Living two houses from the local primary school I witnessed excitement and anticipation on Wednesday morning when schools across South Africa opened their gates to a brand new year of education. Fresh grade ones all dressed up in smart uniforms with polished shoes and fancy hair do’s approached the school grounds holding both parents’ hand on either side along with new school cases and ice cream tubs filled with crayons, clay and paint.
Smiles of expectation and thrills covered each little ones’ face as they entered through the gate of a new chapter in their young lives.
It is a brand new school year… and I could not help thinking of those thousands of kids starting it so differently.
Anxiety, fears, feelings of despondency and failure are probably some of the experiences felt by a dyslexic learner.
We cannot begin to imagine what thoughts run through the minds of these brilliant though learning disabled children. Besides feelings of inferiority and isolation, many of them have yet to repeat another dreadful year of the same academics due to failure; once again.
My heart aches for these geniuses that will probably never get treated the way they deserve to be treated.
Who other than another dyslexic really understands their anguish?
Having a differently wired yet brilliant brain is a concept very few people in society and certainly many in the educational system, comprehends. Most of us take being able to read for granted and yet it is not a natural act.
In fact, reading is like Wi-Fi:
only some people have it.
Whether we pretend to be or are really ignorant about dyslexia, the fact of the matter is DYSLEXIA affects approximately 20% of the world’s population regardless of your culture, language, gender or age.
This poorly understood and often misdiagnosed disguised blessing
hides many gems amongst our midst. May we acknowledge these individuals’ talents and capabilities by endeavouring to uncover the blanket of shame these individuals are often exposed to.
Dyslexics may have problems such as:
- Learning to speak
- Organizing written and spoken
- Learning letters and their sounds
- Memorizing number facts
- Learning a second language
- Correctly doing Math operations
Remember that Dyslexia is a genetic disorder and never skips a generation.
When there is a family history of Dyslexia and/or reading difficulties, be pro-active by introducing multisensory teaching at an early stage.