In 2017 I gave the keynote at the Central Texas Dyslexia Conference in Austin, Texas. It was a vey successful event with well over 1200 attendees!

My topic was Supporting Resilience in Children with Dyslexia but I gave it a bit of a different spin that I wanted to share with you. I actually challenged the parents and educators to consider the true secret to supporting their students and children…

Here it is…:

The question is not just…

How have we, as parents and educators, organized our environment in a way that either impedes or supports resilience for our child or student…

But also how are we supporting and nurturing our own resilience?

When we usually speak of resilience, we are thinking about how a person recovers or “bounces back” from a traumatic event. For our dyslexic kids, it’s quite different.

Far too often, many of our dyslexic kids spend 7 hours a day, 5 days a week for 9 months out of the year in an environment that is constantly hammering them with messages that they are broken, something is wrong with them, they’re stupid…etc.  So with dyslexic kids the issue of maintaining resilience is a chronic issue, not just a single event. And that makes supporting them more of a triathlon than a sprint.

Our dyslexic kids have a chronic risk of feeling ashamed, inadequate, confused and helpless. Guess who else feels that way sometimes? Yep. Parents and educators.  

I’m frequently asked what is the true key to building resilience in our kids. And this is my message to you: We need to inject more humanity, compassion and self-care into our own professionalism.

And, yes, self-care is a part of professionalism.