Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation

ENCOURAGEMENT

In this video and blog post we’re looking at how important the words of affirmation and encouragement that parents and teachers speak are to a dyslexic child.

Our focus is the story of Laura Schifter which you can find in more detail on www.understood.org.

she's smart

Laura schifter

Laura tells of how she would sit and read with her sisters and prefer the pictures stories because she couldn’t read the words so well. She would sometimes memorise the stories and pretend to read them. Her peers laughed at her when she tried to read out loud at school and eventually she was assessed for dyslexia.

different opinions

After the evaluation her school started to advise her parents not to expect too much of Laura academically. Her parents didn’t agree with this and continued to speak words of affirmation and encouragement over Laura and to tell her that she was really smart.

shes smart

helpful Adjustments

Laura noticed that if her teachers accommodated her dyslexia and made adjustments for it then she did really well. In the classes where there weren’t any adjustments made then she continued to struggle.

paying it forward

This experience has inspired Laura to ‘pay it forward’ and pursue teaching. She’s now a Harvard graduate in the Special Education Policy Department helping to create a school environment where children hear words of affirmation and encouragement for themselves to help them believe that they are smart.

choose what to say

We’ve used the illustration of wearing t-shirts and asking the question, ‘What is written on your t-shirt?’ as a way of asking what are the words and feelings that are being communicated to your dyslexic child. If they are words of affirmation and encouragement then that makes a massive positive difference to your child.

After reflecting on this story I can see that there are three key moments in Laura’s story and I think they are key for every dyslexic child’s journey. There is the moment she is assessed for dyslexia, her teachers’ response and the response of her parents.

value of evaluation

Laura was sitting reading with her sisters but knew that she was doing things differently. It’s natural as children to compare how we do things with how our peers do things and it is often how we learn. A dyslexia evaluation is really important in helping to start and understand the reasons for how your brain thinks and works and that it is okay to be different.

The experts and teachers in a child’s life and their opinions and approaches are very significant voices. Often they may be acting out of good intentions and trying to manage expectations but that can sometimes be discouraging.

words of affirmation

parent power

Parents are the ones who know a child best and have the biggest influence into their child’s life. If they are ‘wearing t-shirts’ with words of affirmation and encouragement on them and believing in their child’s capabilities then their child hears this in how they speak and act and starts to write similar words on their own t-shirt.

words of affirmation

adjustments and accomodations

It was interesting to observe that the lessons Laura thrived in were the ones where adjustments and accommodations were made for her. An adjustable spanner gives a visual illustration of the idea that there are sometimes a range of adjustments that need to be a made. Teachers who make the necessary adjustments, even if it’s the equivalent of opening the spanner as far as it will go to accommodate the imagination and creativity of dyslexic children will always see the best results.

be a good influence

It is wonderful to see that Laura Schifter now wants to pursue a career in education. She is essentially in a position to a wear a t-shirt with words of affirmation and encouragement for the next generation of school children so they too can believe in themselves.

The challenge for all us is to stop and think about what we have written on our t-shirts. Sometimes we can feel discouraged by other people’s opinions, however, we get to choose the words we speak and our attitudes and we can all choose to wear words of affirmation and encouragement to influence the children around us to believe in themselves and the gift that they are.

shes smart whole map

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mindmap videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs

Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MIND MAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.

Introduction to teenage dyslexia

Introduction to Teenage Dyslexia

TEENAGE DYSLEXIA

In this introduction to teenage dyslexia I want to tell you about John who is 13 years old and dyslexic and what a typical day looks like for him.

introduction to teenage dyslexia

John

John sleeps through his alarm and his mum has to wake him up. He wakes up tired and can often feel quite emotional in the mornings. His room is more messy than a typical teenager’s bedroom and his morning’s are always rushed. He’s just in time for the school bus and everything feels like he manages it just in time.’

John’s bag is huge and heavy because he can’t remember what he needs to take for each day so he just carries everything around in case he needs it.

timetable

John gets to school just in time and his day starts with English. He likes the discussions in English but there’s a lot of copying the board to be done which he finds really hard and so it takes him forever. He doesn’t finish in time and so he’ll need to come back at lunchtime to finish. John really needs a ‘C’ in English but he’s worried he might not get that.

Physics is next and he loves the puzzles but the formulas are really hard to remember. His teacher tells him to take notes from the textbook but he’s not sure what is important so he copies everything out just to be sure. He starts to daydream about deeper things like the meaning of life and the substance of gravity.

P.E. is next and John has forgotten some of his kit again. His teacher is really annoyed with him for forgetting.

introduction to teenage dyslexia
introduction to teenage dyslexia

Lunchtime

Lunchtime comes round and John’s friends head off to the shops while he catches up on his English and studies for his History test. Once he’s done he tries to text his friends so that he can meet them but choosing the right words and what to say takes forever so he gives up.

history Test

After lunch John has history and today the class has a test. John loves the stories in history and imagining what life used to be like but its a real challenge to remember specific names and dates for essays and tests. He doesn’t finish on time and his teacher says he can come back one lunchtime to finish off but John doesn’t have any lunchtimes left so it has to be marked as it is.

In geography, John loves brainstorming and exploring lots of ideas but he just can’t always figure out how they all fit together.

Art is the last lesson of the day and it is John’s oasis in school life. He loves drawing and creating and his teacher seems to really understand him.

introduction to teenage dyslexia
introduction to teenage dyslexia

football Club

After school it’s football club and John loves it here. He’s really skilled at football and seems to be able to adapt to how others are playing and score lots of goals. It’s one of the few places where he is celebrated and people congratulate him.

HOME

He finally heads home and makes a start on his homework. John has an essay to do and he tries really hard to start with an outline in the way his teacher told him to but he can’t quite figure it out so he just writes all his thoughts down at once into his essay and hopes that will do.

Dinner time is a family affair and John loves talking with his family. He’s a great conversationalist and they often laugh together at the words he makes up or mispronounces.

After dinner, John has to ask again for help with his English essay. His mum takes a look and helps to re-organise what he’s trying to say so it makes more sense and he starts to write it all out again.

It’s 9.30pm and John is finally finished for the day. He’s physically and emotionally exhausted and needs to unwind. He plays video games and watches Netflix but this means he’s burning the candle at both ends.

He knows that tomorrow it starts all over again and he’s stressed because he feels he’s slowly slipping behind everyone else.

introduction to teenage dyslexia
introduction to teenage dyslexia

teenage dyslexia + mindmapping

I’m telling you this story as an introduction to teenage dyslexia because John’s story is actually my story of being a child. It’s also my story as the parent of a dyslexic child.

As well as an introduction to teenage dyslexia this is also an introduction to mindmapping. I discovered mindmapping when I was 21 as a way to overcome the fear of exams and it changed the way I learned.

Looking back, if there was one bit of advice I could give my teenage self it would be to learn how to mindmap at 13 and not wait until I was 21.

online workshop

My hope for John and other dyslexic teenagers is that they learn how to study in a way that works for them. I hope they can use mindmapping to organise their thoughts, take notes from the board and from textbooks and to outline essays in a systematic way and remember the facts they needs for tests and exams.

If you would like to find out more about how the mindmapping skills I’ve described in this introduction to teenage dyslexia could help you and your family we have a free online video workshop which runs every week. Discover the joy of a visual way of note-taking that matches the way you think.

We’d like to thank Understood.org for the initial inspiration for this blog post.

introduction to teenage dyslexia

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mindmap videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MIND MAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.

The Idea People

The Idea people are OFten Dyslexic

One in ten people have dyslexia. Why?

I’ve been pondering a bit about why there’s the ratio of 1/10 dyslexics in our society. What’s the reason? Sometimes it’s described as a problem but I think it’s an essential part of society, business and communities. 

idea people

The IDEA PEOPLE, The Solution People.

I think society needs one in ten people to be dyslexic. Here’s why. Dyslexic people are often the ideas people in a situation. If you find that you’re the ‘ideas person’ in a room, then you’re probably the dyslexic, whether you know it or not. There’s a reason why you need to be in that room! Dyslexic people have a hardwired ability to come up with innovative solutions to problems and to see connections that other people miss. This has been established by research and by history.

spectrum

The downside is that they are not always able to fully execute an idea to completion on their own. That’s why they are just one person on the team. The others have the abilities to combine to make the ideas a reality. Which is why I think there is a good reason for this ratio. Take for example the highly detail orientated people in a group at the other end of the scale. Research finds that 1 in 20 people in a group will be autistic they are often the highly detail orientated people. This creates a healthy range between the very detailed oriented and the big picture contributors with everyone else spread in the middle finding ways to implement the ideas.

words of affirmation
idea people

team

It’s a great example of how we, as humans, are made to work in teams and in community.

We all have a contribution to make and a team is weaker without the unique insights that a dyslexic person can bring. It’s a real cost to our businesses and society to lose the input of the 1 in 10 problem solvers. If our dyslexic children lose the confidence, or the access, to contribute to these teams, then we all lose.

Alexander Graham Bell, a famous Scottish inventor, and dyslexic, invented the telephone. Then another dyslexic, Steve Jobs, took it to the next level with the iPhone! Each was the ideas person who worked within a team.

The Dentist

They’re two big names that we’ve heard of but it’s happening in the day to day places also.

My dentist is dyslexic and I can see it’s an incredible benefit to his dentistry because he is able to adapt his skills to every different arrangement of teeth. He finds innovative solutions to the challenges he’s presented with. He sources interesting solutions from around the world and is winning awards for his excellence.

I think a lot of that is because of his dyslexia, and because he’s part of a great team which values his  way of working.

idea people
idea people

Specialisation

It’s good to be proud of fellow famous dyslexics but I’m equally impressed by situations in everyday life where people with dyslexia get to play to their strengths. I’ve noticed that they can often be in quite diverse positions in life but their ability as dyslexics to see the big picture means that they they act in a way to pull different specialisms or schools of thought together and creates a space for them to cross pollinate.

That, to me, is the value of one in ten people being dyslexic. A person with dyslexia pulls together different disciplines and concepts and knits them together into great systems.

A dyslexic person is a great asset to your team!

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MIND MAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.

Quick Release Headphones trick

Quick Release Headphone Trick

Tangled Headphones?

Here’s my quick release headphone trick!

We all know how frustrating tangled headphones are when you need them and how much hassle it can be. This simple trick means your headphones are always tangle free.

headphone trick steps

Tangle free

  • Take your headphones and wrap the cable around your first three fingers a few times.
  • Take the cable off your fingers, give it a quick twist and then wrap the remaining cable round the middle of the loops.
  • With the last bit of cable, instead of pushing it through one of the loops, create a small loop and push that through instead.
  • When you pull on that little loop your headphones are ready to use immediately.

Learning a skill

Like so many skills in life, It looks simple when you see it done. But you often just need a little bit of help to know the steps to make what looks simple actually work.

It’s the same with Mindmapping. It can look simple but you need help and practice to make it work. In this course I will show you how to Mindmap your thoughts.

Headphones trick
top5 basics for mindmapping

time and practice

Our thoughts can sometimes feel like a tangled mess, just like the headphones. When we want to share our thoughts it takes us time to unravel what it is we want to say. With a Mindmap you can have your thoughts organised so whenever you need to share your thoughts you can think of you mindmap and you get to ‘quick release’ your thoughts.

Learning a skill takes time and practice. Learning the quick release headphone trick is a little skill that can have a big difference. Mindmapping is also a little skill that can have a big difference.

Mindmapping course

I’m passionate about teaching teenagers, especially creatives and dyslexics, how to mindmap for exam success. This means you can pass exams and also understand how to learn well. You can also learn how to express the thoughts and ideas in you mind and how to connect things together. A mindmap is a very powerful way to do that.

I hope you’ll join me on the journey of learning how to Mindmap so that just as you can now quick release your headphones you’ll also be able to quick release your thoughts!

mindmapping course 101

Available resources

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mindmap videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs.

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

 

Welcome!

VIDEOS FOR PARENTS OF DYSLEXIC TEENAGERS

We’re sending 2 new videos weekly on dyslexia + mindmapping. Get email notifications here:

Zero Gravity Workshop

What's Going on in a Dyslexic's Head?

Zero Gravity Workshop

This video is a way for me to share with you how a dyslexic brain works.

I call my brain a zero-gravity space. Let me explain what I mean by that using an illustration and a mindmap.

zero gravity workshop
The Zero Gravity Workshop

The Workshop

Imagine my brain is a workshop and in that workshop is a table. My teacher comes along and teaches me something and it’s like placing an item onto the table. He tells me all about it and I put in into my workshop.

take apart

What’s the first thing I do with it as a dyslexic?

I take it apart! I pull it to pieces in my imagination and try to figure out how it works. This helps me try and understand the new thing that has come into my workshop.

Dyslexics Take Things Apart
Dyslexic Thoughts Floating to the Ceiling

floating pieces

Then I turn away and move my attention to something else. I leave the pieces on the table but when I come back to them they’re not there anymore. Some of the pieces have stayed put but the smaller parts that hold everything together have gone. When I look for them they have floated up to the top of the ceiling and are floating around like helium balloons. That’s the zero gravity aspect of my brain. That sense of reduced gravity means that my ideas are often floating around and they’re hard to catch.

Zero gravity thinking

The ideas haven’t disappeared entirely but every time I want to to remember the new thing that I put on the table I have to pull all the ideas down and re-organise them. This zero gravity thinking has pros and cons.

The advantage is that when I’m focusing on what is on the work table I can actually make it three dimensional and understand it. I can take different ideas and fit them together.

Someone without this zero gravity brain, a non-dyslexic, finds it harder to move the pieces around and likes them to all stay in place and so they find it harder to conceptualise new ideas.

Zero gravity workshop

Gravity!

The downside of this way of thinking is that when I try to take my ideas out of my workshop to share them with someone else they just seem to fall apart and I can’t quite put them together again.

I didn’t always understand why this happened and now I do. Its gravity!

duct tape!

The answer to the problem of what to do about taking this wonderful prototype in my imagination and making it able to get out the door without falling to bits is duct tape!

I need some tape to stick my ideas together and hold them in a way that I can explain them to another person.

zero gravity workshop

mindmap

For me, that tape is a mindmap.

If I’m writing lots of notes it’s like I’m constantly taking my mind off what I have just written to write the next thing and the ideas just float away and it stops making sense.

With a mind map I don’t need to do lots of writing. I can just take the key idea, find a component part and write it onto a branch. I keep doing this with different components on different branches until I have a blueprint that doesn’t need lots of words.

headphone trick

Perhaps you’ve seen the video of the quick release headphones. Well, this blueprint is how I can now quick release my thoughts and they make sense!

I would encourage you as a parent to learn how to do this with your child especially if they’re creative or dyslexic. A lot of my students have found that this unlocks their abilities and releases them productively into the real world.

headphone trick steps
zero gravity workshop

Online workshop

I’d encourage you to join a free mini online workshop for mindmapping Dyslexia. Its a taster of what we do with families  helping them learn all about how mind mapping can take away a lot of the stress of High School. Our teenage students love the workshop and regularly score it 4-5 stars.

The link for the seminar is down below and I’d really love it you could join me!

zero gravity

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mindmap videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MIND MAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.