Recently I had the blessing of being interviewed by Elisheva Schwartz for her podcast, The Dyslexia Quest. You can listen to it here:
Naturally I had to listen to the interview.
There was a specific topic, near the end of our time together, that we discussed that I want to elaborate on.
During the conversation we talked about a test that had been administered to my son and the fact that this test showed he was 2 points below gifted in spatial reasoning. Elisheva made an amazing point about how that’s not the truth for all children, to which I agreed, because it’s true, and we explored that subject.
During the interview I said that strengths show up at different times and under varying circumstances.
We are not hard-wired at birth for all things. We grow, we learn, we adapt, and as all of these things happen, we develop and change. Through this process itself, our strengths materialize. We find what we are capable of as we traverse the journey of life. Through both positive and negative challenges and adversity, we discover strengths that we did not know were there.
This is a life long journey.
As parents of dyslexic children, we are so desperate to shine light on strengths and find the path to joy, capability and prosperity for our children, that when the strengths are not evident, we tend to become distraught.
If we can’t find our children’s strengths then how can we help them survive their school years? How can we help them capitalize on their strengths to help them develop into who they can be once school is over?
Asking those questions make the dyslexic journey seem one of little hope, of little chance for success in life, but that just isn’t true, and we all know it. Our desperation to grasp for strengths in our dyslexic children is born out of their struggle and our sleepless nights and tears shed as we fight for a fair and equitable education for them.
Knowing our children’s strengths is as much of a life jacket for the parent in this journey as it is for the child we are working so hard to raise and educate.
But, for the strengths that are not immediately present, we must exercise patience. We must not force what isn’t ready to show itself and we must not despair over what we cannot yet see.
For my son, there just so happened to be a test that measured, in a quantitative way, a strength he has, but most of the strengths that I at least think of when I think of strengths, cannot be measured by a test.
Strategic thinking, problem solving, artistic ability, the ability to think, and the depth to which one does think, in pictures, both visually and in 3-D, cannot be measured by a test, not really. Resilience, empathy, perseverance cannot be measured by a test. The extent to which their capabilities will enable them to be the masters of their own destinies, with whatever that destiny of brilliance may be, can never be measured. The point being, we cannot always see what will blossom from our dyslexic child.
The brain is an amazing mystery. Within the infinite potential that lies within the brain, infinite possibilities exist. We cannot know all that our children are capable of, and we cannot know their road ahead. For my son, I feel in my heart there is so much more to come than this one strength. My message to you is, as the road ahead presents itself, their potential will be unleashed. This includes their strengths.
So do not lose hope, but sit in awe, witness, and realize how blessed you are to get to be present, to see what will come from their beautiful mind.
The little boy who is my sun and moon and stars, the heavens above and all the space in between, does and will always inspire me. The beautiful boy he is, the beautiful man he will become, with his beautiful mind, so full of endless potential, will always hold me in awe, and it is his strengths, of heart, of character, and of his mind, that will lead him into the wonder of his future.
And it is through the dyslexic child’s beautiful mind, and the strengths that come from it, that will lead them all into the wonder of their future too.