Is it ADHD or something else?

96: Kat’s Dyslexic Advantage: From Diagnosis to Distinction

We’re graced by the presence of Kat who is a dyslexic and an advocate for others with neurodivergent brains. I’ve worked with her throughout her neuropsych testing, neurofeedback, and testing for dyslexia. Today’s episode is of significance as she shares her story and inspires other kids and parents

Dyslexia isn’t entirely bad; it can also be advantageous. In fact, many people with dyslexia exhibit high levels of creativity and exceptional problem-solving skills. Moreover, dealing with the challenges of dyslexia from an early age can foster resilience, perseverance, and determination.

How dyslexia testing helped Kat.

I was able to diagnose Kat when she was still in 4th grade. Her dyslexia testing involves a lot of work having to trust the people around her and understanding the little things. Fortunately for her, her parents were very supportive through everything; they undoubtedly set her up for success.

Kat expressed how important the testing was for her, particularly in achieving her progress and being where she is at present. It's really the little things that make the difference. In fact, Kat’s teacher was the one who recognized that there was some sort of problem. Thankfully, Kat was able to have dyslexia testing and underwent several other testings and treatments from me.

Early identification of dyslexic traits or symptoms at such an early age enables intervention and support to be provided immediately, helping to at least reduce the impact on the kid’s academic progress and overall well-being. Also, dyslexia testing can be empowering as it provides them with a clear understanding of their learning differences.

Kat’s parents set her up for success.

There’s nothing better than having such amazing parents who support you through everything. Kat’s parents went to every single meeting and made it a point to reassure her that she’s not alone in this journey.

Having an open and healthy communication and a supportive environment is important for kids. Dyslexic kids may face various challenges and frustrations related to reading, writing, and other tasks. By having an open communication, they can express their feelings, concerns, and struggles in a safe and supportive environment.

This not only fosters self-reliance but also improves capacity to navigate academic and social circumstances well. And so, Kat soon learned that being dyslexic wasn't entirely bad and so, she took it as her advantage later in life. She recalled people telling her that she’s going to learn sooner rather than later that this is going to do her good in the future.

Looking back, Kat did not want to go back to an IEP but considers it as her best decision. She learned more about herself and that her voice actually matters. Open communication also helped her as a college student especially when it comes to her advocacy. She’s had conversations with professors regarding what she needs as well as having better support for dyslexics in the classroom.

Understanding dyslexia and the brain.

I was one of those few people specializing in dyslexia assessments. Even privately, it's hard to find an evaluator and if somebody's looking for a private evaluation, you really want to identify a dyslexia specialist.

I make sure to dig deep into everything and that’s something I’ve been doing since my doctoral training. I am a firm believer that you have to understand everything from the micro level so that you could make macro changes. This holds true as the micro level provides insights into specific areas or aspects that require attention to achieve macro-level changes.

And so, what we did for Kat was neurofeedback treatment and reading intervention. Neurofeedback is something very special for Kat as it greatly helped her especially with her concussions. She also became a part of our Brain Behavior Reset Program wherein we worked on her brain and reinforced positive reading behaviors.

Learning how to control your brain.

Dyslexics often find it difficult to decode which is the process of translating written words into their corresponding sounds or phonemes. That is why we had to focus on Kat’s working memory because dyslexia being a literacy issue is tied with encoding and decoding words.

Kat recalls feeling empowered being able to have a sense of control, particularly when she was able to choose a movie for herself. She considers it as one of the positive impacts of neurofeedback on her.

One of the factors that fuels Kat’s drive in her advocacy is the supportive environment she was in where she felt an aspect of love, care and appreciation. She was surrounded by her parents and many people in our office who helped her throughout her journey. That’s why it’s also important for her to share the same support to other people.

To learn more about dyslexia, you can read our blog posts about the dyslexic signs you should watch out for, ways to help your dyslexic child, 504 plan for students with dyslexia and brain training for dyslexia.

For parents who want to know more about auditory dyslexia, you can read this blog post: what parents should know about auditory dyslexia

Links and Resources:

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147 therapist endorsed self-regulation strategies for children a practical guide for parents
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