Cover art for podcast Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

100 EpisodesProduced by Jessica and Lewis TempleWebsite

Welcome to Thriving in the Midst of Chaos! This show is about surviving parenthood while having a child with special needs, while attempting to keep your self and your sanity intact. We share our experiences and discuss how we survived, what worked for us, and what didn’t work for us. This is a nonj… read more


All About Dyslexia With Guest Lizzie Shearing

Episode 81: All About Dyslexia With Guest Lizzie Shearing

Today, we discuss all things dyslexia. Guest Lizzie Shearing discusses that dyslexia is a reading learning disability. Individuals process written words differently in their brain, such that they rely on the left frontal lobe, rather than more on the left posterior areas of their brain. They show inefficient patterns of brain activity. Dyslexia occurs in 1 in 10 people. Symptoms include difficulty with reading, reluctance to read out loud or to read at all, reading being slow, reading fluency being slow, reduced awareness of patterns of words, spelling difficulty, and difficulty remembering words (working memory and phonological memory). Symptoms parents can look out for include difficulty following multistep directions, poor working memory, a delayed ability to read, misreading words, guessing words and rushing through, spelling difficulty, event sequencing difficulty, labored reading, and choosing not to read. Educational psychologists and dyslexia specialists can make the diagnosis. It cannot be a pediatrician who diagnoses. To make the diagnosis, they assess working memory, handwriting, reading fluency, spelling, and IQ. They also need to rule out visual difficulties, including Irlen syndrome, as well as hearing impairments. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the better things are for them, including emotionally. The earlier a child enters treatment for dyslexia and the more treatment they get, the better the outcome.

Treatments include going back to the beginning and making sure the child has grasped and mastered all the skills that they have been previously taught, a cumulative structured phonics program, filling in all the gaps, inference learning, trying to visualize scenes, and support with reading fluency. If children don’t get treatment, they tend to experience anxiety.

Regarding school, accommodations can be helpful, including differentiated teaching across lessons, list of spelling for key vocabulary, writing frame provided for the student, use of voice to text, use of bullet points rather than writing essays, extra time on tests, prompting, and rest breaks. Other helpful tools are quizlet/flashcards. Tech accommodations include immersive readers and dictation.

To help their kids, parents can encourage reading in any form, use audiobooks and read along with it, obtain specialist support for your child, make sure the specialist has a good relationship with your child, use google books, and use audiobooks from the library. To emotionally support children with dyslexia, help your child develop a growth mindset, help promote resilience, and help your child find a hobby they love.


Linked in

Dyslexia Buddies

SEN Buddy

Irlen syndrome

Orton Gillingham

Barrington Stoke

Carol Dweck: Growth Mindset

Simple Habit App



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Show Music:

Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (


Hosted by: Jessica Temple 


Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2021 Jessica Temple

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