Martin, thank you for another insightful article!
I wanted to write about the teachers who are meant to be assisting dyslexics in processing school and education with ease. I apologise if it goes of subject my mind will tell me to write what ever I need to get out. I have had teachers asking me what they can do, how they can help the children they work with. I guess this fits parents and partners too.
When I was at school I hated every moment of it even now I look back and my feeling never change. When I say I hated or I hate school what I am saying is The teachers, the educational system these people do not have a clue so lacked the correct tools to help someone like me. Dyslexia is stereotyped popped in a box and never played around with and that is sad for me to see. If you read my previous article I expressed everything that I struggle with and judging bye the response everyone that read it also has the same problems as me so I speak for all of us here:-
- I struggle with reading
- I skip lines
- I loose the plot
- I could read a entire page and not know what we have just read
- I struggle with spelling
- I get confused and angry when we cant put the rite word together
- I don’t have a clue when to use a full stop, or a comma, or brackets, or speech marks, or a underscore, or the little line that’s not a underscore you know it’s a little bit higher this one here –
- I see this :- in a lot of things and think its cool so if I am going to do bullet points I put that at the end of the sentence leading up to the bullet points because I think it looks cool and at least I am making a effort to put some special things in my text.
- I was made out to be stupid
- I was made to feel inadequate and “special” – That one is like dr evil stuff there isn’t it? Pulling 2 fingers down as you say the word so people know you think it’s a bunch of poop?
- I cant hold down a job
- I struggle with basic social skills
- I can be extremely awkward at times saying all the wrong things. Its like someone gives me a spade and tells me to stop digging but I just keep on going because well, that’s what I do.
The list is just continuous the problems that are attatched to dyslexia it is never ending and as my last article sed all these issues attatch a chain of events that progress to cause trauma in some instances. You can see from the bullet points that I don’t have a clue about some of the symbols on my computer god knows what some of them are for I mean when would I use this ^ or § or ± and what on earth is the point of | its just the letter I.
Anyways On to the subject matter. If I had control of the educational system the first thing I would say is “sort it out you cheeky monkeys”
The next thing I would say is that I struggle with reading so I would really love for you to help me find a new way of learning about this book you want us to take home and study. Is there a audio book version of this book? If so please can I have a copy to listen to, is there a online version of this book so that I can zoom in and make the letters as big as I want or as small as I want, could you show me some really good videos on youtube of people talking about this book, interviews with the auther talking about his book. Could you help me take in all the information that is on these pages in the easiest way possible because trying to teach me to read better isn’t going to work. I may end up reading better but im still not going to have a clue what I have just read.
A spelling test will not improve my spelling all that is going to do it increase my fear of judgement and my fear of failure. I am struggling to comment on spelling because I can put on a “I don’t care” attitude when I need to. Everyone has a message o put over if you ever write anything and if you don’t get a job because of poor spelling, or your friends make fun of you because you didn’t spell anything correct in your facebook post, it doesn’t matter. Correct spelling is not important to me at all I don’t care if I spell stuff wrong the only people that do care are the grammar nazi’s. Why do I need to impress you with my spelling? The answer is I don’t. I have a message and I use words that I can get close enough to the actual word that everyone else has no problem getting my point. So the assistance I would have loved when it came to spelling would be help me get some basic stuff help me understand the conversion of sounds to text My granddad always used to say say it how it is spelt and spell it how it sounds. That was his argument for many words that just don’t make sense. So if I cant work out a word then I do my best to translate the sounds. Pre school stuff rite there! I would focus on reassuring the child that its ok, that it doesn’t make them stupid, I would want to learn how to manage my emotions. I think management of emotions would be a extremely important thing to involve kids with in education.
WHEN ON EARTH WILL I NEED TO LEARN LATIN? NO ONE SPEAKS THE DANG LANGUAGE! Teach me about my emotions. Teach me about how its ok to feel my emotions everyone has them and its ok.
You know, because I was part of the special needs bunch at school when it came to the finale 2 years of school where we prepared for finale exams or GCSE’s if you are from the UK. I could sacrifice History/Religeous studies and then a Language so 2 classes I could cut out to replace it with GNVQ Leiure and Tourism and what a joke that was. We spent generally about 4 lessons a week in this class and all we ever did was cross words, and random little puzzle games that the teacher had printed out before hand and if the teacher hadn’t done that then we just watched a movie. This was only offered to those who are part of the special needs program. WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO ME? Why couldn’t you give me something usefull? On top of that I took IT as one of my subjects and that was a pile of poop I wanted to learn about computers but all we ever did was lean the ins and outs of Microsoft word imagine how much a dyslexic like me loved that. I spent months trying to get of IT in the end it took a practice test for me to get kicked of. I answerd every question in the practice test with a insult towards my teacher and finished it of with a drawing of him on the back. They got the hint and I was told I still had to go along to IT but I would spend that time working on homework and other stuff so I thought that’s cool. I spent 3 lessons a week sat on youtube and New grounds watching video’s and playing gaes that would probably get me suspended from school. On top of that the leisure and tourism classes. The school really had my best interests at hand here they really did.
What I really think schools should be doing what they should be integrating in to the dyslexic program or any “special needs” program.
- Emotional development
- Career development
- Social skills
Scrap the list emotional development would be a huge improvement teaching kids that its ok to talk. I never told my parents anything because I feared that it would get me in trouble or I would be seen as wrong or the bullies would find out and get me again. I didn’t want all my energy focused on negative stuff.
Every class I would have the students write a gratitude list a list of everything they are grateful for I would have them do stuff that makes them happy, find out what makes them happy and set them a task related to that every week. I would base one class a week working on emotional development encourage the children to open up in a group get to know about each other and feel comfortable opening up to encourage them to want to open up and feel comfortable doing it at home to parents. One of the biggest things I learnt from my time in rehab is opening up and being honest about my problems and what bothers me. This is a strong way of doing it and I will always carry it with me.
Encourage the children to pass information in an way possible give them a camera and see if they are able to go of and make a video of themselves talking about what they love. Video blogging is fantastic. I do voluntary work on a hospital radio station witch is stupid for someone that struggles to translate his thoughts in to words. One thing I have learnt is how to waffle. I can yap on for half a hour making you think I am giving you all this magical information but at the end of it I know that all I have really told you is what im having for dinner. Doing stuff out of my comfort zone is my way of challenging my dyslexia it is only recent that I have done that as it has taken me a long time to get in touch with my emotions get in touch with what is inside myself. It has taken that for me to write these articles im still not 100% there is stuff I would love to do I would love to break my comfort zone and give acting a go! I would love to break my comfort zone and present a documentary. It takes time. And you as the teacher can help with that. Don’t let these children get to the point where they are scared to go out the front door don’t let them hate school give them something to look forward to. Educate them but in a way that makes them happy don’t choose the subject they work on let them choose something they are passionate about. Let them tell you about them things let them educate you about them things and discuss them with them. Give them reason to want to go home and find out more.
If I could I would go in and do things like this but im done with education I wnt do It anymore I will get where my journey is taking me the long slow and hard way because I will learn a hell of a lot more living at the bottom and working my way up to the bottom haha. I spoke about supplying for my family in the last article and I would like you to understand what I mean by that. My family live of about £150 a week that is for me my partner my daughter and step son, We are up to our eyeballs in debt, we are stuck in a 1 bedroom property with me and my partners bed in the living room so that we can sleep in peace, we cant move home due to the rent arrears being so high, I cant get a job as I havnt found a way to earn more than minimum wage witch on its own is slaves rates. If I get a job we earn less than what we already get witch means we cant pay of our debts. So we are trapped unless me or my partner get a well paid job that can cover everything. But even with all of this rubbish im happy I am comfortable and adjusted to how my life is at the moment I want the best for my family and hopefully one day I can supply that.
What help can I offer to you? Mothers and fathers teachers anyone tell your child these things:-
- You are beautiful
- You are worth it
- You are amazing
- You are intelligent
- You are good enough
Every single day every time someone is down repeat the above and I promise you that a bond will form and life will take a turn for the better.
Anoher thing I suggest that I used to do and oh dear god it is the most awkward thing you will ever do and possibly one of the hardest things you will ever do but I promis it works and after a few days you will be fine.
The second you wake up before you pu any cloths on you stand there in your birthday suit in front of a mirror you make eye contact with yourself and you say “I Love You” three times you do this everyday and you will tart to really feel it. When you are walking make a effort to look up never look down never create tunnel for your eyes keep eyes forward the bigger picture is beautiful and amazing and you will feel so much happier seeing everything around you.
Don’t tell the dyslexic what to learn, Let them tell you and then work with that.