Dyslexia resource for children, parents and teachers
I was that Child!
Me aged 7, at school.
☹ I couldn’t read at age 9 and no one could understand why (it was the sixties and the ‘Look and Say’ approach was the fashion) I read my first book ‘The One Hundred and One Dalmations’ aged eleven.
☹ I used to hide the fact I couldn’t read; for instance, I would hide the TV Times if someone asked me what was on television!
☹ I certainly couldn’t spell.
☹ I couldn’t write stories and had red lines through the story with comments like ‘this is very poor’ or ‘your writing is so babyish’.
☹ I was teased at primary school because of my work.
☹ I used to have tantrums every morning in the car, trying to avoid going to school.
☹ I failed my 11 Plus.
☹ I went to a non-academic girls’ school and got mediocre O’ levels.
☹ I couldn’t understand the set O-Level English book, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.
☹ I failed my History A’ level.
☹ I didn’t get enough A’ Levels to get in to teacher training college.
☹ I had very low confidence in my academic abilitilities.
BUT: The Good News:
☺ I was very good at maths.
☺ I was super-organized and neat.
☺ I was artistic and practical.
☺ I had lots of friends at secondary school.
☺ I got the gardening prize!
☺ I knew I wanted to be a teacher from aged 12, to make it better for others like me.
☺ I was really good at planning my social life, my home life and travelling.
☺ I worked hard and was very conscientious.
☺ I loved music, dancing, photography and reading (yes, reading; I loved getting lost in other worlds)
Most importantly, I had a mother (you need one strong person who believes in you) who always looked at alternative ways of doing things eg. she wrote out the whole of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ in language I could understand and when I didn’t get in to teacher training college, drove me to Exeter to meet the admissions’ tutor. After talking, he let me in, on condition I maintained A’s in all my courses in the first year. I did, and was offered a place on the Honours’ Course. I have been teaching ever since.