Is dyslexia a good label?

On Thursday 10th November 2016 as part of Dyslexia Awareness Week, Dyslexia Scotland asked the following on Facebook –

Is being identified as dyslexic a ‘label’?

And is that good or bad?

Tell us what you think?”

To which I replied –

I would much rather be labelled Dyslexic, than labelled: Stupid (Not Working To The Best Of My Ability), Lazy and/or any of the other negative labels that are often given to dyslexics before they are given a ‘label’ of dyslexia. The dyslexia label is a GIFT. It’s just a shame that by the time most of us get it, we are trying to wrap it around what remains of our shattered self-esteem.

The above inspired my creative side to create:

doreen_jigsaw

I would call it a drawing, if it wasn’t for the fact I used stencils (because my hand just won’t draw what’s in my head if I try to draw it freehand. I think I have many dyspraxic tendencies (I was an extremely clumsy child, and although I’ve gotten much better, I am never sure how co-ordinated I will be from one moment to the next).

In this case I think stencilling works to this piece’s advantage due to the fact the fairy’s body is in pieces and stitched together with the remains of her self-belief. Her wings (which would ordinarily be the most ethereal part of her) are the most cohesive and effective due to the fact she identifies herself as dyslexic. And her internal dialogue can now take on a much more positive note.

I drew the background as jigsaw puzzle pieces because whilst volunteering at this year’s Education Conference, I really enjoyed Dr Rob Long’s keynote speech. One of his Powerpoint slides, which illustrated a child’s abilities, behaviours and emotions as a jigsaw of different ages; i.e. a 12-year-old dyslexic child may have a reading age of 7, but a spatial awareness age of 14 or higher.

Another talk (“Seeing Words – The Art of Visual Communication”) I heard recently was from Alex at the Glasgow Adult Network. Before I write anymore please see:-

I’m not going to explain this one, please just contemplate the visual for a few moments.

doreen_bird

I would now like to give a response to Sarah Entine’s “read me differently” film. I feel I have reached a stage in my life, where I am sick of being a star and trying to fit into a cuboidal box. I am fed up of the negative labels given to me by a society that dislikes my marvellous star points breaking out of the box.

Sarah Entine’s salvation appeared to be in discovering her creativity through a flower arranging job, which led to her finding the courage to go back and study her masters degree and became a social work professional (working in an occupational / activity-based psychologist type role). I hope to soon find my individual path to greatness. And fly away, through my true colours to my one moment in time to be all that I want to be.

Doreen Kelly, Dyslexia Scotland Volunteer and Member

 

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