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Parent Dyslexia Blog: When Other Kids are Reading "Big" Books ...

Categories: Disability Type, Learning Disabilities, Parenting

Big books. You know them. SCARY books. Gigantic books. I was waiting for the day my son's friends would start reading them, but it still crept up on me. He's nine years old, and he is dyslexic. He is also my oldest child, so I'm never quite sure what books his friends are reading. We've had a Learning Ally subscription for a while now, but usually I am scrambling trying to find a book he may like. Aside from "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume, I've failed miserably at this task. Warrior BookThis week, he started asking for a series of books called "Warriors" by Erin Hunter. I'm an avid reader, but I had not heard of this series. Apparently, there is an entire line! He said two of his friends at school have been reading them, so I was all about seeking them out. My kids have had library cards practically since birth, so we went to our local public library today to find them. I searched and searched in the kid section to no avail. Our librarian told us they are actually in the TEEN section!! Yikes!! BIG books! Much bigger than I thought! Thankfully, she also assured me the content is just fine for older elementary - it's about various clans of cats and their adventures. However, they are in the teen section because the reading level is older. I didn't expect this! With a huge grin, he doesn't just pick out one. Oh no, he picks out TWO and heads straight up to the check out with his library card. You would never know this child wasn't eye-reading these books like his friends! And that's when it hit me hard - my son is confident checking out these books due to the wonderful volunteer readers at Learning Ally. He can fit in with his friends. He can talk about current books. He can absorb those higher level vocabulary words and build comprehension! I sneakily grabbed two books that are on his reading level, "easy books" as he calls  them, and put them on my own library card. We are working on eye reading also, of course. Reading instruction and audiobooks go together beautifully, but both are just that ....just reading. Once home, his eyes light up as he says:ear reading
 "I can't believe I'm reading the same books that the other boys are reading!" 
With those words my Mama heart burst with joy and thanks at our modern technology! Because it's going to be okay. As he gets older, and we continue to work on our eye reading (via Orton-Gillingham instruction), the wonders of technology will allow him to grow and stretch his wings - just like everyone else in his class. And I'm happy. Learning Together,  Jules  JulesJules Johnson is the mom of two children who have dyslexia and one of the co-founders of Decoding Dyslexia-TN.  After 12 years as a broadcast meteorologist, Jules joined the Learning Ally family in 2014 to help make the world a better place for those who have print disabilities like dyslexia or visual impairment. If you are interested in a Learning Ally subscription, please check out all we have to offer at www.LearningAlly.org