Our tours across Scotland in the Dyslexia Van have resulted in quite a few funny moments, sat nav frustrations and of course a huge variety of visitors to the van. So many people came to chat to us when they saw the van because they had a ‘connection’ to dyslexia, or were just curious. Often it’s been tourists – we’ve had (dyslexic!) fishermen from England, a retired teacher from Norway and an American couple who took information for their niece who lives in Glasgow as they thought she might be dyslexic. One woman on a stop-off from her cruise ship to Stornoway even abandoned her hour long visit of the town in favour of listening to one of our talks!
On our last trip to Argyll and Bute we were waiting in the sunshine for our ferry from Tarbert to Portavadie and a gentleman approached us. “Dyslexia, eh? Do you want to hear my joke about dyslexia?”
It’s at times like this, or when someone makes what they think is a witty quip, that I sometimes wonder why people think it’s appropriate, or if they really think about the possible impact of their comments. I’m not dyslexic myself and none of the people with dyslexia that I’ve ever met is po-faced or lacks a sense of humour about dyslexia. But I also know that dyslexia can be a struggle and hold people back if they don’t get the right support and that the reality can be far from a joke.
Our next magazine is all about Dyslexia and Adults and we’d love to hear your thoughts about things that people say about dyslexia and how they affect you. Is it easy enough to join in on the jokes or does it hurt at times? Or have there been things that someone said to you that have had a lasting impact, either good or bad? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.
Now, have you heard the one about the tobogganist and the tobacconist? (I’ll bet you have.)
Lena Gillies, Dyslexia Scotland