Trust Your Instincts

My Story I’m a Texas-based mom to two kids who learn differently. Since kindergarten, my daughter has struggled with learning letters, sounds, spelling and basic reading.

What I Was Doing: Questioning My Instincts When my daughter entered kindergarten, her father and I suspected something wasn’t quite right with her learning.

Since preschool she’d been having trouble remembering the names of friends, learning the words to nursery rhymes and memorizing the alphabet. She had trouble connecting the right sounds to letters. Even simple words like “cat” and “the” were a challenge. Plus, she had trouble pronouncing words and needed from the age of 3. In our hearts, we felt these could be early signs of a learning difference, like dyslexia.

We looked for answers. First we went to my daughter’s school. They told us to wait until second grade to test her. They explained that children often struggle with and reading during kindergarten and first grade.

We also talked to our friends. Some of them had similar experiences with their kids and also got conflicting advice. To make things more confusing, our online research revealed that in our state of Texas, all students with signs of dyslexia must be tested for the condition starting in kindergarten.

What I Wish I’d Known Sooner We had to make a decision. Go with our school’s suggestion—wait and see if things would improve with time and maturity? Or go with our gut and pursue testing?

Thankfully, we didn’t wait long. We trusted our instincts and moved forward with testing for our daughter. As it turned out, our daughter does have . She was identified at the end of kindergarten.

Thanks to her early identification, our daughter got help for her dyslexia at a young age. She receives services at school that support her in reading. And we continue to work with our school to get the right services for her. If we’d waited longer to pursue testing for learning or thinking differences, we know our daughter would have continued to struggle in school.

In my experience, schools try to do their best. But in the end, I know my child better than anyone. And so when it comes to a decision, I do my research, listen to what people have to say and then I let my gut be my guide. Trusting my instincts has made all the difference for my child.

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About the author

About the author

Lyn Pollard is a writer and mom to two kids who learn differently.