Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So a Labour MP says that dyslexia is 'a cruel fiction leading to crime'?

Son 1 has relatively mild, but very real, specific learning difficulties, mainly affecting his ability to write, spell and generally express himself on paper. I had raised queries for many years before two teachers at middle school finally backed me up and agreed there was a problem. So we had him privately tested and a couple of years of extra input, both in school and with a specialist private tutor, helped enormously. But he is still not confident with writing and his ability in this area does not reflect his overall level of intelligence and functioning.

High school didn't recognise his need and took him off the special needs register. His school career subsequently went belly up, though not entirely from that cause. He is not a criminal, in fact quite the opposite, his anxiety makes him exceptionally law abiding. I do, however, know other children with dyslexia who have got themselves into trouble, largely because they too have been badly failed by their teachers and became totally disenchanted with education.

Son 1 started reception class in 1996. The Labour government came into power in 1997. An own goal?

Three notable things:

1. I am constantly amazed by how I see all of life through my internet contacts.

2. The slow job of decluttering has begun. Bags of clothing are being sorted for the charity shop.

3. Son 1 has taken a temporary part time job helping on a scheme for younger teenagers who are experiencing difficulties in life. We are so proud of him.


Caroline said...

I am so angry with Graham Stringer! My middle child (9 years old) has dyslexia and now is really struggling and hating reading. It is causing him a number of self esteem issues. What so now I near to worry that he'll "play truant. Drugs, burglaries, robberies and worse then often follow"? ... sheeeeesh! Why are we listening to these people?

And as for your Son 1 - I feel quite emotional reading about his new venture. I wish him every happiness and success x

ecobunni said...

It was a useless article with no real evidence, and nothing to suggest Stringer has any experience of the condition he writes with such authority about.

Could it be he is trying to make a name for himself any which way he can?

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

These sorts of things make me so angry. I suffer from dyscalcula (though didn't know there was a name for it until recently) and it affects everything, from work, to phoning people.

Well done Son 1, that's brilliant.

Cathy said...

Yes it was a really rubbish article.

There is not enough recognition of 'invisible' disabilities anyway and that sort of thing won't help at all. Though I do sort of agree that bad teaching is implicated too, not as the cause of the dyslexia but as a factor in allowing it to destroy children's self esteem and future prospects in the way it so often does.

Thanks for the wishes for Son 1. He is not being entirely altruistic, as he knows it will look good on his CV. But I reckon it will be fantastic for him as well as helping others and he is getting paid...

Anne Brooke said...

It was a totally ridiculous thing to say, I agree! Such a kick in the teeth for dyslexia sufferers.