’t think I will completely understand what he meant that night. But he did say “if my head was like a hat everything would fall out!” The next evening, while he was playing with his friends and I was in the studio he came in, he asked for a photo. “But I want a me photo” (by that he wants a silly photo, pulling silly faces) so of course I obliged. 

When we looked at this photo, I asked him about the conversation we had the night before and we ended with this. 

p3507913434-5-1468968Me & Proud-Tye

I have added the words 'dyslexia' and 'never give up', but that’s what we keep telling him. You can do anything; it may take you a little bit longer but you will get there and can be whatever you want to be. 

Since the report has been completed and Tye's school are now fully briefed, I am so relieved that all all of his teachers are prepared to help Tye moving forward. We had a meeting with them last night, and all of the points that my husband and I wanted to cover were addressed by the school even before we had a chance to speak our concerns. I now know that Tye is going to get the support he needs moving forward.

My message to parents out there, if you have any concerns or little niggling doubt that something is not right, find out as much as you can. Get school involved, get talking, if the budgets not there within the school and you can somehow afford it, look for a private assessment. My moto is 'never give up'. Without the support and advice of “my fairy god-sister” I think I would still be wondering now. To her, I will be forever grateful. 

Big thanks to Dr Kim and Wendy.