I just saw this piece on Motherlode by Lisa Ogburn about raising a dyslexic child in standardized world. I’m dyslexic, and I just recently talked with my mother about the difficulties she had teaching me how to read, the hours she spent going over sounds and words, phonetically with me, only to have me retain little to nothing the following day. I don’t remember these hours spent learning how to read, but one day I got it. I became an avid reader, but continued to have issues with numbers, and to this day I have a hard to sounding words out.
I was home-schooled until high school, when I then attended a huge public school, this may have been a mistake, my mom and I debate over this. I think going to public school had its benefits, such as, understanding who I was, and the ways that I was smart despite being dyslexic. That I had a personality, a righteousness I was able to exercise and that set me apart from the other kids who seemed to have none. But there was the obvious downside, which is our education system and the standardized tests which riddle every corner of it.
I remember taking an entrance examine before my freshmen year, everyone had to take it, so as to evaluate what class level they should be in. According to my scores the school wanted to place me in remedial everything, luckily my mom had the final say and placed me honors classes where I could verbally and inwardly strengthen my learning.
My teachers would say that I was smart, that I performed well on homework and in class discussions but my tests were often confusing for them. I did well on my homework because I had time at home. For most people testing is difficult, it’s a skill that is learned, for people with dyslexia it can be close to impossible.
The education system often made me feel stupid, it’s a feeling I still struggle with now. Luckily I am an adult now, and I can logically understand that the problem isn’t me, or people like me, it’s a fundamental problem within our society and educational system.