However, despite being such a major health condition, very few people know about dyslexia. The knowledge surrounding dyslexia is so little that people often interpret it as the problem. Due to limited awareness of this condition, those affected are ostracized and stigmatized.
We at ETimes-TOI spoke with Suchita Pattnaik, a mother and DIY teacher, about what dyslexia means to her, and how she helps her child, Shreyansh, cope with the disorder. hard to read and all that she has faced until now.
In 2010, Suchita’s 8-year-old son was diagnosed with dyslexia and her family subsequently severed ties with her. With no one to support, Suchita embarks on a journey where she must carry her feelings along with her son who was denied admission because of his condition. Despite constant rejections and bullying, this mother never loses focus and years after her son scored 96% on the CBSE 12th grade board exam, her joy knows no bounds. Currently, Shreyansh is studying a course in Artificial Intelligence at a prestigious university in Gurugram.
ETimes-TOI: What do you want people to know about children with dyslexia?
Suchita Pattnaik: In my opinion, we should all be normal but gentle. Like all children, they are also normal children with special abilities and people must know that children with dyslexia are also very intelligent. If they’re coding, they’re the best, if they’re solving math problems, they’ll do it faster than any other student. So bullying them and making them feel inferior to others should be discouraged. We should be more empathetic and integrated with them.
ETimes-TOI: What were the most disturbing comments and reactions you encountered?
Suchita Pattnaik: Comments like ‘unusual’ and ‘cracked’ are the most disturbing comments but my and my son’s determination to learn is much stronger than those negative comments. So we don’t pay much attention to such comments.
ETimes-TOI: Would you like to share any parenting tips with parents of children with dyslexia?
Suchita Pattnaik: Some of the things we must keep in mind like seeking support at school, finding people who can connect with our children, making sure they receive ongoing support and encouragement so they can apply what they have learned during the treatment into practice.
Proof of your home’s safety, this is because many children with dyslexia are prone to self-injury. Pay attention to their emotional needs. Get ready for puberty, because when these kids hit puberty, they’re going to experience new emotions that are a natural part of adulthood. Discuss what to expect as your child gets older and how to deal with it with the doctor. Allay your teen’s fears by reassuring them that the changes that come with puberty are natural.
ETimes-TOI: What is your son’s greatest strength?
Suchita Pattnaik: My son’s greatest strength is his knowledge of technology. He is interested in devices and always reads technology books and magazines. His ability to grasp technology is faster than other children of the same age.
ETimes-TOI: How did you help him overcome his shortcomings?
Suchita Pattnaik: Ongoing therapies, counseling, brain development activities, sports and meditation have helped him overcome his shortcomings. Sometimes, I have emotional and mental breakdowns but never express it in front of him.
Regarding Shreyansh’s achievement and commending Suchita’s efforts, Vibha Gupta, Principal, Orchids – International School, Sector 56, Gurgaon, said: “I feel proud to have teachers like Suchita who are not only a DIY teacher but also an inspiration to all of us. We must learn to care for our special child, and giving up is never an option. We are all children of God, and there should be no discrimination on the basis of mental health.”