How often have I come across that shocking attitude – quite often from people in education!
So it is totally wonderful to have programmes like ‘Growing Children – Dyslexia’ on BBC 4 last night, highlighting and increasing our understanding of it.
The appalling attitude we have had to children who interpret the symbols to read and write differently from others is akin to the racism we had pre-sixties. These children were considered ignorant because they couldn’t read as easily as others, and even though we now know that Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence, some people still hold that attitude from the dark ages.
I repeat, for those who still doubt; Dyslexia – and/or difficulty with reading – is NOT a reflection of a person’s intelligence – or lack of it. Thankfully programmes like these are showing us why.
During our home educating years we came across many families who’d withdrawn dyslexic children from school because they received no help with their dyslexia. In fact most teachers are not trained to recognise it let alone deal with it.
But by home educating you can remove many of the situations that children find themselves in at school which make coping with dyslexia so hard. You can give children all the time they need to learn to read. You can approach their learning in a multitude of ways – not only via print – but with the help of multi-media and in multi sensory ways. You can allow them to learn in an environment that is free from the distractions found in schools which dyslexics find so hard to overcome and maintain focus. You can nurture a child’s self esteem – so important for achievement – and prevent it from being eroded by being in a group of people who seem to be surging ahead with a skill whilst you’re standing still.
Out of school learning can be approached in ways that help students see that dyslexia doesn’t have to be so big a problem. And as was identified in the programme, dyslexics often have special talents which out of school can have time devoted to them, developing achievement in other areas which promotes self confidence. We saw dyslexic children who were home educated go on to achieve the same as other children despite their dyslexia, some going onto university, which the parents doubted would have been the outcome had they remained in school.
It’s a fascinating programme (worth watching on iplayer) that really helps us understand that being dyslexic is nothing to do with intelligence, but everything to do with the fact that all kids have the right to the learning approaches that suit them best.
And the ignorance lies with the people who fail to see that.
(Click on my Dyslexia tag to find other stories about Dyslexia)
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