Monday, June 23, 2014

The joys of being dyslexic

As a young psychology student, I remember reading about Dyslexia and going for an observation in a clinical set up to see the cases first hand. I remember looking at the child's parents and wondering how they felt about their child being academically challenged. Having grown up in a family where education was regarded as the highest value, I felt a twinge of pity for them. I came back from that observation feeling pretty sad for the child and his guardians.

It was years and many clients later that I realized how immature I had been, in coming to this conclusion. A client helped me realize this. She was a 14 year old girl studying in an International school. She was the most innocent child I had met. She was trusting and naive.......very easily accepting of her diagnosis and ready to work hard to compensate for it. Remedial classes, additional hours poring over prescribed study material, practicing social skills till she got it right...nothing tired her out. And, she was always cheerful, forever ready to help classmates and assist teachers. She always brought a smile to my face when she walked in into the session. She managed to take away my mental fatigue by her very presence. The lack of awareness of social pragmatics made her a very easy person to get along with. She did not compete to get attention. Her capacity to stay positive while learning in a competitive study environment and her drive to overcome her disability was very inspiring to me. Her ability to come up with out of the box solutions was amazing and motivating to someone like me who had undergone a very traditional rote learning education. She managed to teach me far more than my teachers ever could.

If this is what learning disability did to a person, I wanted to be learning disabled. Till date, when I diagnose a new client with dyslexia, I think of her. And, I always share the story with the parents.


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