Memory plays tricks, sometimes mercifully allowing one to forget stressful times. I had genuinely obliterated how many things need to get done in a single day just to tread water for families with young children until I offered to take L to nursery in the latter stages of her mum’s 2nd pregnancy. You forget that at any moment the whole enterprise could – and often does – tumble like a house of cards. Arguments break out like wildfire; there are spillages, inexplicable illnesses, breakages, losses, eventualities that you can never prepare for. And woe betide you if you try to give short shrift to the hard questions that need an answer despite the need to cross town, hand her over and get to work. Things can set parents back months, like chicken pox.

Sometimes when my older two were primary age I was tempted to wait for fulsome applause for, once again, having made it before the 9 o’clock watershed as we rushed into the playground with the pushchair loaded up like a packhorse. I really felt I deserved a fanfare.  I was so pleased with myself not just for making it to school, often on only a few hours sleep, but also for bringing 2 fully fed boys in the correct uniform, and the toddler, still eating toast but nevertheless dressed and partially fed, 2 nut-free packed lunches, and one pair of named gym shoes.

 But the true heroes are those with dyslexia in the family.

I have come across a couple of blogs  that focus on the trials and tribulations, as well as the joys, of being in a family with dyslexia. The Ghotit Blog is written from the perspective of a dad who has dyslexia and reminds me of how hard parenting is especially in a family where organisational skills are a challenge. This post describes the problems inherent in helping a child with homework.

 Mydyslexicboy documents a mother’s growing understanding of the pressures on her 7 year old to cope with school.

It’s hard enough for everybody to adjust to the everyday dramas of life as a pupil. How much more so in a dyslexic household.

Most of the people, including myself, involved in the study of, and support for learners with, dyslexia don’t have these differences themselves and were, in many cases, successful students in our own school days. I am grateful to these bloggers – and my students and their parents – who remind me of the stresses many encounter before, during and after school.