Today’s guest, Nicole Holcomb brings a beautiful perspective to the Fresh Start Family Show on trusting your momma (or parent) instincts. She has spent the last 20+ years as an educator, school counselor, school district administrator, and attorney.
Most importantly, Nicole has spent the last 3 years learning alongside her husband about the amazing world of dyslexia after her daughter was diagnosed.
Nicole utilizes her own family’s journey to help empower other parents to trust their intuition if they feel something is off with their child and to provide parents of all unique learners with tools to help their child thrive.
In today’s episode Wendy and Nicole discuss:
- Honoring your mom intuition
- Recognizing and helping your little learner through everyday struggles
- Focusing first on a strong relationship with your child
Do you want to learn how to take care of yourself with joy, heal your body, and thrive as a parent?
Click HERE to put yourself first as a parents & to learn about the practices, routines, and clean beauty products that have helped empower & heal me!
- Nicole’s background
- The Holcomb Family’s journey with dyslexia
- Honoring your parental intuition
- Recognizing that you know your child best
- Being mindful of what is happening in your child’s classroom
- Knowing when to start asking questions
- Reading habits & programs to help your struggling child
- Building relationships with your child
Not able to listen or want to read along with us?
Here is the episode transcript!
This episode is brought to you by the Fresh Start Family, free learning guide: how to use empathy to build connection and cooperation in your home had to freshstartfamilyonline.com/empathy to grab your copy now.
Well, Hey there, families and welcome to a new episode of the fresh start family show. I am your host, Wendy Snyder, positive parenting educator and family life coach. And today on the show, I am excited to have you help me welcome Nicole Holcomb to the show who is talking to us about how important it is to trust our motherly instincts and intuition. And because we just came off of mother’s day, I thought this is a great time to share Nicole’s message.
Nicole shares her story about how she knew something was off with her kiddo and really took the extra steps and measure to kind of follow the breadcrumbs, so to speak. And then later to find out that her daughter had dyslexia. Now she’s gone on to build so many great resources and have so many wonderful conversations around how to support families who have kids with dyslexia. And I just think she’s amazing and she’s a light. And I wanted to bring this conversation to you guys today, just to help encourage you to always remember that if you feel like something is off with your kids, then don’t even second guess going and getting that opinion or that second opinion or that third opinion here at Fresh Start Family.
Of course, we’re always going to encourage you to get started on the parenting side of things, especially if there is behavioral stuff going on with your kids, always get yourself into a program, a parenting program, get yourself a parenting mentor. Of course, of course we hope that that is us here at fresh sharp family, but, you know, just find somebody find a program to get into it doesn’t matter if it’s not our programs, but it’s very important. Anytime you have behavioral stuff going on in your home with your kids, that you really start with parenting, and then as you’re learning and as you’re growing and as you’re changing some of the things that you’re doing, if you’re also seeing, Hey, we’re having some success, we’re seeing some changes, some positive momentum, but our child still continues to struggle.
Or our child still is having, you know, situations or is getting in trouble at school or falling behind with their academics or social skills, whatever it may be. You just want to trust your intuition that something more could be going on than just normal kind of behavioral development with your child. So within our bonfire, private support community, we’ve actually had a few parents just in the last two months that trusted their mom intuition and kept pursuing kind of evaluations of their child because their children continue to have some emotional outburst and some behavioral issues at school and within the home, all the things.
But, you know, they’ve been incredibly dedicated parents in my program, but then they just knew that they thought something else was going on. So both of them went and took all the steps that you did to, and sure enough, both of their children got diagnosed with dyslexia. And now at least they have the knowledge and the, you know, the diagnosis to help them move forward and get the, the right mentors and the right support system for their child. So their child can now start their path to healing and succeeding. But even if it’s not dyslexia that you are pursuing some second opinions, some third opinions about just to see if there’s something more going on with your child.
I think it’s just so incredibly important to listen to your own heart and your own intuition. So that is what we are talking about in today’s episode. And honestly, guys, this doesn’t even have to be with medical diagnoses. This can be with just, you know, the way your child is more quiet than usual. And you know, you have a sense that something is going on that they’re not necessarily that maybe they don’t feel comfortable talking to you about or sharing with you yet. Sometimes our intuition just tells us that our child is struggling or suffering, even though they’re not saying that to us, we just, I believe our motherly intuition is like a super power. So the more we can tap into it, the more we just can feel empowered and confident as parents, Nicole is incredibly inspirational on this front.
And I hope you enjoy this episode. Make sure you go find Nicole, go give her some love support what she’s doing. She has her very own podcast. And she’s just amazing. So thanks so much for listening families and without further ado, enjoy this episode.
Well, Hey there, I’m Stella. Welcome to my mom and dad’s podcast, the Fresh Start Family Show. We’re so happy you’re here. We’re inspired by the ocean, Jesus and rock and roll and believe deeply in the true power of loving kindness. Together we hope to inspire you to expand your heart, learn new tools and strengthen your family. Enjoy the show.
Well, Hey there, families and welcome to a new episode of Fresh Start Family Show. I am so excited to be sitting here this morning with Nicole Holcomb, who is going to be speaking with us about trusting our mom intuition. Welcome Nicole.
Hey Wendy. So excited to be here today
Yes. And can I just say that your George accent just gives me comfort? I feel like I’m like my dad is from North Carolina and he has a similar, beautiful Southern draw. And it’s just, it’s just a beautiful, like comforting, I think sweet accent. You’re from Georgia,
Right? Thank you. That’s so sweet. I always am so envious every time I see y’all on the beach. So, so I’m like, it looks nice.
Yes. But I think they make fun of Californians accents, you know? So I don’t think we have the same like accents. We’re we’re we, we are known to, I don’t know. I’ve heard people make fun of us. It’s hilarious, but all right, listeners, back to what we’re talking about today, trusting your mom intuition, and the reason why I thought it would be wonderful to have Nicole speak to us about this today is because her story and her journey is really beautiful as she has been raising her little girl who now is in the fourth grade, nine years old. And so Nicole has spent much of her professional life as an educator, a school counselor, a school district administrator, and an attorney.
However, none of that prepared her and her educator has been for a daughter with dyslexia. So she has spent the last three years learning all about the amazing world of dyslexia. And she’s met so many moms along the way, and now she has a beautiful side hustle and a podcast and a mission to really serve moms who are raising kids with Dick’s dyslexia and helping them thrive. So I love your hearts. You are out there busting your butt, Nicole working a full-time job as an attorney right now. Is that correct?
Yeah, that’s right.
Oh my gosh. And then you’re coming home parenting and just pouring your heart out to serve other parents. And I love that about you. Thank you. I know it’s not easy, right? Like, and I just know that when you have a heart to serve and you have learned so much through your own journey and it’s just such a, it’s so great. If you can find that outlet to be able to then help others because we do, we learn through each other’s journey. Right. And so you have, you have learned so much about how to trust your own intuition over the years. And so start us off with just a little bit about your journey. You know, how did things unfold with your daughter and what were some elements along the way that caused you to say, okay, something’s not right here.
Or my, my heart or my mind is telling me there might be something more going on here than just the standard she’s pushing back on homework, she’s throwing a fit, whatever it may be. Just tell us a little bit more about your story.
Sure. Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. I mean, and you’re right. You know, it’s, you know, looking back now, you see a lot of things that in the midst of it, you don’t always trust yourself or what, you know, and we she’s an only child. So for us all, this was new. Right. But we had, like you said, been educators, which is kind of ironic because for 20 last 20 years, I’ve been in education and from, you know, many different avenues, like we talked about a few minutes ago, but when it’s your own child, it is so different. Right. And so even, even early on, you know, preschool, even before preschool, there were, were things. Now I realize we’re signs.
But although we had all this experience as educators, not only from our training, but also from the work we were doing, I still didn’t know that one in five children are dyslexic. I still didn’t know dyslexia was hereditary or is hereditary. I didn’t know that you could remediate dyslexia, not necessarily cure it. And the thing that was really fascinating along the journey later was that I didn’t realize that there’s these high level thinking strengths that children and adults have a dyslexia at the same time. She’s not able to retrieve the spoken word easily. And so I didn’t know any of that until she was identified.
And we began this journey and I began to start getting some clarity, but at the very beginning and preschool age, I guess to really, even earlier, I guess around two, we were seeing that she was struggling to pronounce words. Like she would say a word and we’d be like, what? And it would get to the point that I go, aha. And then she’d be like, you could tell, she asks you a question and that aha didn’t work anymore. And she would become frustrated with us. And we would become frustrated because we couldn’t understand her. And we very much wanted to understand her. So early on for us, we identified it as more of a speech concern. So we were able to get her in speech and it was more what we thought was an articulation concern. Like she’s not able to articulate those sounds.
I mean, dyslexia was nowhere on my radar. At that point. I, we had a friend in college with dyslexia, but I mean, it, wasn’t kind of embarrassing to say we’re educators, but it wasn’t on my radar. So which parents that are going through this journey know that it’s just not on many people’s radar unless you know, it’s in your family. So anyway, so that goes along for several years, she’s still currently in speech all these years later working on different skills. But as we get into pre-K and kindergarten just took her longer to do things, the teachers would say, you know, she just had chart time saying staying up with her classmates, getting things done. And then as we went into kindergarten, you know, now it’s very different than when we were in kindergarten.
Now it’s, you’re going to read in kindergarten, you’re going to learn sight words in kindergarten. You’re going to learn so much more than learning through play. Like it used to be. And she just, you know, I mean, just couldn’t she couldn’t identify the letters. Like she knew that, you know, this is B and this is D or whatever this is E but when you start talking about the sounds, she couldn’t put the sounds with the letters. And then as we started to learn sight words, we would, we would get a, you know, a set of sight words. And we would work on them in kindergarten, first grade. And I mean, we would work all week and then all Thursday night, we go back over a couple of words and she didn’t know any of them.
And we would, I would just sit in the floor and cry with her. I was like, I don’t understand. And then she would be cute. Right. It’d be cute. And she’d be funny, like trying to distract you now. I know that was just her coping. Right. But then I was like, I don’t get it. That the word is the, why are we saying tree? Or, I mean, like, it would just be constantly, completely not even the same letters or anything. So that wasn’t a good example, but it’d be like the, and maybe she said was right. Like it just didn’t associate. So, you know, we can’t continue to, with speech, we had her in a private, a small private school because of the speech. We just want a smaller class sizes. And then as we went into first grade, I think really when I started connecting it, wouldn’t the first time I really started listening to the voice in me, the intuition, the mom gut, whatever you want to call.
It was in first grade. And she loves math has always loved math. Doesn’t get that from me, but she loves me, but she brought home a math worksheet. It was like August. It was early on and it had columns on it. So Monday column, Tuesday column, but we had the whole week in front of us and it was really simple things, right? Like two plus zero was what one plus two is what, three whatever. And so she’s rocking and rolling. She’s writing all the answers down there. All right. You all right? Like she was getting the concepts. Right. But what we had started seeing in kindergarten and first grade was she was writing letters backwards and numbers backwards. And that’s what most people think about when they think about dyslexia, although it’s bigger than that.
So I thought, well, that’s strange. Like I can see if she doesn’t know it from her, her memorization, but when five plus zero, the five is then written backwards on the page and the five is there it’s modeled on the page for her. I was like, Hmm, that didn’t seem right. We already had a tutor. And so I sent a message to her. She worked at the school, she was our reading specialist. And I said, Hey, is it, is this still developmental? Like, what are we dealing with? She’s like, yeah, there, there continues to be, are they’re starting to be a concern now. And she had always said, you know, with articulation problem, it was hard to get to the dyslexia piece.
When they use that language though, that like the tone you’re like, do we have to be so serious? Like that concern could be so much greater better if there was like a lightness about this kind of stuff. But as parents, you’re like, we’re, we’re starting to get concerned.
And even in kindergarten, I said, you know, we’re not learning sight words when we were going through the sight word problem in kindergarten. And it just, we just weren’t, she just wasn’t getting it. And it was like, well, we just kind of see it in the first semester. We just kind of see if that catches on quickly. And it may take a while. And by the spring it should, you know, the light should come on. Well, it didn’t come on. But so, yeah. So in, in first grade I was like this, I don’t know. I just finally listened to myself and I thought, you know what? I’m an educated person. I know my child, I know something is not right. Her vocabulary was amazing. I mean, she would say things and we’d be like, what? Like, that’s not something that a first grader should be saying, like her creativity was just off the charts. I mean, just the way she thinks is amazing, but there was this disconnect and could feel it right.
Like you could see, she could feel it. So I was just like, you know what? We’re going to get tested. And worst case scenario is best case scenario, which is they say, you know what, mom, it’s fine. She’s fine. But I needed to know. Right? Like at that point I needed to know. And then, you know, as moms do we look back and think, oh, we missed that sign. We missed this sign. You know, all these warning signs that I didn’t necessarily know at the time were classic dyslexic, you know, characteristics. I just, I didn’t know. So, you know, at that point we, we had our tested the public school. That’s where I worked at the time. And so we just got a specific learning disability. They didn’t call it dyslexia. It’s not till later that I get someone local to kind of unpack the evaluation with me.
And, and we realized that she’s dyslexic. And so they put some things in place at her school, but they still weren’t able to really get to the amount of remediation that she need and would need. And so we were doing one day a week after school. And so we started seeing in the spring, mommy, I don’t feel well. She loves school. She loved her teacher. Teacher was amazing, but she was having just the sematic stuff. She just didn’t feel well. She had a headache, she had a stomach ache. And so I reached out to someone on the north side of Atlanta and I’m like, Hey, I don’t know when you look at this with me. And she’s like, I can already tell you one day a week is not going to cut it one day a week is not even starting to peel it apart for her to be able to cause they have to be able to pull the letters and sounds apart and put them back together.
And there’s a whole process of what they have to learn through remediation. And she’s like one day a week is not enough. And she was already going to speech anyway. And so I was like, I just can’t imagine in first grade loading on three and four afternoons of 45 minutes, hour and a half of reading and then doing speech and long story short, we decided to go a different route. So we actually have her currently, we that after that year, second, third, and fourth and all she’s been in an immersion school. And so a hundred percent of the students are dyslexic. Every teacher in the building is trained to remediate. So even in language arts or social studies or science or using multisensory approaches, they’re, you know, everybody is trained. Everybody has their own individual reading groups with small groups of students.
They meet with them daily. We have very structured homework that we do to reinforce the reading. And you know, it’s not perfect. Like it’s, it’s going to be a struggle, but it is day and night. And you can see that she feels better about herself and that we are starting to make some, you know, COVID, hasn’t been helpful cause that’s disrupted the learning, but you know, her school continues to hang in there with, you know, fidelity and make sure that she gets, you know, what they can do right now.
Well, Hey listeners, I want to pause and take a moment to thank ForeverLawn for their support of the Fresh Start Family Show. This month forever lawn is a foe grass company that provides the most advanced superior quality artificial turf available. And I just love the kind of company they are. I know this family personally, and they are legit, just good people who founded this company in 2002. So they’re celebrating 20 years this year of providing beautiful backyards playground surfaces, pet-friendly areas, golf greens, and so much more. One of the things I love most about ForeverLawn is that they have really, really great customer service. And I’m finding that companies with great customer service and great products, of course, to just really win my heart these days.
I will tell you families that we’ve had photographs throughout our backyard here in Southern California now for nearly a decade. And I can’t imagine life without it. It’s incredibly easy to care for it and we never have to worry about the dogs killing it. And the best part is we don’t have to cut it. So if you’re interested in learning more about how artificial turf would look and feel outside your home, I highly suggest you reach out to ForeverLawn and look into how they could add value and beauty to your home. You can find them foreverlawn.com. Okay. Back to the show.
Yeah. I mean, it’s been an interesting road, you know, there’s, there’s been times when I just, I had to go with, you know, what I thought was the best and there’s just like you were saying earlier, there’s just things that people say like it’s developmental or it’ll just click or do, you know, just wait a little bit longer, mom, and you know, you know, your child best. And if you just have a feeling, yeah, it may be some money you have to shell out to, to figure things out. You know, if I had to do it again, I probably would go private because then I could have got a larger picture because we had to go back and get some other assessments done for articulation. And we were able to broaden some other things like dysgraphia, the handwriting. She has that as well. They didn’t identify that in the first one.
And so there’s just some pieces that we had to, again, kind of just go with, you know, when things something’s still not right. We had to look and dig deeper and see, you know, does she need other services and kind of go that way. And I’ll tell you, you know, the minute, not the minute, but the kind of aha moment that I knew we’d made the right decision was in the spring of first grade, we had a mother’s day at the school. I never will forget. We were, you know, how they always have cute little things and presents and everything and they make things for you. And I just remember, you know, I had thought what a gift we’d given her to be in a classroom with. I don’t think there was like 10 kids. So I was like, that’s, you know, just she’s going to get so much one-on-one.
And as I looked around, I realized through her eyes what she was seeing, and it was her classmates with these amazing writing skills kids that were already reading chapter books. And I remember she had written something, I don’t know. She still, she didn’t know what she wrote, but she wrote something to me like a letter or you know, something about mom. And I looked around at the table and everybody else’s and I looked at hers and I can read it, Wendy. I had no idea what she wrote. And I said, you know, said my daughter’s name. I said, Hey, you know, what, can you tell mom what you wrote here? She didn’t know. She can’t remember. And she can read her own handwriting. And I had to hold back the tears.
I just was like, wow. I thought, and I do still think it was probably the best that we’d been in a public school with 35 kids. We might not still know, but I just, for her later on, she tells me things like, you know, my best friends were reading chapter books and she was noticing things and know it, it was like, okay, this we’re doing the right thing. This is why she’s sick and doesn’t want to come to school because she just, yeah, it’s just too much. And so that was the moment that I realized we were having to move 60 miles away from her home. We sold a house. We changed jobs. The first year I commuted three hours a day. We did a lot of stuff to make this happen. But at that moment, at that moment, I’m like, this is what we have to do.
That is incredible. And gosh, that’s that statistic one in five. Wow.
I have an undergrad in elementary education. Like I went through reading, you know, I don’t know this cohorts and things in college now. Yes, that was a minute ago. But you know, and my husband has a master’s in special ed and I’m like, how did we not ha you know? And, and you find that as you get into this community, the community is amazing. People are amazing, but you find that, you know, they’re just not students are just not identified. They end up being students that may end up having behavior problems or acting out or whatnot because they can’t read. And as you go from third grade to fourth grade and you go from learning to read, to reading, to learn, if you can’t read, you can’t do science.
If you can’t read you, can’t complete social studies. If you can’t read, how are you going to do the complex math problems? You know, they’re just, it’s everywhere. And I try to say, I try to tell people, you know, just imagine if you went to work every day and you had to learn again how to check your email, or you had to like, just something that’s even simple for you, or maybe every day you went in. You’re like, I don’t remember anything about what my boss wants today. And you had to relearn that every single day. No wonder they’re exhausted. And they’re frustrated.
Yes. Well, gosh, that’s so eye opening, right? And I love as you tell your story, Nicole, I hear such a openness to seek, to understand and look below what was maybe the behaviors that were being exhibited. And that’s kind of the, the basic mindset we have in positive parenting is that there are reasons why our children have problems. Like kids. Aren’t just trying to be a pain in the butt, or, you know, not doing well with reading because they’re just not giving it their all right. Like there’s usually a reason that is causing them to be challenged by it. And so I can just hear how this along this whole journey, you were really willing to say, let me just keep getting creative here and having eyes to see what could be going on.
And even though that wasn’t always necessarily what was going through your mind in the early days, I know that it was in your heart, right? Yeah. We had one of our foundation’s core students on who talked to us about OCD and her little girl was diagnosed with that probably in, I think second or third grade. And that statistic I think was around one and eight. Like, and, you know, it turns into a lot of generalized anxiety disorder and it’s just staggering when you hear these and we’re, and we’re not really educated about it, right? Like it’s not even for really well-educated educators. It’s just, I’m. So I’m so happy that you’re here to, to spread your wisdom today and help parents remember that.
There’s always like, it’s always a good idea to just keep seeking, to understand, asking questions, being willing to sit with your kid and say, Hey, let’s look at what’s going on here. And then there’s another thing that you said, Nicole, that I loved was this idea that these kiddos have high level thinking strengths, right? Like I feel like this day and age, you know, we’ve gotten so used to the term disorder or things like that. But in my experience, what I’ve learned from some of the guests we’ve had on, or from my, some of my friends who have kids with disabilities is there’s, there’s always strikes. There’s usually strikes.
And it’s so beautiful that that sentence right there is just so cool. And I can just see that you’ve you’ve really have, have raised her to make sure she understands that this is she’s going to have challenges, and you’re going to go out of your way to support her. And there are high level strengths that come along with, you know, what she lives with. And you’re going to make sure that, that she understands that and that she’s supported in that. So that’s beautiful. So talk to us about this idea that, you know, if you have a struggling reader that they can learn to read with help, right. So I think back to, and this is not, you know, this is, I’m sure a lot of listeners now, if they have kids around preschool, kindergarten, first grade, they might be like, oh my goodness.
Do do I need to be concerned? Because there might be a few similarities. Right? So it’s, it’s important. I think we know that it’s, there are some aspects of your story that I think are common with some kids, right? Like, so Stella had backwards letters. You know, she had a, she had a struggle in kindergarten. I remember they sat us down and they’re like, we are concerned she’s at the 68%. And, but again, our intuition at the time was that, and it was, this is the key piece that I think is important year. My intuition wasn’t telling me there was something more at hand. My intuition was telling me because I had watched the race to nowhere documentary, which was so magnificent. I recommend it to every family on the planet.
It’s like a requirement for people who are in my programs, but my intuition told me that there was nothing wrong that we needed to chill on this kid and let her be a kindergartener. And sh and that’s what the race to nowhere kind of, it there’s so much testing and statistics involved that it kinda, it, it messes with a lot of kids. And if Stella is the type of kid that if she feels pressure, she will push back. And then she got all stressed out. And the more she got stressed out, the worst she did with reading. So we had to really make a stand and say, okay, thank you for your concerns. And we’re feeling good. We’re going to make sure she’s in trees. She is, you know, having enough rest every night, we’re not going to have tears over homework.
We’re not going to fight if we get it done. Cool. If we can, if we can memorize a sight words, great. But if not, please know that we, we, we want to prioritize. We think, you know, we want to prioritize her just being a kid right now. And we’re confident that it’s going to come sure enough. In first grade, everything clicked and she became like a star reader. And now she’s completely fine now. Right. But the point of me telling that story is there, there can be similar aspects, right? With, with struggles when your kid goes through things. But I think what a call is bringing to the table is that you could tell there was something deeper in your gut, in your heart, and you, you couldn’t put your finger on it, but you kept seeing it over and over again. And then of course, once it got bigger and bigger is when you decided to really get the professional help.
So I think that’s important, right? Like it’s not always going to be like, okay, we’re, we’re dealing with dyslexia here and it could be right. You just got to listen to yourself. So if your kid is struggling with reading and with all that said that, I just noted, talk to us about this, this like, hopefulness, like, it’ll be there. There’ll be okay. They just need the right support.
Right. And I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, there are pieces that, because I do have a degree in elementary ed, I did know there were some pieces that were definitely could be considered developmental. So there were pieces that we continue to monitor even early on. But, but as we think about that as well, I think one of the things I would say, you know, to, to anyone in this listening is really being mindful of what is happening in the classroom. As it relates to, for example, this, this is still a little controversial, but it’s its own point. If your child is dyslexic, if you’re in a program at school where the reading is taught whole language, it is difficult for dyslexics to learn that way.
If you were in a program where they use phonics and phonetic awareness, dyslexics respond best to that and best to multi-sensory. So they’re, you know, they’re moving and they’re doing things and it helps their brain to, to kinda, to kind of get a jumpstart there. But if, you know, just memorization, it’s interesting. Cause I, I interviewed a lady, who’s a professor at MIT and she’s dyslexic and she said, she learned to read, I’m sure I’m gonna butcher this, but it was like middle school. Right. But she learned to read because she memorized the shapes of every word. That’s how she learned. And I’m like, wow, your brain is amazing. But I guess my first thing would be is if your child is struggling to read, maybe asking a couple of questions as far as what is the reading program, because if you’re in a program where phonics, you know, because just think about even the way you learn to read, you know, did you memorize words or do you know, because you’re able to sound out, you know, B says BA you know, and if you’re not able to do that for dyslexics, I mean, they say that the way that you can, you can remediate a dyslexic, food, learning.
Those rules of a lot of people use Orton-Gillingham or Wilson. One of those programs is that they do teach you the rules about the long ease and they teach all these like phonetic rules. And so the kids are able to make sense out of that. And they’re able to remember those. And every child can benefit from that. Every child that’s learning to read, but for children that are learning to read through more of a whole language approach, it, it, the, the science behind that says it’s very difficult for them. So one thing would be just know what type of reading program your child’s being exposed to. And I love what you said, because I do believe as well that we learned so much through play and having fun.
And that’s another piece of what I talked to my audience about to my moms is that relationships are such a key because if you can grow that relationship with your child, that’s the most important thing. Did we get the math homework done? Maybe we’ll try, but if we’re gonna have a complete meltdown, it is not worth it. And so as you continue to build that relationship, then, you know, when things are just, they’re just not working, like there’s just something more, the other piece of that is not only the, the aspect of what’s happening in the classroom and how is it kind of being approached, but also like, what do you do at home? You know, I’ve heard a couple of different people say that they’ve even been accused of, oh, you must not have read to your child.
Well, yeah. They read to their child, reading to your child has nothing to do with them being dyslexic. However, it is important for vocabulary. So I think this is interesting. So one of the books that a lot of people talk about is overcoming dyslexia and she talks about the science behind that. She’s actually, she runs the Yale dyslexia center, but this is interesting. I want to share this with you. So if you read to us, this is reading at home. If you read less than a minute, a day in a year, your child would have been exposed to 8,000 words. If your child reads four to six, 4.6 a day, then there’ll be exposed to 282,000 words, but you’re going to love this.
Cause if you’ve, if you’ve heard this before, a lot of times, elementary teachers say, you know, you should read about 20 minutes at night with your child. When you read 20 minutes a day with your child, it’s 1.8 million words they’re exposed to in a year. And so that exposure to culture and language, and that’s going to help them too, because then they’re able to, not only when they’re exposed to those words, they may be able to figure out the meaning of those words. And I try to make it fun at home. Like I’m just silly kind of person, but I just try to make it fun with her. I use inflection. I might create a funny little voice for one little character. I try to kind of make it exciting and fun for her. And then letting her know that, you know, reading is just not boring off of a page, there’s punctuation for a reason.
So I think sometimes we, as moms get discouraged and we’re like, okay, they don’t want to read. We’re just not going to push it. I get that P patient with them. But also it may be because of what we’re choosing to read is okay to, to, to read out of a magazine or something that’s smaller or something that’s manageable. We started there, which was just kind of stepping back to say, okay, where can she have some success by herself reading? And then what can we immerse her in? Just so she has more, because her vocabulary has always been amazing. I’m always like, I don’t even know where she heard that word from. So, you know, just having, I think it’s interesting that the, the, even just that 20 minutes a night reading with your child, it really opens up their world just to culture and vocabulary, and really can help them with that exposure to language.
And so what do we do that every night? I’m going to be honest. No, we try to, but just like with everything else, if the is, is continue. I mean, no, one’s perfect here, but it’s continuing to be a piece that we work towards.
Hey, families, let’s just pause this conversation for a moment and talk about the new, Fresh Start Family Wellness Collective, a celebration of self care. You can head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/wellness to learn more about the products included in this collective and the brands of fresh her family is partnering with to help you take care of yourself with joy. Okay. Let’s get back to our conversation,
But I, but I’m thankful that I know the importance of it. I mean, I’ve always known reading with your child is important, but when I started thinking about, she can be exposed to 1.8 million words a year, as opposed to 8,000, I mean, that’s, that’s a big difference.
Yeah. So that is a big difference. And, and it’s such an important reminder to make it fun. Like you, can you forget that? Right. And especially right now during COVID where you can’t just go browse the library very easily. It can be so hard, but to make sure we’re prioritizing that those questions every week of like, Hey, let’s figure out a way to find some new books. Like, let’s figure out the actual library login system, which we all know getting like last night turn went to login. It was really late at night. He’s been loving he’s in the fourth grade to my little guy. And he was like, he likes to read these books, dog mad dog.
We have those.
Oh, he loves them. And so he was like, mama, please let me log in. And I want to request some more from the library at school, but we hadn’t done it on his iPad. And normally I’m like, no, not at night. We can’t be on the iPad and I’m such a stickler for it. But last time I was like, okay, okay. If it’s anything reading, I’m always like, yes. Like if my kids are like, mom, I want a toy at target. I’m like, no, but if they’re, if they want a book, I’m like, okay, can I do this? Is it in my budget? Sure. Like, I’m always more likely to say yes to a book, but, but he started to get frustrated about not being able to like, remember the password and the login and all this stuff to get on. And I said, don’t worry, we’ll figure it out tomorrow. But it’s just a great reminder to like, take the time, take the 10 minutes, figure out the online library system, browse through with your kid ever every week, ask questions, see what they’re excited about.
Do some research, see if they’re into horses right now, what can you find about horses or unicorns or nor walls, whatever it is. But yeah, that aspect of like making it fun is so important. Right. And just knowing that there is the right support out there, you just gotta get creative. You gotta be able to ask for help and not be scared of getting the answer. Right. I think I’ve been like playing around as a life coach. I’ve, I’ve always loved looking at the feeling of being scared, but lately, especially since the raid on Capitol hill, that feeling of scared of afraid. I’ve been looking at a lot lately and it can be such a beautiful, healthy thing, because if you feel scared that there might be something more at hand, then don’t run from it.
Don’t try to hide. It. Don’t think that you’re living in fear, just have the bravery and the courage to make the appointment, to go get some, some answers to get some tests. And I would add maybe make a few appointments, which it sounds like you have, right. Make sure you’re getting a bunch of different opinions. Because I think in my role as a parenting educator, especial special, especially with behavioral stuff, I encourage parents not to just go with one answer because sometimes I get a little scared of what kids get diagnosed with young, very young, as far as behavioral goes on, like first come to a parenting class, then we could go get some. But again, what we’re talking about today is like that intuition.
If you kind of have that tinge of like, oh, I feel a little scared that this could be something that’s not, you know, not the same as the neighbor or whatever, then, okay, I’m going to have the bravery and courage. I’m not going to be scared of a term dyslexia. I’m not going to be scared of autism. I’m just going to go find out. And then we know what we’re working with, which I think is,
And things too, especially for, for moms that have kids in public schools, public schools still, unfortunately, don’t like to say the word dyslexia. And so if you call and say, I think my child, I don’t know where, how it is, where you’re at, but here, you know, we’re working on that. But many states, there’s just not the awareness even from the educators. So I would say if you call and say, I think my child may be dyslexic. It’s you, you want to listen to them, say things like, you know, there’s, there’s some concerns with phonetics, there’s phonetic, phonemic awareness. Your child’s not understand the sounds when you start hearing those keywords. You’re, you’re, there’s some characteristics of dyslexia. So you have to be listening for those, but they’re not going to necessarily test users.
Those are reasonably private tests where they’ll say they’re dyslexic. There are a few here and there, but even with us at the beginning, it was dyslexia falls under the category of a specific learning disability. And so you have to be aware of that. So sometimes schools shy away from that and they don’t want to talk about dyslexia. I don’t know why, but they just, I think it’s because we’re just not as educated as we should be because it’s nothing new it’s been around for a long time. So I would say that, you know, as a, you know, if you’re, if you do have some concerns, as you’re kind of peeling that back and looking at it to ask those questions, you know, be, be listening, you know, is there, are they having a hard time pulling the words apart and understanding, you know, what letter, you know, what the letter sounds, how they go together and how they make words.
And sometimes kids will have trouble with rhyming words cause they don’t hear those rhyming words. And so, you know, there’s a couple of different pieces. Dr. Shay was, I talked about earlier, she has a book called overcoming dyslexia that anybody I’ve ever talked to recommends, it’s a little, science-based like, it’s a little heavy on the science part. She talks a lot about the brain and how your brain works, which is really interesting. But yeah,
I love that stuff.
If you’re not sure it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a book, you know, at your local library and thumb through it and learn more about dyslexia. So you can have those conversations with your teachers about because ultimately no matter what it is, you’re really wanting to peel back the layers to figure out, is there some underlying concerns? Is there some remediation? Is there some things we should be doing? As you know, as a family, like we did a lot of private tutoring, private speech, is there things that the schools can be doing for interventions? But the big part is, is, is I heard someone speak on another call one time and, and the person said, I just leave them at school is the school’s problem. It’s really not as your child. And that really hit a nerve with me because ultimately it is my responsibility as the mom to make sure she gets the best education.
And at, at a public school, they just have to have, you know, the free, appropriate public education, just the adequacy of it. It’s not the best education, but it is just the appropriate education. So if your child’s struggling to read, you know, what does that look like? How is the school going to help? And so they don’t, you know, they say things like, oh, we’ve never had a dyslexic here. Well, that’s not right. So you just have to listen for things. But I think that that part is, is important to do kind of your own research to, and either listen to podcast or, you know, pick up a book and thumb through it and get more information. So you’re educated to ask the questions that you need to ask and you’re right. Sometimes, you know, you’re on that other side of it where it’s difficult, but then it all just kind of clicks and your child continues to move forward.
And maybe, maybe there’s an other area that they have to work at for improvements because we all have those. But, but yeah, so I think it’s just, I think it’s just as a mom, just being aware and just being, you know, listening and watching and, and being supportive during, you know, those academic years. Cause those are all those years are hard for different reasons.
Absolutely. Oh my goodness, Nicole, you are such a blessing and I am so grateful that you have come to share all that you’ve learned over the years with us. You’re juggling so much and we appreciate what you’re doing and tell listeners where they can find you tell them about your podcast and yeah. Tell us, tell us all, all the things.
Yeah. Thank you. So everything’s under dyslexia, mom, life at just struggled with a name and had actually used my daughter’s name for a while in a website. I had an a and a blog I was doing. And then I just finally decided, Nope, it’s all about mom and that’s who I want to talk to. So yes. So my, my website is dyslexia, mom, life.com. That’s what the podcasts are under. I have those that, you know, everywhere you listen to your podcasts, you can find it. And yeah, so it’s all there. And I have also have a blog there and other resources. And so, yeah, come on over and join us and learn a little bit more because even if your child’s not dyslexic, it’s one in five. So probably someone on your social media, a neighbor, a sister, someone is probably dealing with this and might not even know it.
You may be more than likely even working with people that are dyslexic. And so it, as you learn more, then it also helps you to be able to, to, you know, just live in this world that we live in and know more about the people around us and as interesting, because once you figure out it’s hereditary as a parent, you start seeing things that you didn’t know about yourself. So brace yourself for that as well. But Wendy, I appreciate you. So in the work that you do, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and getting to know your work and, and your community. And it’s just amazing. So thank you so much for having me on and I look forward to continuing, to, to keeping in touch with each other.
Yes. And Nicole, I was just on your podcast. So listeners, if you want to go check out, I don’t know what episode number it is, but I was just on the dyslexia mom podcast talking about positive parenting. So that’s a fun bonus conversation. You can go listen to, if you find Nicole’s podcast. And then like Nicole said, you guys it’s one in five. So I think part of just being a good kind, human is sharing this kind of stuff out. Even if you just screenshot, if you’re listening to this podcast right now and you screenshot it and say, oh, this was enlightening. If you happen to have a kid that’s struggling with reading, or if you ever kind of, you know, want to know how to trust your mom, intuition more, go ahead and save this and tag us, right?
And then you never know, like, like Nicole said, you, you know, we have, whether you have 200 followers or you have a hundred thousand one in five kids are struggling with dyslexia or have this. And many of them don’t even know it. Right. So imagine who you could help by just getting the awareness out. So thanks for sharing listeners. Thanks for being here, Nicole. And we will talk soon
For links and more info about everything we talked about in today’s episode had to freshstartfamilyonline.com/127.
For more information, go to freshstartfamilyonline.com. Thanks for listening. Families have a great day.
Well, Hey there families. I hope you loved this episode as much as I loved recording it for you. Don’t forget to grab your free Fresh Start Family learning guide, how to use empathy to build connection and cooperation in your home. Head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/empathy to grab your copy now.