Meet the Wise Old Elf. The undoubted star of Ben and Holly.

It was a show from our sons preschool days. It was never off the TV. That was probably more down to me than him. I could quite easily have spent my life watching this and In the Night Garden.

Now I’m not allowed to watch it that often. Although son finds a game of spotting which voice actors feature in both B&H and Peppa Pig. For example it’s the same voice for Peppa and Daisy.

Anyway as we took our mad dog for a walk we had to cross a field of cows. Our son was petrified of cows – not sure why. He would freeze if he entered a cow field. Dog walks had to avoid crossing them. But now we have managed to conquer that fear. When we see a cow it’s a race to be the first person to shout

Go on Wise Old Elf sit under the cow.

Years ago we watched an episode where it started to rain. The Wise Old Elf decided to seek shelter under a cow. And yes the cow sat on him. Someone almost wet himself watching that. It might not have been our son. Poor Elf. Same voice actor as Grandpa Pig from Peppa.

So thanks to a pompous accident prone cartoon Elf our son cured one of his fears. Sometimes solutions come in the most unexpected ways. That’s why it’s worth just persevering.

Son continues to struggle with his dyslexia. The difference is now the education system has dropped any pretence of trying to find ways to help improve his reading. They have just moved to the next stage – he can’t read, never will so lets lower expectations and any grades will be a bonus. Strange how the one person they have never asked about this is our son. He still wants to try so the fight continues. At home we continue to experiment with

  • Reading pens
  • Reading Apps
  • Shared reading
  • Coordination exercises

But that brings us to unexpected help. YouTube and Computer Games. They really do seem to help. Maybe it’s the visual nature. The themes. The combination of sensory experiences. Whatever the reason we have a kid who still struggles to read books yet he can navigate through games and the iPad without help. He can send texts without any help. Yes with some spelling issues but we all have them. That’s progress. Which makes the education stance so frustrating. We have to be realistic. Although he is improving the reading gap continues to grow with his peers. But that’s no reason to give up. The Wise Old Elf shows that.

52 thoughts on “Wise

  1. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if he improves his balance and body co-ordination his dyslexia will automatically improve to some degree. Juggling could be a fun way to help with the co-ordination? (I’d wait a while before attempting the bowling ball, egg and chainsaw trinity!)

    Had any luck practicing yoga or tai chi yet?? 🙂

    Call me a negative nellie if you wish, but i’m wondering as to the sagacity of a small elf wizard who stands under a cow prone to sitting on her haunches???

    I’m assuming said wizard was perfectly ok in the next episode?? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a particular handicap, to be sure! 😉

        The balance/co-ordination thing is about helping our brainstem allow all neural connections, not just those connected to our balance and movement, perform better. Sound therapy, which directly stimulates this region of our brain, can be of great benefit in many cases. It is best done when ‘tailored sounds’, designed on an individual basis, are listened to – preferably through headphones. Initially just sitting and listening (passive therapy) is used to let the brain become more receptive to forming new pathways that can increase performance once physical movement is added to help our brainstem and cortex acquire improved skills. 🙂

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      2. It’s certainly sad, but not all that strange.

        Work has only started to be done in this area as we have come to understand more of how the brain works and how it’s various areas of control are better understood through the latest scanning technologies.

        Many medical ‘experts’ were taught how to care for people based on concepts that were developed early last century or at best before the end of it. The concept of the neuro-plastic brain that can grow new formations within it to bypass damaged areas or help under-developed areas resume normal activity was not known or understood as recently as this millenium.

        The ‘Sound Therapy’ concept i referred to was only developed after 2005 and so far relatively few people have been trained in it’s performance – there is no ‘course’ in it at Universities at this point in time.

        Maybe as more people are helped and greater awareness is made of the benefits it can bring more people will start making enquiries and/or demanding it be made available and then the process of assessing it and seeing if educators will adopt it in the places our medical practitioners are trained can begin?

        Till then you have to know who to contact and maybe have to travel to another country to see if it can be of benefit personally. 😦

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  2. Our left handed dyslexic eight year old is improving gradually with her various daily exercises, building up balance and co-ordination in particular. The specialist her parents take her to has tested her for many different skills and reflexes and found that she is slow to develop them to what is the usual level of skill for her age. Her reading and writing is improving as she works on these reflexes and skills. This seems to be common with many who have dyslexia. So anything that builds up his various physical skills is really helpful.

    Also, having taught 5 to 9 year olds for over thirty years, I know that children develop their reading and writing skills in a wide variety of activities. Preschool and primary schools tend to focus on learning a variety of skills and learning experiences. Secondary schools tend to focus on subject matter more, for exams, and probably do not know how younger children are taught at those levels.

    So keep going with whatever is working for your son. Everyone is different. You are doing really well already.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes there is still a lot of research to be done. We have an organisation here called “SPELD”. They have been training teachers to do tutor dyslexic people over the years and they copped – and still do – a lot of flak from education / psychology professionals. Results from SPELD teaching over the years has been very variable. I am now thinking that this could be partly due to there being so many possibilities where reflexes and co-ordinations can go wrong. It still comes back to finding out what works for each dyslexic individual, and developing what suits them from there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can certainly believe that. This sight / vision specialist our eight year old goes to tested her for a huge range of reflexes with delayed development. Her mother is very puzzled when I mention “dyslexia” as the specialist does not use this word. However what she does talk about fits everything I have heard about dyslexia. Hence my conclusion that “dyslexia” is a catchall overall term. Certainly this specialist has discovered what reflexes and co-ordinations are delayed with our eight year old. And the exercises she recommends they do each day do seem to be helping our young lady.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Definitely. which means it is hit and miss as to whether the specialist you find is suited to you or your child. But it is unfortunately like this with a lot of health areas which look outside conventional traditional methods and knowledge. I hope you and your son continue to find ways to help him.

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  3. I cannot express in words how much your posts about you and your son move me. You are SUCH a great Team. Your son is so obviously highly intelligent, and the reading issue is aa real difficulty, but as you say, his happiness comes first. I am beyond pissed that the school and education suystem does not attempt to utilise other methods to help him learn to read. I used to teach, along with someone else, a class of twenty children whom everyone else had guven up on. I give the most credit to my colleague, but he adapted himself to those children’s needs and did wonders. I so wish this happened these days. This was a class in an ordinary school, but a class with a difference. That man really CARED about the kids. I just so wish that your son could benefit from something like that but sadly times have changed. This was many years ago now. Keep going Gary, though I know you get exhausted. We’ll all be here cheering you on and for a few hugs when needed. Lots of love to you and son xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know Gary, and that is exactly what I was saying. Back in the days……….teachers used to treat children individually. It just isn’t done now. It makes my heart bleed. There was one child in that class who had some really special needs, and he was deemed unmanageable – but it was not true. And that guy did wonders for him. He got to know all the parents individually too, and related to them. He was an absolute gem. You don’t get that nowadays. But he was inspirational, and he inspired me. Sad there are few if any like that now. 🙁

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  4. I swear the kids really could tell the system what works and what doesn’t – instead the system comes up with ideas that do not work at desk level or for ALL students. Really frustrating

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Computer games are awesome ways for some kids to learn different things! May the reading ability increase! Btw, can eye doctors help with this? I ask because it seems a grandson was having trouble and an eye doctor helped, not with glasses but exercises I think. That was a long time ago.

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  6. A question and a comment. Question because my background is elementary in U.S. I don’t know how this works with older kids but….If the school has given up teaching your son reading, what are they teaching him during that time? Is it something important? Comment. I know someone whose daughter went through vision therapy in my country. While she had 20/20, her eyes did not work well together as far as adjusting to depth. Some insurances will pay for this here, evidently. Her daughter went from a struggling reader to an avid reader with this therapy.
    Love that you just keep trying different things!

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    1. His eyes are like the rest of his body, the muscles are very often tense. Need to find ways to relax them.

      Basically he is taught with the rest of the class in the same way. He picks up some words and then guesses the rest. Most often it works for him.

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