TCKs and dyslexia
My daughter Jessica is a TCK and has dyslexia, which was particularly challenging while living abroad. I had suspected "something"was going on when she was in first grade, but the then-teacher could not see any evidence. (Jessica worked very hard on hiding it...) After three more excruciating years plus all that comes with an undiagnosed learning disability, Jessica was finally diagnosed. The struggle was finally over and her first words were "So, I am not stupid" which broke my heart! The challenge was to find the best way to ask for it, because the level of understanding changed from teacher to teacher. In the end, she asked if all the teachers could be to a meeting with her and her class teacher in order to get everyone on board having the same kind of information. Jessica understood what her rights were, what support to ask for, and how to best ask for it. From that moment on, she got all the assistance, help and support she needed in that school. It was amazing to see the change: her stress went down, her grades went up, her confidence grew!
Many more school changes followed and with every move, she had to fight for her rights, for the support and for the adjustments to grade her school work. She is the best advocate for herself and others. In the boarding school where she spent her high school years (Stanstead College in Canada https://www.stansteadcollege.com/) , she took it again into her hands to inform the teachers about her dyslexia challenges and how they could help her. Again, she found great support and was able to study well. Jessica has meanwhile graduated from high school, undergrad and is currently in grad school. In 2019, she gave a TEDx Talk about her dyslexia which is called: "The power of misspelling your name" and you can watch here:
If you suspect, your child might have a learning disability, please keep on trying to find out what it is and continue knocking on different doors! You just need to find the right person to assist you. This can be a teacher, as in Jessica's case, a school counselor or a psychologist. The year long-suffering for children with undiagnosed learning disabilities can result in mental challenges due to the extended time of being labeled as "stupid". The results are low self-esteem because of constant negative feed back, bad grades as well as unkind comments from other students and often teachers. It can produce a downward spiral which can end in mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.
I studied various courses at "The Landmark School" (Boston) because I wanted to find out more of how I could assist my coaching clients. The seminars included "Cognitive neuroscience of dyslexia", "Executive function" and "Dyslexia in the classroom" amongst others. This allows me to educate and inform TCK children and their parents about the background of dyslexia but most of all what to watch out for when looking yet again for a new school, college or university.
If you are struggling to see your child without getting the necessary support while you are living abroad, please let me know. It is in my mission to lessen the suffering for TCKs with dyslexia. I will help your teen gain her or his confidence back, heighten her or his self-esteem back, feel less stressed and more confident while living with dyslexia.
Contact me for a free 20-minute session and tell me how I can support you and your family.
For your information, Landmark School near Boston is a great possibility if you would are looking for a boarding school that caters specifically to children with dyslexia. There is lots of information on their website:
And here are some dyslexia websites that I find very helpful: