Dyslexia – A Mirror in the Mind
I was born into to this world with me crying within seconds of me being entering this world. I saw a man with a mask and few people around him. Bright lights out. That was the first light I saw. I was immediately handed over to a lady. I was there crying and she was smiling as if it was the happiest moment of her life. There was me crying being at totally new place and my loneliness is disturbed. All around me happiness. There was this lady who was smiling at my new surroundings. Though I felt new warmth though I was confused. As I rolled my eyes to acclimatize to the surrounding I saw a man all happy and proud. Then there was a little guy who was so happy to see me and looking forward to something. Little did I realize that those very people who were smiling at my suffering would be the ones who will wipe out any suffering I had. I also didn’t realize that the lady who was smiling at my suffering would never leave me and teach me what love really is. Who would say “There is always a next time” for time I fail and who would give me confidence that I would succeed one day. The person who would love with her whole heart and will be there for me always. I would later know that she carried me around for 9 months and went through hell to bring me to this world and that she would cry reading this article. People told me to call me “MOM”. Then the proud man who saw himself in me would always correct me on my mistakes and mostly would buy things I asked for. He would give me challenges to finish so that I would get what I wanted. Little did I know that the same man would encourage me to follow my dream. He would teach me how to work hard and be funny. I didn’t know he would make fun of this article. People told me to call him “DAD”. Now the little guy. A curious little kid with awe for me coming near me all loving and caring. He caught hold me and always carried me around. I would never imagine that he would be my first best friend who would always have my back and teach me self defense. I would make him get into trouble for the mischief I did. He would have rivalry with me for everything. My first rival and my first friend. I would do brother stuff with him like play and chat. He would be so proud of me seeing this article. People told me to call him “BROTHER”. After a hectic day of thinking and acclimatizing I went to a small cradle with all babies. I would not realize that among them might be one of my future friends or enemies rivals girlfriends or wife. As I lay in the bed looking at the ceiling I was awaiting my future. I never realized that I would be dyslexic with great interest in mathematics and would be studying in one of the top institutions in India. I would have fun watching football matches with my best friends. I would never know that I would be a big coward for 5 years not telling a girl I like her. I would never know I can write this article and be emotional about it. As I lay in that cradle hoping that the next day would be better than this day and went to sleep.
I was born dyslexic into this world. I sometimes think I was lucky to be born dyslexic. My friends never believed or still never believe that I am dyslexic. For them dyslexia means always struggling with studies making spelling mistakes. My self-confidence always makes them jealous. All thanks to my parents. Dyslexic as you all know is disorder. As mother used to say it’s not a disease it’s a disorder.
First step to any problem is awareness. In the four schools I was there was no awareness among teachers about dyslexia. Every teacher should be taught about dyslexia. Parents should be aware about their children. I had parents (mother at starting then after a while dad) were aware about dyslexia. Not only teachers should be made aware but even students should be made aware of dyslexia. Their friends may be dyslexic but they wouldn’t know. In the four schools I was there, there wasn’t enough awareness among students about dyslexia. People thought I was just acting to get language exemptions. I got language exemption, use of calculator and overlooking spelling mistakes. Government of India does give those exemptions. So parents have to aware of the latest development around them. Awareness is the first step towards overcoming dyslexia.
Second and most toughest step is acceptance. I always wanted to be someone whom people follow. For that to happen I need people to accept me. First step towards my acceptance was my parents(mom starting and dad later) and brother accepting for who I am. Its difficult for every dad to accept the fact that his son has a problem. Even though now he keeps telling me “I see myself in you. “ They needed to accept that “SID IS DYSLEXIC”. When they started accepting who I am I knew I always trust in them and know that they have my back. In Indian education it’s all about the marks and not the knowledge but my mom always wanted me to know the subject. Encouraging me to know the subject gave me curiosity to know more about the subject. Even great Albert Einstein said “I wasn’t a born genius I was just passionately curious.” That for me was a big boost. Always people say MATA PITA GURU DEIVAM but in my case it was MATA PITA BRO FRIENDS and so on. I haven’t put Guru because until I was in 9th I was never accepted for who I was. Not the fact that I was dyslexic but the fact that I had a problem. There is passion people always have. My passion was mathematics. Without it I don’t know if would ever been deemed a “genius’. Sorry to call myself genius but that’s what my friends call me. Friends in my life were very important to me when I was not performing well. Friends who stand by your side through all difficulties are hard to find. I have had friends who had laughed at me for my failures (sarcastic laughs not making fun laughs). I was forced to friends with them as I always wanted to prove them wrong. I needed to learn to charm people from a guy name BARNEY STINSON and my best friend. Don’t Google Barney. Charming people to get the work done and to people to accept you is not the right way but it was my only way. I would advise parents of children like me to teach them how do dress very well and impress people. Self-acceptance is also a problem. Once I accepted that I was dyslexic then I know I have to work hard to handle it. That comes with self confidence self esteem and acceptance by others. Sorry to keep going on about acceptance but once parents accept their child is dyslexic that the child realizes that people around him accept him for who he is then rest of the job of handling becomes easy. Focus is on handling the problem. I was accepted by my friends (except two friends of mine) only when I reached college.
Third step is handling the problem. When my parents had the awareness and my family accepted for who I am their physical enduring power was started. My mom did things without doing special education that even special educators would have been proud of. My mom was born to be a SPECIAL EDUCATOR. My mom had spend so many hours just to prepare materials for me. Some of the things are as follows:
1. ENCOURAGEMENT : I needed to be encourage at what I am best at. Like sports. I was very good cricket (people used to say). It’s not important if I was good or not but the encouragement gave me confidence to well in what I was passionate about. It also helped me in what I loved. Mathematics. I used to be as my mom says “a living calculator.” Saying such things about me from my parents really helped me. According to me people are not who they are but whom they are said to be. We are so many ways influenced by what people say that we forget who we are. How much ever we say “ I am not like other people” its true that in some ways “we are the other people”. Every person needs encouragement in what he is passionate about and what he loves to do. Though my passion was ended quickly I still do what I love. I teach my college friends mathematics and still manage to fail in it. That’s frustrates me but my friends are there to encourage me not to lose hope in what I love. Now I encourage myself to write poems and articles. Though not the best at it, it helps me release my frustrations and anger.
2. COMMUNICATION: Encouragement alone is not important. Communication is very important. My parents have always been open to me about the distractions. As I hit my teens there were many distractions in my school. Smoking drinking and rowdism. In the morning of my first day of 11th my dad talked to me. He said “you will have crushes. You ll tempted to smoke and drink. Its your life. You can make or break it. ” Not the exact words but something like that. My parents have always been open with me about going out with girls though I have never been out with one (this line is for my parents). I enjoy having such talks with parents. Due to this communication if somebody say “sad man that you are dyslexic” I reply “I am proud to be dyslexic”.
3. TECHNIQUES : There are few steps that my mom used to do me to handle my problem. She used to write a lot for me. So many pens markers pencils scales erasers would have gone into me except ones I lost in school. My grammar is good because of her. A girl misses me only for the reason that I have good English. As I said before people don’t believe that I am dyslexic as I have good English. There are so many things mom used to do. Some of them are:
• I used to hate long answers. Writing them or even seeing them was a scare for me. For this she used write the detail answers into 10-15 one line questions and answers. Like What? How? When? Why? And tell me if detail answers are asked join the questions.
• She used to make paragraph answers into FILL IN THE BLANKS.
• The above two things are still useful for me in college where I still hate detail answers. I write in points. 10 clear points > 3 pages of story. I mean it gets more marks.
• To improve my English my mother used give me novels to read. i hated big books and still do. I haven’t read HARRY POTTER (craze during my teen years) just for the reason its big and it kept getting bigger. So my mom gave me smaller books. I am big fan of Ruskin Bond and Chetan Bhagat as their books are always in first person and smaller books.
• Textbooks mugging it up is craze in india. Knowledge in india is mug, write, forget. Very rare to see a person read for learning. Marks dominates students. I have always wanted to know things and I hate exams but we in india have to write it.
• My mother used mark important points with markers. Faberr Castle should sponsor me for the amount of markers we used.
• Dyslexic students should never be introduced to chatting language. I didn’t even chat until I reached my college. Nowadays chatting and chat languages. Chatting language I don’t have to give an intro about. Its really spoils the English that is. Even formal letters or emails have now started becoming chatting language. In the next 25 years AEIOU will be HSTRY.
To sum things up I just wanted my parents put lot of hard work to bring me up to the way I am. They made some stern decisions for with a combination of giving me the freedom to be what I want to be and how I want my life to pan out. Life has been good to be till now and hope it continues on forever…………………….