This week in the UK it is 'Dyslexia Awareness Week', with the theme 'Empowering Teachers'. Although I suppose there could be an argument made that efforts to raise awareness of neurodiversity, particularly within our school communities, should be an an all-around-the-year project, these kind of themed weeks are good in creating extra impetus and connecting together people who share the same passion.
To mark the beginning of 'Dyslexia Awareness Week', I have compiled ten quotes either directly about dyslexia or with relevance to the 'dyslexic experience'.
>> “I was dyslexic before anybody knew what dyslexia was. I was called 'slow'. It's an awful feeling to think of yourself as 'slow' - it's horrible.” - Robert Benton
>> “The biggest problem with dyslexic kids is not the perceptual problem, it is their perception of themselves. That was my biggest problem.” - Bruce Jenner
>> "Being dyslexic can actually help in the outside world. I see some things clearer than other people do because I have to simplify things to help me and that has helped others." - Richard Branson
>> “I'm a human being, I'm not a machine. I'm 72. I'm dyslexic.” - Robert Blake
>> "Being dyslexic, I had to train myself to focus my attention. I became very visual and learned how to create mental images in order to comprehend what I read." – Tom Cruise
>> “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life thinking it’s stupid.” - Albert Einstein
>> "It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word!" - Andrew Jackson
>> “If children can’t learn the way we teach, then we have to teach the way they learn” - Robert Buck
>> “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I see and I understand.” – Confucius
>> “For too long, we've assumed that there is a single template for human nature, which is why we diagnose most deviations as disorders. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of minds. And that's a very good thing.” - Jonah Lehrer
Within my own setting I have tried to raise awareness of this particular type of learner with various training sessions, including:
- Dyslexia Friendly Classrooms - view | download
- Understanding Foundational Literacy - view | download
- Readability - view | download
There is also an interesting article published in The Telegraph today, by Sally Gardner, titled 'Ten Tips for a Dyslexic Thinker (like me)'. Coinciding with this is a short blog by Martin Chilton which looks at dyslexia-friendly books, focusing on the publisher Barrinton Stoke which we regularly purchase reading materials from at Thornleigh Salesian College.