A diagnosis of dyslexia can be frightening for students. I help them understand and appreciate their own neurodiversity. They become experts on who they are as learners. By understanding how they learn, students are better able to translate material presented in the classroom into a form that they can more easily understand and recall. I teach them using techniques that capitalize on their own individual strengths to support their areas of weakness. This allows them to more easily gain the skills of reading, writing and spelling. My goal is to train my students to become autodidacts capable of teaching themselves whatever interests them.
For dyslexic students, learning in a traditional classroom can be very stressful. This stress creates anxiety. When a student is anxious, their amygdala is firing and they have a Fight, Flight or Freeze response. Much of a dyslexic student's time in the classroom is spent in this dysregulated emotional state. This condition is referred to as "survival brain". When a student is in "survival brain", learning does NOT happen. I teach students the tools and techniques from Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Mind/Body medicine that empower students to recognize when they are in "survival brain" and to move themselves back into "learning brain."
Students who understand and appreciate their neurodiversity, who are also able to self-regulate become powerful learners. They no longer merely react to school but become engaged participants in the classroom.
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