Thursday, November 27, 2008


After the half year holiday all first year students will be expected to have started to read.There are however, some children who are struggling to learn to read and write. Naturally, parents of these children will be worried. If you are in such a situation, it is important to find out what is preventing your child from learning to read.If it turns out your son or daughter has dyslexia you need to make sure that they get additional support and help to assist them with their learning.


1) If you feel your child is not progressing as they should at school or at pre-school make sure you consult with a psychologist for an assessment.If children are identified early enough they this can make a big difference to their future progress.
2) As a parent you need to boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem by lots of positive feedback.
3) It is useful if you can try to develop your child’s talents, for example art,sports etc.
4) Be prepared for the bad days your child has at school, when he comes home angry and de-moralised.As a parent you need to be more understanding and patient !!
5) You will have to try to assist him with his homework.Remember it will probably take him twice the time as other students to complete a piece of work.Neurologists have found that the brains of dyslexic children work 5 times harder than other childrens brains when performing the same language task.For this reason, your child may tire quickly. You will need to go over what they have learned again and again, in order to check they understand the topics well.
6) Your child may need the regular support of a psychologist or teacher.Always ask the psychologist about their experience and qualifications in regards to dyslexia.Also, always ask for a written report after your child has been assessed and tested.
7) When choosing a school try to choose one where the class size is small.If at all possible, select a school with a less competitve environment !! In addition you should look for sympathetic,patient and understanding teacher.

The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child -articles 28 and 29.

EVERY CHILD HAS AN EQUAL RIGHT TO EDUCATION – (including those who have a disability).

Unfortunately in Turkey there is insufficient knowledge of dyslexia.In addition there not enough trained professionals who know anything about dyslexia and learning dsabilities.

Parents need to come together as a group to work to highlight this problem and to fight for the rights of their children.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The parents of a dyslexic child are stuck between a rock and a hard place when their child is going through school.

THE ROCK. You want to do the best for your child and do what you can at home to support them. You look for private tuition, sit with them to do homework etc. However the child is often very difficult because they don't want to do the extra lessons at home, they don't want to do their reading etc.The constant battle to get homework done or even getting them to school etc creates a very stressful environment of arguments and tantrums and can have a negative effect on your relationship with the child and can affect other family members.

The reason the child is being difficult at home is because they find school a very stressful place where they're constantly put under pressure to get work finished, struggling with reading, or are fighting emotions where they've been told their work is just not good enough. They're very much aware of their limitations when they compare themselves with their own peer group. They often keep their emotions in check in school and vent their frustrations, anger, upsets at home. The last thing they want is to come home and find its a continuation of school more reading, more work etc.

HARD PLACE. When the homework, reading practise etc fails to get done at home, you are viewed, by the school, as unsupportive parents. If you go into the school asking for help etc. you are viewed as "pushy parents"
Recognise what ever you do it isn't going to please everyone. Although its difficult, don't give up or allow your self to be drown trodden. Keep home as his bolt hole from the frustrations of the day.

One important thing to do is to boost the child's self-esteem and confidence. Encourage him to do things he's good at. e.g football, drawing, skateboarding etc.

There are no quick fixes as far as progress is concerned.Progress can be very slow, often only a few months improvement in a year. I tend to find some of my pupils seems to plateau for a while then suddenly make a big jump in improvement, so don't get disheartened.However if progress is not being made then everyone needs to evaluate if the current support is appropriate and what if anything, needs to be altered.Sometimes the scores at school don't show the actual progress being made.They can often perform better at home than at school with their lessons

Printed with kind permission from Sheridan Sharp – a mother of children with dyslexia as well as being a special needs teacher.

THANKS a lot to Sheridan for allowing me to use her words – I couldn’t have written it better myself she really sums up how the parent can be stuck between the school and the child.
NB 'Between a rock and a hard place ' - Meaning -In difficulty, faced with a choice between two unsatisfactory options.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DYPATEC Guide for Parents

If you want to obtain some general information about dyslexia you could look at the DYPATEC Guide for Parents.It is available in various languages including Turkish and English.

This guide was developed in collaboration with specialists from various countries as part of the EU – project Grundtvig2 ‘Dyslexia – Parents’ and Teachers’ Collaboration’.The participating countries included Austria,Germany,UK, Luxemborg,Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey.
See this link below for some sample pages of this guide in English:
The full guide in Turkish and English can be downloaded from


There is good evidence that when diagnosis of dyslexia is made early in school most children with dyslexia can be brought up to their normal classroom work, while identification delayed until late in the primary stage results in successful progress by less than half the children. If delayed until secondary school the percentage of successful remediation drops to 10-15%.

See below link

Downloadable factsheets No 19- Understanding Dyslexia - Prof Singleton - page 8

  • Reading what Prof. Singleton had written really brought home to me the importance of catching this problem early and doing something about it !!! If you have any suspicions that your son or daughter may have dyslexia go and get it checked out!! Sometimes teachers may dismiss your worries as being an over-anxious mother but my advice is to listen to your inner sense and go to get your child properly assessed by a psychologist. The next step is to ensure that you obtain the proper support for your child to assist with his/her school work. You will probably need to see a professional person twice a week as well as you yourself helping your child.
  • The problem in Turkey is that dyslexia and other learning difficulties are little understood by parents and teachers alike so often children are diagnosed with this problem at quite a late stage in their school career( or at worse missed completely !!). As Singleton points out - late identification means less chance of bringing the child up to the same level as the other children in their class
  • Only 30 % of Turkish children attend pre-school which also has major ramifications. Unlike in other countries e.g. UK- more children attend pre-school and they start school one year earlier than Turkey. There are NO early identification tests available here unlike in the UK. As a result I think many children are not picked up early enough and many go completely un-diagnosed which is even more disturbing
  • Unfortunately- even if you are do manage to identify your child has dyslexia there is also an additional problem here in Turkey in that it is difficult to find a properly suitably qualified professional teacher or psychologist who is knowledgeable in this area. There are some but not always easy to find…


I have a son who was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2005.He is Turkish and English.I had to do a lot of my own research on dyslexia because very little is known about this subject here in Turkey. I hope to share with you some of the knowledge I have gained over the last few years with Turkish parents and parents of bi-lingual children , like myself.

Most parents in Turkey have little idea of how they can help their children with this problem.Children may be going to a psychologist or have a private teacher but parents, in addition ,also need to assist their children on a regular basis.I hope that this blog will offer some hints and tips to parents on their long journey with this problem.

As I know from direct experience, when you discover your child has dyslexia you feel upset and alone, especially when you not living in your native country.In Turkey many people are reluctant to talk about this subject openly and to admit their child has dyslexia.As it is- these children are just like any other kids- just they learn differently – they are not stupid or lazy !! .By setting up this blog I hope to bring parents together who are coping with this problem and to share ideas,information and solutions to every-day problems we face with our kids.