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.