Don’t Call Me Stupid repeated.

‘Being dyslexic doesn’t mean you’re stupid or thick. It just means that you have to be taught in a certain way that suits your brain’.

These are Kara Tointon’s words, spoken bravely on her programme ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid’ on BBC3 which illustrates the problems for people with dyslexia.

I’m so glad it’s been repeated. It needs showing over and over. Until people stop being so bigoted and superior about a condition they would like to label laziness.

This courageous description shows what it’s actually like not to be able to read and learn at the same rate as other people and how associated difficulties can affect the whole of a life.

People who have never experienced dyslexia first hand can be blind and dismissive. It’s much easier to blame a child than blame the adults responsible. Teachers shout at kids to pay attention when they already are, as Kara describes. So we desperately need programmes like this to keep highlighting how real the condition is. And how profoundly affected so many children are and how they suffer from a system in school which fails to address their difficulties.

Kara’s absolutely right; kids need to be taught in a way that suits them. But in our narrow and rigid system we have as much hope of that as we have of fuel being a penny a litre!

Unless you choose to home educate, of course, as many parents with Dyslexic children decide to do. But that’s not an option for all. What we really need is to stop forcing our kids to wear academic straightjackets and start educating their individualities. Then there would be no difficulties.

It’s going to be shown again, so if you missed it check out the next time on the BBC3 website. And help raise awareness and understanding of the gruelling challenge for dyslexic kids in school. And maybe even fight to get that changed.

Kara also said that everyone has that special something to give but school is not necessarily going to be the place to find it. If you’re dyslexic you’ll be lucky to merely survive with your self esteem intact, let alone discover your special something!

(You’ll find some heart warming stories about people coping with their dyslexia in the comments on the original post Don’t Call Me Stupid after it was first shown in November 2010. And more posts on dyslexia in December 2010 and January and February this year. Or just click the Dyslexia Tag to the left under ‘Here’s what I talk about’. )


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