When children start learning how to read and write, they first develop their phonetic awareness, grasping the notion of sounds forming larger groups called words. Later, they connect the sounds with their written forms, the alphabet letters. Thus, in time, they manage to read, write and spell written language.
Being a Parent of a Dyslexic
Parents need to know that we all endure a difficult and demanding process of learning how to read, spell and write, through repetition and practice. However, when their child is suffering from dyslexia, he/she is bound to have problems with his/her phonetic awareness and phonics. These problems do not stem from the child's lack of intelligence. On the contrary, the processes of distributing information in the language regions of the brain suffer from dysfunctions, leading to dyslexia. Therefore, these children cannot read or write in an automated process. Rather, they do this slowly and tediously, being prone to frustration and suffering.
Even though many people believe that dyslexic children read everything backwards, this is not always the case, even though small children do tend to make such mistakes during written language acquisition.
On the other hand, dyslexia manifests through problems in the fields of phonetic awareness, phonics and rapid word recognition.
What Can Parents Do?
Understanding your child's condition is the best possible step to take. Sometimes, the dyslexic children may feel that they are less intelligent than their peers. Then, you will need to support your child and explain the nature of this condition to him/her. Also, the level of your involvement is bound to rise with the level of language learning. You should do your best not to allow your child to lack self-esteem and to think that he/she is not as good and smart as his/her peers are.
Yet, you need to bear in mind that there are great chances that your child will not be able to cope with regular educational systems. Rather, the child will need specially-trained assistance and the teacher, the psychologist and the pediatrician may all be involved in the process.
If you live in the US, your child is legally entitled to special learning assistance in public schools. Of course, there are requirements for these benefits and you should seek further information on the subject.
However, depending on the severity of dyslexia, all the assistance in the public school may not be enough for the child to successfully progress through his/her education. Thus, you may have to dedicate your free time to helping your child out with reading, spelling and writing skills. Do not worry, since many dyslexic children have grown up to be scientists, artists, actors and have managed to become people excelling in various careers.