Perth and Kinross parents are invited to quiz a dyslexia expert on the trials and tribulations of raising a child with the condition.
Sharon Hall, chair of Dyslexia Scotland’s North East branch, will share her strategies at a free webinar run by Auchterarder charity Parents Supporting Parents on Wednesday, August 4.
The webinar is open to all parents and carers of school aged children right up to adulthood in the region.
Sharon’s own journey with dyslexia began when her son William was diagnosed at the age of four, some 20 years ago.
The experience has not been smooth sailing, she said, and mistakes were made along the way.
It was these mistakes, combined with the success, that made Sharon realise she had a wealth of knowledge to share with other parents.
Parents can quiz Sharon, who is a trained specialist tutor, on all matters relating to dyslexia, such as screening and assessment issues, writing support, school transitions and exams.
Communication is key
One of the key messages she hopes to share with Perth and Kinross parents on a dyslexia journey is the importance of working with schools to develop unique strategies which can be used in the classroom and at home.
This, she said, is even more essential following lockdown where parents have been able to identify the areas where their children are struggling.
“I made a lot of mistakes in the early years,” she said. “This journey is all about working together and building communication with the school.
“That’s really the best support any parent can give their child. It doesn’t come easy or quickly.”
Sharon said she did not do this in the beginning and instead placed her frustrations with the school.
She added: “That was 20 years ago and it was probably the worst thing I could have done.
“What I needed to do was work with them and that’s what I want to encourage in other parents by telling them the mistakes that I made.”
Many parents, like me, don’t have any prior knowledge of dyslexia until their child is diagnosed.”
Laura Kelly, development officer of Parents Supporting Parents
However challenges do not mean that children with dyslexia cannot achieve the goals they set themselves.
She said: “We’re not going to present this story that dyslexia stops you achieving things but we are going to be honest about some of the barriers that parents will come across.”
Laura Kelly, development officer of the Perthshire charity, said the webinar can be useful for all parents and carers, regardless of the stage they are at in their child’s dyslexia journey.
Her son, now 11, was identified as dyslexic in P4 and as her firstborn child, Laura was unaware of the signs to look out for.
She said: “Looking back, I was quite naïve and maybe wasn’t voicing any concerns I had to the school.
“I just assumed he was struggling a little bit with phonics. Many parents, like me, don’t have any prior knowledge of dyslexia until their child is diagnosed.
“The webinars are great because we’re all coming from the same place and we’re all able to share a bit of knowledge with each other and say what didn’t work for us.”
To sign up for the webinar, which starts at 6.30pm, register at www.parentssupportingparents.co.uk/our-events.