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Understand Dyslexia in National Dyslexia Month

An adult with dyslexia watching the new HBO documentary “Journey into Dyslexia” suddenly began to understand a tremendous array of memories and emotions never understood before.

The opening title screen with words artistically drawn at angles was reminiscent of how words can swim on the page for a dyslexic reader. He said, “I felt like when I read a book, I had to force the letters to stay in a consistent line across the page.” From those opening screens, the movie captures the frustration and isolation of being a dyslexic very well.

According to the movie, 10% of the population is dyslexic, but our schools are programmed for the 90%. Unfortunately, the 10% are too often labeled lazy, crazy, and stupid, when they really are very smart. A young student doesn’t know what’s wrong; he or she doesn’t know that words don’t swim for everyone else and doesn’t know what to ask for.

Schools need to help students with dyslexia before they get hardened to failure, give up altogether, and become “bad kids.” This kind of hardening is very common. However, when dyslexia is understood, children learn to accept their differences and be proud of their special gifts. “Journey into Dyslexia” shows many dyslexics with talents in the arts, science, business, engineering, and athletics.

Before hardening happens, which is at a different age for every child, schools and teachers need to intervene and encourage this pride. This movie is a must-see for every teacher, parent, and adult so they may better understand the problem. “It’s inspirational and informative! This film captures the emotional component of having dyslexia and the lifelong impact on a person’s character,” said McKenzie Erickson, an intern working for Bookshare.

Beginning in October, which is National Dyslexia Month, HBO has scheduled several showings of “Journey into Dyslexia.” The film is also available for purchase from HBO and from Amazon.com.

On October 29, watch for the HBO premier of a second documentary called “The Big Picture Movie: Rediscovering Dyslexia,” which is currently being screened at film festivals around the country.

Another invaluable resource for families and individuals with dyslexia is this post from the National Center of Learning Disabilities: “The Natural Emotional Cycle for Parents of Children with LD.”

These powerful resources bring awareness to different ways of learning. Dedicating this October to understanding dyslexia in children, family, and friends can help you find a way to make a difference in the life of a dyslexic.

2 Comments

  1. davisgraham

    Recently, I viewed the HBO Documentary, Journey into Dyslexia, it was a good view of all the aspects of the Gift, and it gave to most of our peers an understanding of the “Mysterious Gift of our Intelligence”, but as for the person with dyslexia we were left with a “nowhere to go from here” feeling.

    For me the person who has the Gift of Dyslexia I can tell you once you overcome the failure, there are still calluses to the world of the written word which need to be conquered and I still feel alone in the closed door world in which I live, but have not yet mastered.

    The written world is like embarking on a new wilderness and I come across a guide who knows all of the trails and sources of water and danger. Turn this new world of reading with “assistive technology” and I now have my guide, but to get there is painful. Why because as Ron Davis’s book The Gift of Dyslexia states, a person with dyslexia “to read seems life-threatening”. Or another way to put it, is now that I have mastered my current environment, why return to the scene of my tragic accident of failure in consuming the written word. Internally you state, “I will have nothing to do with it, it is too emotional”, but yet I still feel so left out and in the dark when it comes to the written word.

    So we are caught in this closed loop of failure, if we continue on in our now well padded “Pseudocompetence” world I become harden to life. Life goes on and the once mastered skills come boredom, and I slip in to self condemnation.

    My life was changed to a new life of beginnings, for me it was starting with going to church with the high school guidance counselor who told me I would never make it in college, I forgave him, and when I forgave him I forgave myself, one callus gone. Then a contract comes across my desk and I find Readplease (2001) on line, I use Readplease to read the contract in an hour, it was 30 pages, another callus gone. Then a librarian encourages me to become a member of Bookshare.org (2007) I read for the first time a book which I choose “The Preacher and the Presidents” and I’m starting to feel alive and look for another book. Before I know it, the life to the once closed door community opens and then I internally start to change. It is truly a freeing experience, it is life changing, because I was headed back to the life of failure because I “can’t” read.

    So for me a person with the Mysterious Gift of Intelligence”, Dyslexia, I am now in a new wilderness world with an expert guide and the Frontier of exploration is on.
    From mygiftofdyslexia.blogspot.com

    • Betsy Burgess

      Davis, Thank you for your insights into your journey. We’re so glad you are in new world with a guide and exploration.

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