It is really funny to me, to make the observations that most of time, when you actually hear about dyslexia, it is usually from a non dyslexic person. Explaining to you what is dyslexia?
And it usually goes something like that... Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds, and learning how they relate to letters and words(decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia, affects areas of the brain that process language. People with dyslexia have normal intelligence(GOOD TO KNOW). Then they go on by saying this... Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or specialised education program.
So, that is one way people like to talk about dyslexia, and I a mean I don't know about you, but every time I read this kind of discription I feel as if my brain had some sort of issues that some how made me disable. And even though they are trying so hard to emphasis, the fact that dyslexic people have a normal intelligence it never fully works.
The other way people love to talk about dyslexia, is much more glamours and I mean let's face it, media loves it! It is usually the part were their are talking about some famous entrepreneurs, artists, entertainers or inventors who despite the fact that they had dyslexia, and that they indeed struggled and even failed at school, they still managed to transcend their handicap and became super successful. Then it is around that time were, they literally through at your face a long list of famous super successful dyslexic people.
And I mean let's be honest the list is impressive!
Leonardo di Vinci
Amazing right! I am certain you are tempted run right now, to the first church you can find and pray god and all his saints to make you dyslexic on the spot because that is so cool to be dyslexic. Right?
Now let me share with you the reason, I hate so much the way people speak about dyslexia, is because non of them are really opening the real conversation that I believe we should have. Not only about dyslexia but about "intelligence" in general and they way our narrow view on what" human intelligence" should be or how it should "express itself" for us to accept it, as being intelligent.
And although dyslexic people have been for a long time at the for front of the discrimination that this unique and rigid definition of intelligence should look like, the truth is that other type of intelligence are suffering at the hand of this profoundly and unquestionably discriminatory point of view.
Such as children with:
See her is the cor of the problem in my opinion. When ever you hear about how school is difficult for us dyslexic people, and when ever their is an explanation that is offered to understand and I am even tempted to say justify the difficulties we are facing within the school system, it always and I mean always put us on the guilty chair.
We are the one that have difficulties to decode, to understand, to follow, to remember, or spell. Over the years I have learn to distrust any person or even at large any systems such as school, who would never question themselves but instead who would always be more then happy to point the finger at you and tell you that it is you who is not working, it is you who is wrong and inadequate.
Here is a fragment of the truth that no one ever talk about, but can explain a lot! Embedded inside the very structure of the school system, what you will find is the discriminatory idea that an intelligent person will be good and even excellent in Math, English which obviously include spelling, grammar and basically another theme or intellectual material you may confront them with. In other words, intelligence is only one way and that way is the one that the school system privilege.
On the other and since 1999 the work of Howard Gardner on his theory of the multiple intelligence are opening in my opinion new doors for the way we see intelligence.
Here is a summary of those different type of intelligences:
Verbal-linguistic intelligence (well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words)
Logical-mathematical intelligence (ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical and numerical patterns)
Spatial-visual intelligence (capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly)
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skillfully)
Musical intelligences (ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber)
Interpersonal intelligence (capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others)
Intrapersonal (capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes)
Naturalist intelligence (ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature)
Existential intelligence (sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence such as, “What is the meaning of life? Why do we die? How did we get here?”
On more personal note I can really say that my real problem at school was never that I was dyslexic but rather more the fact that I was confronted to a system that was seeing me as inadequate, unable, slow and even lazy. Unwilling to learn and who was more than happy to judge me, condemn me and in fact even punish me because I was unable to prove that I was so call "intelligent". From the moment that It become clear that I will be unable to proof my intelligence within the frame that the school as created. Suddenly it as given my teacher a licence to miss treat me. From one second to the other I was not human being no more, a real person with my dream and hope but in fact nothing more, than my grades and let's be clear those one were bad and so if my grade were bad it obviously meant that I was bad, right?
My dignity as little human being was under attack every second of every day that I have spend in school, my intelligence and the confidence that at 6 years old I have not yet, had the chance to build was bit up day after day and although I have bled massively in silence, consumed by the guilt and the the shame their fed me with, I style managed to remained normal precisely because I was intelligent. And although those 10 years have been for me nothing more than the biggest traumatic experience of my life and that the wound it as created took 25 years to heal on my own. I consider myself a much more powerful expert when it comes down to discussing either school or intelligence. The job of a school is to help little human being to develop themselves with who they are and what they have best offer, therefore school should be adaptable and flexible so it can support the different way intelligence can express itself without limitation or discrimination.