- Ysaabela Estrada
- August 28, 2017, 1:42 pm
“Why do you do it? Why do you have so much interest in dyslexia? Why didn’t you choose an easier topic? It might have given you ample time to achieve Sablay within 5 years.”
These are just some of the usual lines that I hear from people whenever they find out that I am currently working my way out of the university with my final thesis units. I’ve been a student of the University of the Philippines Los Baños for about 6 years now. During my freshman year, I told myself that I would always go for the practicum option during my final year since our curriculum offers (and usually prefers) for us to take that path since it gives us, Human Ecology students, the integration of all our past lessons. But of course, not everything goes the way it’s planned. There came a point in my university life where I was not sure of what I was doing and what I wanted after earning my degree. I had a semester where I only had 9 units registered – I was not able to get a full load of units so I decided to take an extra course which was preschool teaching. Then and there, I found where my heart truly belongs: inside the classroom with the children and me in front teaching the young ones of things I have learned with my years of existence. After that semester, I convinced myself that I would finish my degree with a thesis study that hits home: education, teachers and the children.
“So how is your story related with dyslexia?”
As I was searching my brain of what really sparks my interest, I remembered this conference I attended where Teacher Vicki Arioder was the resource speaker and she enlightened the room of her knowledge and passion of spreading awareness about dyslexia. From there I knew it would also be a burning passion for me to study. With enough research (and courage), I explained to my thesis adviser of the things I wanted to happen and my cause for it. I can remember myself telling her “Ma’am, I think dyslexia is one of the taboo issues in our country that actually needs attention. If I were to be honest, even I also do not have enough knowledge about it. What more is the situation of our Filipino teachers and their students?” and to my surprise, she agreed. From there, I researched more on the depths and mysteries of dyslexia.
When my parents saw how busy I was about school and (finally being serious) in finishing my degree, my mom asked me about what my topic was about and I told her, “Dyslexia, ma. Alam mo ba yun?” and she answered me with “Yung kapatid mo, dyslexic yan ah? Pero nagawaan kaagad ng interventions kaya okay na siya..” I felt my eyes welling-up with tears. All this time, I’ve had someone so dear to me who had been actually dealing with and fighting the same thing I have only been considering as research and ticket for graduation. That short conversation with my mother fueled the igniting fire inside of me and I was finally able to put the puzzle pieces together.
I always wondered why my brother has bad handwriting. I always wondered why he still needs to ask me for help in comprehending some of his lessons even though he is also an undergraduate college student. I was always amused by how sometimes he forgets the difference from left and right. I am annoyed with the fact that every time we would go for a drive, he would constantly ask me to open my data so that he could navigate with the help of Waze even though we’ve been to the place countless times. I’ve always wondered how my brother views things – if he sees it the way I see things as well or if he understands it deeper than I could understand. And most importantly, how did he feel all these years seeing his sister excel in her academics, while he himself knows that he is struggling but is so timid to ask for help? Does he see himself as an equal with everybody else when he clearly is aware that he is “different”?
With the literature I found, I was given answers to this mystery “disease”. No, scratch that. Dyslexia is not a disease, rather it is a learning disability. Given all these realizations and with empathy, I was able to put myself in the shoes of children whom some teachers think that “they are good for nothing” students since they do not focus in class. Teachers who fail to recognize that maybe their students have a more complex reason as to why they cannot comprehend and concentrate in class and not just by being plain lazy. Sons and daughters who are pressured by their parents into becoming academic when in truth they have a variety of talents that need only to be tapped into and encouraged for them to realize their full potentials. Siblings who seem to think that life is a competition especially when the other is excelling and the other falls behind.
I am not yet through with my studies but all these realizations as I write (both my thesis and this article), humbles me. These taboo issues--it could be resolved, solutions can be found. If only everyone would be willing to help, be more understanding and patient, it is possible.
Waiting on your child’s school or from other professionals to act on what’s really contributing to his learning difficulties could truly make you more anxious. Remember, waiting is the worst thing that a parent could do. Time is of the essence. This is your child’s life. Being in control and engaged in your child’s learning matters is one of the best thing that a good parent like you can surely do.
You have the power to unleash his fullest potentials by simply subjecting yourself into answering a dyslexia screening test. It is very possible to identify potential learning problems which your child may be experiencing even before these turn into failure. You have the key. Use it and see the significant difference it would make not just for your child but to you as well!
Take that i-STEP here i-STEP NOW