Sunday, June 10, 2007

Labels etc

I've done some further reading and thinking on this whole dyslexia debate and wonder if the thrust of what Julian Elliot is saying is getting mired in high octave headlines and cranky responses, with little or no detail of his actual findings, which may be useful if only to get more specific labelling where it's required.

Watching the GMTV debate in person he seemed to be saying something more sensible than reported in those various articles. I cannot find the controversial Dispatches programme online, so am missing a chunk of the argument that caused all the outrage in the first place.

I can't help applying it close to home, therefore consider the following:
- I had no trouble learning to read.
- I didn't experience letter reversals.
- I read quickly and extensively
- Testing showed my language skills to be in the superior range.
- Have good short term memory

- I cannot fathom left and right. Had to give up driving as a result.
- I have terrible spatial troubles. Cannot read maps. Cannot turn objects in my head. Can't measure or estimate space by looking.
- My spelling is very dubious.
- My punctuation is absent. I've no concept how to apply the rules of punctuation despite reading several books and being taught the rules at school.
- I could not add up until I discovered the abacus a month ago. Failed basic maths twice and decided to live a fulfilled life without it.
- Organisation is generally a terrific struggle.
- Struggle with activities that involve a sequence of steps like cooking

Am I dyslexic? Probably not. So what am I?

Equally my child thus far
-does not struggle with reading and shows superior language and comprehension skills in two languages
-did and does reverse letters and curiously, numbers.
-even though the child reads accurately will not break down words and has no visual sense of how a word might be spelled. His spelling has lots of consonants and few vowels.
-hasn't grasped capital letter at beginning of sentence and full stop at end.
-struggles with written output and physical writing
-has working memory issues
-is ambidextrous.

What are we? People like us might be labelled inaccurately, say, dyslexic. This perhaps does a disservice to those who truly are dyslexic. We are something. These kinds of struggles impede our progress. Are we the kinds of people he's talking about? Is he saying there are a plethora of possibilities? or is he saying accept your limitations and underachieve? Based on those articles it's difficult to discern.

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