Archive for the ‘dyslexia’ Category

reflection of my past

September 20, 2012

When I think back to my days of school, I shudder with horror at how I and others were treated. We were different and our difficulties were not understood. We were often labelled as lazy, stupid and daydreamers.

We could articulate clearly with the spoken word (I was in the debating team for most of my high school years), however, when we were faced with the written word the text before us became a visual landmine. It took immense time and energy to decipher, comprehend and respond to the text.

I am in the process of writing a series of fiction for upper primary/lower high school children. One of the children will be based on me.

I would like some feedback on the following opening to one of my stories. Does it create the feelings of a child with Dyslexia.

I sit staring ahead, my chest is tight and I feel sick to the very pit of my stomach. I hear others around as if through a fog and they move around me in slow motion.

Ms Wright comes towards me with the papers in her hand.

My heart is bounding and body is trembling.

I would give anything for the next moment not to happen, never to happen again and again and again.

Ms Wright drops the papers on my desk and as they float down symbolically reflecting their lack of substance.

Ms Wright says “Ah, such a disappointment, Ann you could try and make an effort, instead of daydreaming and doodling.”

I feel every pair of eyes are looking at me and from behind hands pretending to cover mouths voices are spilling out “Ann’ so dumb”, “she even had extra time” and “how embarrassing to fail all the time”

I look down at the papers covered in red and feel my checks matching.

 I hear the bell ring and feel bodies moving past me, but I feel trapped, imprisoned in a mind that will not function as it should, as I want it to, no matter how I try.

Ms Wright packs up her books, looks at me and slowly shakes her head, then walks out the door following her students.

I look again at the papers and try and make my eyes understand the shapes they see. I look up at the doorway where the others went and wonder how they can so easily read and understand what is written.

I look again at the pages which are now becoming damp from tears that fall.

I shudder as I think of Mum and Dad’s faces when they see these papers. The money they have spent on special classes, which I hate and are just like the lessons at school, so they don’t really help.

“Stupid, the bells gone, you can go home now” says some giggling girls as they pass the doorway and see me still sitting there.

Maybe they are right and I am stupid, but there is some part of me that feels angry and knows that I am not.

 

July 27, 2012

Dyslexic blog 1

I did not read as a child, as I have dyslexic problems and reading was a nightmare for me.  So, I will apologise now that I am very likely to mis-spell words etc Since I had such horrible experiences at school  (especially in English classes) I feel I need to learn what I could not then, well at least try. However, I am now a bookworm and usually have a couple of books I am reading at the same time.

I have a head full of stories, some general others to share my experiences with dyslexic and places/experiences I have had travelling (eg Timbuktu) and as a volunteer teacher (in Cambodia and East Timor).

Recently I started an online writing course with the Sydney Writer’s centre and with great trepidation I submitted by first writing tasks, see below

I anxiously awaited the tutor’s response, my mind filled with previous negative feedback from teachers/tutors.

I feel I must share with pride (I even rang my parents and read the feedback to them to make up for all the shocking reports I brought home) and humility as it is only very early writing days.

So here is a little of the feedback and I hope this is some encouragement for other dyslexics who are told that they are dumb.

“Your first post is very powerful, and extremely evocative. You’ve captured your physical senses extremely effectively—especially the visual, which is not surprising, but also the physicality of the ill body is brought vividly to life. I like how you also make the reader experience what the child is feeling in a very understated way—as soon as you mention the sickly sweet smell of the other girls’ food, we know exactly how she will respond, and we feel the nausea ourselves.
I enjoyed the second piece as well—being a cat fan!—  you’ve got a nice, cheeky, believable voice for young Oni, and you’ve captured a very different mood and tone for the two pieces as well. There’s a very nice, natural feel to your writing,”

My submissions

The pain is so intense, that I am not clearly aware of my surroundings.
I know sick bay very well, the smell of disinfectant and the white bare walls.
But now I have been told that I have had more than my fair share of the sick bay bed. That the bed is needed for another student and that I will have to wait outside for my Mum.
So I sit on a hard cold step outside sickbay, where I wrap my arms around my knees and slowly rock back and forwards. In between the waves of pain, I hear class mate’s voice and laughter; birds chatting in tress above and a dog barking. As I rock I stare ahead in a trance, seeing but not focusing on a variety of greenery. However, I do notice that there are no flowers, no splashes of non-green colours; just endless green like the endless pain in my ears.
A bell goes and my friends come and sit beside me eating their sweet smelling food. I am offered a bite, but turn away hoping they do not see I am about to be sick. Then suddenly, they all at once competed to tell me about what a mess Tom made and how Ms Smith got really cross and then Tom started to cry. “He’s such a baby” they said in unison.
After a while they became bored by my lack of response and leave me to my hard cold step, with just my throbbing ears for company.

“Oni! No get off”
“Oni! No you can’t have that”
“Oni! You are so greedy”
This is all I ever hear
The pain in my stomach is so intense, they don’t understand that I’m growing. I get hungry, VERY hungry.
The other cat Phoebe, well she lived here first, she’s old like 5 or 6. She likes to eat her food slowly, eating a bit, walking away and coming back later to finish.
So when I arrived having been used to competing with brothers and sisters for a limited amount of food. I did what any self-respecting kitten would do when they see another cat leave a bowl with food still in it. I raced in and ate what was left.
Well from then on I was feed separately and kept locked in another room. Close enough to be able to smell Phoebe’s unfinished food. I would sit near the door washing myself in an attempt to distract my grumbling painful stomach. Staring ahead, in a trance and listening to plates scraped and imagine all the fat from chops dropping into the bin.
Sometimes the little girl would come and sit on the floor next to me. She would then dangle a piece of string in front of me, expecting me to play.
After a while she would became bored by my lack of response and leave me to sit by the door, with just my grumbling painful stomach for company.

 


Susanne Gervay

Writer and children's author

Barrington Stoke

Cracking reading for over a decade

Little Pink Dog Books

Children's Picture Book Publishing

Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies

Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies by Romilla Ready and Kate Burton free download

Brenda Drake Contests

making connections

nicolesundays

humor. storytelling. general stupidity.

mypassengerdiaries

travel and adventure

Kathy Creamer

Writer, Illustrator & Sculptor

Create with Passion

A blog by children's author, Heather Gallagher

DeeScribewriting Blog

Young Adult authors, books, childrens' writers, authors, interviews and reviews

International Book Giving Day 2017

Give a book on Valentine's Day

henryherz.com

Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books

Alayne Kay Christian

Children's Author & Life Coach - Writer's Whole Life Perspective

IBBY Australia

International Board on Books for Young People Australia