Sunday, August 27, 2017

Remembering a dyslexic classmate, 30 years later

I remember this kid from my fourth grade class. Jack was his name, I think, or at least, that's what I'll call him here. He seemed bigger than the rest of us, maybe he had been held back already. It was widely known that he was a trouble maker. Didn't try. Didn't care. The teachers regarded him with unmasked frustration and hostility, and their assessment of him was not lost on the rest of us. I mean, how stupid were you, if you had made it all the way to the fourth grade (perhaps having even repeated a grade or two along the way) and you still couldn't read?

I also remember that Jack was good at fixing things. Taking them apart and putting them back together again. Ballpoint pens in particular. Fourth grade was a seminal year for this, because the great privilege of being a fourth grader was that you sometimes got to write with a pen instead of a pencil. But with this privilege also came the frustration of pens that would every so often stop working, and you'd circle and circle on the page, waiting for the ink to come out, but it never did. Jack could fix your pen for you. He did this for me one time, as I had been seated next to him in art or music class. I'd regarded him somewhat suspiciously, and with a bit of fear. He was supposed to be a bad seed, the kind of kid you didn't talk to, a bully.

But as he sat next to me and dismantled my pen, he hummed a bit. And I realized, I couldn't think of one single instance when he had actually caused trouble or done something wrong. All I could think of was teachers yelling at him or punishing him for things that wouldn't have even caused so much as a raised eyebrow if some other student had done it. All I could think of was how, whenever he was called upon to read a passage out loud in class, he would stumble over the words, getting many of them wrong. And the rest of the class would snicker, at best, or laugh outright in his face.

He wasn't the bully. He was bullied.

He was dyslexic.

With a smile, Jack handed me back my pen, and it worked just fine. I wondered why everyone thought he was such a bad kid. I wondered how you could be in the fourth grade and still not be able to read.

That was almost thirty years ago. And the truth is, precious little has changed for dyslexic kids. My son would be Jack if I had listened to the piece-of-shit teachers who told me what a challenge he was, how he needs to try harder, how all we can do is wait and see. My son would be Jack if I had been gaslit by the piece-of-shit principal and school reading specialists and counselors who told me I was being unfair and unreasonable, who have cornered me and ripped me to shreds, who have done everything in their power to get me to shut the fuck up about dyslexia. My son would be Jack if I allowed myself to be intimidated by these overgrown middle school mean girls, by family members who deride me for being too "negative." My son would be Jack if I were anything other than stubborn as fuck. He would be Jack if I hadn't found Ms. V, if we hadn't had the means to pay thousands of dollars (with no end in sight) on dyslexia tutoring.

I thought about Jack the other day, and I wondered what ever happened to him. I'm not sure if I remember him being part of my class beyond grade school. I hoped to god he didn't blow his brains out or overdose, having spent his whole life believing he wasn't worth a damn. I hoped instead he invented something amazing, became a CEO or a stop motion film maker, or a software engineer.

I hope that my son makes it through, but unlike neurotypical children, who have every opportunity handed to them without question, Will has no such assurance. For dyslexic kids now, thirty years ago, sixty years ago, it's still the same: the very people whose job it is to help you succeed in life only sabotage you every step of the way.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Stay STRONG!! and NEVER let anyone PUT OUT YOUR FIRE!! WIllam and the thousands of dyslexic children need supporters like you!!!!! Because of your love , William will succeed!!! We are SOOOOOOO proud of William !!! ! we will always be the wind beneath your wings!!! Sending strong vibes and luv to you!! pawpaw and grama nan

shagor hossasn said...

A lot better. There are many stories in our lives which are specially given to us. And by doing so, we can remember our second generation and our associate websiteSync Outlook with Google Calendar

Caresort Solutions said...

I read this article. I think you put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work.
professional web design services

Unknown said...

Thanks for shareing this helpfull info.i thinks"keyword"vs search quearies is really diffrent.if you need any information
please vissit my website

DDouglas Smith said...

this is really a helpful and informative article. I can surely say that people can know many things from here. Also people can find information about Best Vacuum cleaner from here

Achhamall - Online Shopping Center said...

Hello Sir,
As a blog reader & writer you shared nice information this is very Usefull to us. Thank you.
Looking for more best Achhamall deals !! Visit : achhamall (dot) com
Shop your Online Digital Electronic Products. Invest in a good quality Product & get Best offers. shop now & Enjoy Free Shipping across India. our blog kindly follow & like the post & comments.

John Barred said...

This post info is realy help us. We look at for like this post. Very very Thanks for sharing this post. For more informaiton like this please visit here baby care tips

Blogger said...

You're a very skilled blogger buyanotherblog
This is very interesting, asuransi kendaraan msig, berkendara tanpa cemas You're a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. best free vpn Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!
0day tech I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from again. info bimtek pusdiklat pemendagri
Awesome post about also check it Blog! greek yogurt tinggi protein

info bimtek pusdiklat pemendagri said...

Portal Website salah satunya yang menyajikan konten edukasi pendidikan, kesehatan, bisnis dan bisnis untuk pemirsa yang menyukai dan setia membaca karya JB sepanjang waktu. Jagoan Branding Membahas Info Bimtek Pusdiklat Pemendagri Dan Akan tampil beda dari yang lain dengan menggunakan metode penyampaian yang mudah dimengerti oleh anak Para Pembaca Semuanya

Diantara konten Jagoan Branding adalah tentang bimtek yang berupa keuangan daerah mengatur langkah-langkah dan prosedur untuk meningkatkan kualitas manajemen keuangan daerah yang baik.Serta Ketenaga kerjaan Untuk Meningkatkan Peran ASN dan PNS Juga Dalam Keuangan dari sistem dan prosedur baik untuk daerah masing-masing Seperti Sistem dan Prosedur Penerimaan, Biaya dan Prosedur dan Sistem dan Prosedur Akuntansi Info bimtek pusdiklat pemendagri keuangan pemerintah daerah. Konsekuensi dari penerbitan Permendagri adalah komitmen pemerintah daerah untuk mengatur kepala daerah yang mengatur kebijakan akuntansi pemerintah. bisa mengunjungi

Info Bimtek Pusdiklat Pemendagri terbaru 2019
Info Bimtek Pusdiklat Pemendagri Terbaru Tahun Ini

Admin LK said...

LORONG KATA atau Lorong Kata adalah salah satu website yang dirancang oleh beberapa aktivis dan mahasiswa untuk menuangkan ide-ide publik dalam bentuk fiksi maupun semi-fiksi. Baik dalam konteks sosial, ekonomi, politik, dan olahraga maupun budaya. Asuransi Kendaraan MSIG

smith said...

This is a very informative article for us.. Really this is an amazing and helpful article..I’m Always get the new and latest article from this site and I like its very's helful

Unknown said...

Excelr’s online training in Guidewire is customized and for good enough reasons. Consider what regular trainers offer. A typica Digital Marketing Course in Sydney
would take learners through the basics
of Guidewire, teach them about configuration and understanding of various models, go on to organizing the claims centre and then best practices. This type of generalized
training is of little use to employees handling specific parts like claims management, policy management or billing. Excelr’s custom online training addresses gaps and goes
in-depth into specifics for each employee and his role. The result is that employees emerge better empowered and knowledgeable as well as skilled in what they have to deal with
on a day to day basis.Unlike others, Excelr does not believe in a one size fits all approach in corporate training if highest efficiency and productivity are the goals.
Each employee’s role is analyzed and a custom package is tailored to bring him up to speed. This has two benefits. One, the learner is motivated to learn because what he
learns directly concerns his areas of work. Two, he learns more, in-depth and at speed. The training is online so he can access materials any time he is free and proceed at
his convenience. He can access a tutor anytime he faces any issue while learning and become perfect in the selected modules. Tutors also go beyond to transfer the knowledge
they have gained through years of hands-on experience and give insights that are not usually available in a regular course. By establishing a one-to-one relationship with the
tutor, the learner remains committed and gets to know far more than he would be he to attend a classroom-based course.

SEO expert said...

just awesome post. Thank you so much for sharing the valuable information
With our Digital Marketing Training, re-discover your creative instinct to design significant marketing strategies to promote a product/service related to any organization from any business sector.
Digital Marketing Course
Digital Marketing Course in Sydney

Wakile said...

This is very Artical Backlinks Dofollow

jhal said...

thanks you for information
info menarik

HR HRidoy said...

Digital Marketing can be defined as a unique marketing strategy that is implemented in digital platforms through Internet Medium to reach the target audience. When compared to traditional marketing, search analytics gives you an extra edge in Digital Marketing. Analytics empowers the business to analyse the success in their business strategies and provides the required data to modify the strategies to suit the market requirements and improve ROI.

Digital Marketing Course
Digital Marketing Course in Sydney

Muhammad Hassan said...

Great article Lot's of information to Read...Great Man Keep Posting and update to People..Thanks Birthday t-shirt

Abhishek Tiwari said...

Thank you for sharing wonderful content
Happy Diwali 2019 Wishes | Diwali SMS | Diwali 2019 Quotes & Status