Reality TV star Alex Nation may be known for her role on The Bachelor Australia, but it’s her role as loving mother that reached a whole new audience in a recent Instagram post.
Nation opened up about her 7-year-old, Elijah, being diagnosed with multiple learning and thinking differences, including , , and .
Elijah, Nation shared, “wasn’t shining as bright as he usually does,” and was coming home from school saying things like “Mum I’m stupid.” Nation and Elijah’s father didn’t hesitate to have him evaluated to find out what was going on.
Like many parents of the 1 in 5 kids with learning and thinking differences, Nation doesn’t see the results as shameful. She’s just happy that she’s now able to understand and help her son better.
“This is an opportunity to really hone in on Elijah’s strengths, nurture them and implement the best strategies possible to aid him in moving onward and upward during his school years,” she shared in the post.
For the past 4 months, my little ray of sunshine simply wasn’t shining as bright as he usually does. Well, in my eyes he shines the brightest always, but in his own eyes it was a different story. He was coming home from school saying things to me like “Mum I’m dumb” and “Mum I’m stupid”. His confidence at school was completely shattered and it broke my heart. Struggling to read and write and finding it difficult to complete tasks at school his teacher contacted me and suggest he be tested for learning difficulties. We got in touch with Dimitra from Sprout Psychology who was kind, gentle and just so lovely and little man embarked on a 2 month journey of sessions and testing to see where he was at with his learning. Yesterday was our final session and Joel and I come to learn that Elijah has dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia all which he rated as severe and moderate ADHD(inattentive). To put it simply, reading, writing, maths, concentration and organisation are significant challenges for him and it was explained to us that he is quite impaired. Whilst I was feeling overwhelmed and holding back tears/balled my eyes out once I was alone in the car, I was relieved. Now we knew and quite frankly having this knowledge is life changing for Elijah. So many people go their whole lives with underlining learning difficulties and they struggle with day to day tasks and constantly question why? In fact, I’m one of those people. I’m certain I’ve been living with ADHD my whole life and just never really known or understood. This is an opportunity to really hone in on Elijah’s strengths, nurture them and implement the best strategies possible to aid him in moving onward and upward during his school years. If you have a child that is struggling in school, I highly recommend having them tested. It truly could make a huge difference in your child’s primary and secondary school experience. It’s a little expensive and it’s a little daunting but it doesn’t mean your child isn’t intelligent. Elijah’s IQ is high average!! A post shared by A • N (@alexandranation) on Aug 20, 2018 at 6:26pm PDT
A number of people left comments thanking Nation for sharing her family’s journey:
“Evaluations and a new diagnosis can be confusing for many parents, but making the conversation public makes it easier for everyone.”
“What a beautiful story you have shared about your adorable son. I’m sure many parents will benefit from reading your story. Diagnosis and early intervention make a world of difference! It’s crazy how many children slip through the cracks and are seen as “dumb.” Every child is smart in their own way, they just need the right tools for them so they can thrive.”
We couldn’t agree more!
If your child is being evaluated for learning and thinking differences, get the information you need to navigate every step of your journey:
- Learn how to request an evaluation.
- Find out how to prepare for an evaluation.
- Explore what the evaluation results mean and what to do next.
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About the author
Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.