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SUCCEEDING WITH DYSLEXIA: IT TAKES A TEACHER

As a young child growing up, I noticed I had difficulty reading words on the blackboard or from my reading books. Whiles other children would read in the loudest voices that they could muster, I would cower in a corner praying in tongues that the teacher would forget to call me to read. I could not write, read or spell words no matter how simple those words were. In the beginning, everyone thought I was just plain stupid and lazy. My teachers would occasionally call my parents to school to complain about my attitude towards reading. They would tell them to send me to a prayer camp to exorcise me of the demon attacking my reading abilities.

 However, everything changed when I got promoted to a new class. On the first day of school that year, I woke up earlier than I usually do dreading going to school that day. The idea of going back to school made my stomach churn like a milling machine. When I got to school that morning, I sat in my usual position where no one would notice or bother me. Sitting alone in my corner fidgeting with my pencil, suddenly, I heard a thunderous ‘’Good morning Madam and a tinny response from the tellest human being I had ever seen. She walked straight to my table, smiled and asked me what my name was.

Most of the teachers who taught me in in the other classes would do all they could to avoid me. But here was a woman I had never met looking me straight in the eye asking me of my name. Class began and I was called up to read the first passage from the reading book. I got up, walked to her table and whispered in her ear that I could not read. She urged me to try and give it my best shot. I stood there for ten minutes without opening the book. Eventually, I was asked to go back to my seat amidst laughter and jeer from other children.

The next day, my parents were summoned to the school by my new teacher. I had psyched my mind for the usual bashing because I knew I was in for it this time. But on the contrary, I did not get any bashing when my parents came to see her. she looked at me, gave a reassuring smile and turned to speak to my parents about my reading disability. She informed them that she suspects I had dyslexia and needed to see a specialist for treatment.

Dyslexia is most commonly associated with trouble learning to read.  Kids with dyslexia have a hard time decoding new words or breaking them down into manageable chunks that they can then sound out.

Learning can be difficult for a child experiencing dyslexia it requires a lot of patience, hard work and a functional support system made of friends and family willing to help.

In addition to recommending a specialist who could help me, she made it her life mission to help me cope with it. She adjusted her teaching methods to meet my needs. She also prepared colourful flashcards and other learning aids for me every week so I could learn new words on my own. Furthermore, she spent extra hours after school teaching me how to read It was a long tedious journey which paid of eventually. By the end of the school year, I was already reading on my own. Although, I would occasionally find it difficult to spell or pronounce certain words. But to me, being able to read on my own was progress!  

October 4, 2019

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