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Is dyslexia a dirty word?

I'm turning into a grumpy old woman. Alpha claims this is a good thing, saying that I'm far too nice to people and I might as well wear a sign saying "walk all over me". But surely turning into an uber-bitch is a step too far?

What's really making me feel the rage at the moment is certain people (you know who you are) trying to deny that Firstborn is dyslexic. These naysayers seem to think that I'm doing something really bad in allowing such a label to be applied to her. Like I'm making it up or something. Erm, why would I do that? Do they think I'm insane?

Here are the main 'arguments':
  • "But Firstborn seems so normal..."
  • "She's obviously intelligent and she speaks well, she can't be dyslexic!"
  • "Some children are just slower than others, it doesn't mean she's dyslexic. Why don't you just wait a few years and see what happens?"
  • "Dyslexia is a load of rubbish, it's one of those trendy words they use for kids who aren't academic. Not everyone can be top of the class, can they? Anyway, there's more to life than being clever."

I should probably add that these people have not witnessed the struggle Firstborn has in trying to get words down on to paper, do a simple sum or read words phonetically. They've never seen her break down in tears after school because she's failed yet another spelling or maths test and learn something by rote. Most of them don't know about the two years of rubbish we went through trying to get help for her at her old school in London; all it resulted in was Firstborn being put into a learning support programme which just made her feel even more stupid and different. She ended up with zero confidence - a sad thing to witness in a 6 year old.

Then we came to Dubai and enrolled Firstborn in a brilliant school with a dedicated dyslexic unit and guess what? Her reading and writing are improving so much I'm constantly amazed, she doesn't feel sick to her stomach before school any more and never, ever feels stupid. That's enough for me.

So, is dyslexia a dirty word or are these people merely badly-informed, meddling idiots?

Anyone else in Dubai with a dyslexic child, please feel free to get in touch on or off-blog.


Anonymous said…
All that counts is your child's well-being. Looks like you found the right place for her. Forget labels - look at facts. Ditch the caustic friends (for that is what they are - certainly not supportive) and focus on your family and your sweet daughter's contentment.
YLM said…
Good advice, thanks anon. Still p*sses me off though!!
Ticking stripes said…
I manage several dyslexic graduates who have managed to get their degrrees with varying amounts of support. Over the years I've started to recognise the disordered thinking patterns and have seen some of the prejusices that they suffer when they acknowledge the problem. Getting the adjustments they need to enable them to carry out their roles is difficult despite the employers duty of care responsibilities. But stick with it - some of us are more enlightened than others!
Dyslexia is a neurological development disorder. It is also found in children. You have provided Good information on dyslexia. Thanks for sharing it.

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