This is a book for prospective adoptive parents or foster carers of children who may have dyslexia. The authors each have a history of working and caring for children with additional needs either as a teacher with specific responsibility for the support of children with special educational needs or as a foster carer and adoptive parent which makes them eminently suitable to write such a supportive book.The introduction identifies the importance of prospective adopters acknowledging whether they feel able to look after and love a child who may have additional needs other than being adopted. It is not for everyone. There are enough trials and tribulations in adopting in the first instance and for some people, that is enough. There is often an uncertain future for the child with special needs.
Chapter one looks at the definition of dyslexia and how this may affect the individual’s ability. As with any other diagnosed need, dyslexia takes many forms, from the creative to the disabling disorganised person who cannot seem to function in the world.
The second chapter looks at the symptoms and prognosis of the condition and some of the methods for treating the child. There is a telling section for adopters and foster carers when trauma mimics dyslexia. Most children have suffered to some degree by being looked after or adopted into a new family. This can send their reactions into the stratosphere and may even cause concerned adults to wrongly diagnose a condition.
The third chapter advises on questions to ask prior to adopting or fostering a child. The next few chapters look at how this may affect the individual child’s development and what support, educational strategies and further help can be expected.
The second section of the book focuses on the importance and frustration of parenting a child with dyslexia. Lorna Miles shares her own experiences of living with children who have dyslexia. It is a simply told narrative with an emotional yet realistic undercurrent. At the end of this section there are questions to ask oneself.
I found this book to be an ideal addition to the bookshelf, especially for foster and adoptive parents. With any child, there is an element of the unknown and for children who are not born into the family, there may be even more surprises. I liked this short yet informative volume.
Stanway, Chris and Miles, Lorna (2012) Parenting a Child with Dyslexia