Hayden, my seven year old, has dyslexia. It's Thursday, and I found this out on Tuesday. Since then I have had the following things said to me by people with directly or peripherally in charge of Hayden's education:
"The principal doesn't believe its possible for kids with LD to get into the gifted program"
"Dyslexia? I thought that wasn't a real thing anymore."
I feel lost, and utterly incapable of helping my child.
My son is 7, in second grade at the adorable old public school just around the corner. He is smart and funny and handsome (if I do say so myself). One day last spring we were walking home and he was grumpy. He is usually grumpy after school: exhausted, hungry (often because he hasn't eaten anything since he left home 8 hours ago) drained, at the end of his rope. "I am so stupid. I hate myself. I wish I would die." He said, kicking at the ground with his feet and scowling. I started to hear him say things like this more and more. One evening in the middle of a fight about something inane like if he had to finish his dinner I noticed he was digging into his skin with his fingernails and making himself bleed. His grubby nails, on the end of his long graceful fingers were digging into his perfect skin. The bruises and small cuts covering his forearms told me this was not the first time he had done this. He looked so utterly defeated, like a crumpled up plastic bag.
We ended up having Hayden evaluated by a neuropsychologist and were told this week that in addition to being a smart, sensitive, quirky kid he has been sitting in a class with 26 other kids struggling to make sense of what, for most around him, is becoming second nature.
Hayden says he hates school. My husband says we should pull him out and send him to a private school with smaller classes. I don't know what the right answer is and am having a hard time even charting out in my head a roadmap that will lead us there. There is a whole industry of "experts" who will help you through this process, for a fee. They will tutor your child using "a world renowned method" (while mentioning that people who live in countries with phonetically spelled language do not suffer from dyslexia which causes me to question the "world" part of their renowned). They will advocate for you at school meetings. They will do more testing. They will lead you down a path wherein you could spend all of your already anxious child's free time at therapists and tutors and testers. This does not seem like the right path.
And so I ask you, great interwebs. Does anyone out there have any advice? Any great resources? Any tales of commiseration? Anything? Because today it feels like I got nutin.