Follow the fortunes of Muddyboots & Family on their East Yorkshire farm which has changed from dairy farm to luxury ice cream manufacture

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

dyslexic child

Today, as usual l am sat in the dining room cum office, catching up on the accounts. As is always the case, l am daydreaming, my excuse for wasting time. I am emailing, chatting on skype, listening to the wireless. I have in front of me, on the floor 6 large piles of A4, bills paid, bills to pay, bank downloads, remittance advices, VAT print outs, it looks very organized. it should be all filed away in the colorful collection of folders shoved onto the shelves. They are not and l am just getting ready to hole punch.................

The internet is wonderful. I can sit here, listening to the wireless and the current item on the Jeremy Vine show on radio 2 is continuing the theme on the best childrens bedtime stories, the choice is down to the final 8 titles.

As a child, in fact even now, l am what you could call a 'book gobbler'. I read, l read obsessively. I have favourite authors and pre-order their new titles. I have books everywhere. On book shelves, next to my bed, in the bathroom, in the spare bedrooms, any flat surface you will find books. Paperbacks, hardbacks staked precariously in large, wobbly piles. Farmer suggests that it might be an idea to open a used book stall in the garage. I don't think so.

I am side tracked, l was going to mention my favourite childhood reads but, well never mind my brain is off on a different tangent. When Harry was born, l would read all about hungry caterpillars and fierce bad mice and wondering hedgehogs. As he got older would buy stories for him to read and enjoy. He preferred story tapes and would be able to recite all the Roald Dahl stories word perfect. By the time he reach 6, his reading was pretty bad, a real struggle, a chore more akin to pulling teeth than something of pleasure. Needless to say, l was concerned. A visit to the village school and discussion with teachers did not exactly allay my worries. To me, and as there is dyslexia in the family, Harry was showing the classic signs.

We moved school, Harry traveling up to Scarborough everyday and within his 1st week at the new school he had been booked for assessment with the Dyslexic Institute. Dyslexic, Harry was dyslexic, high IQ but disorganized, dancing words & letters chasing each other across the pages, the world seen as a multi-layered 3D adventure. For the duration of his school years, he attended the Dyslexic Institute. He learned to touch type, to organise his time, to learn how to manage his pictorial world in the flat real world.

Harry, is now 21. He runs the ice cream production side of the business. His spelling is still truly unique and he still sorts out problems using the 'picture in the head technique'. He has found a balance, he still hates reams of text, but just gets on with it; he plans out his day so he knows where he is and doesn't get lost. Pretty amazing really, well done Harry, your hard work has paid off!

The picture is totally unrelated to this blog, but it is of the beach.


Elizabethd said...

Good for him.
I remember way back when I was teaching children with 'learning difficulties', that the d word was forbidden, in our county at least. There was, we were told, no such thing. you could say that a child had Specific learning difficulties only. Then all of a sudden, goodness me, Dyslexia was recognised, thank goodness. Most of us had been adapting our own teaching schemes anyway, but it did help once the powers that be were in agreement.

Pondside said...

Way to go, Harry! The perserverance he developed will stand him in good stead in the business world. Kudos to you too, for making sure that Harry got the schooling he needed, and the tools he needed to be the remarkable young entrepreneur/businessman he has become.

Twiglet said...

That's a fab photo with a hint of rainbow I think. Well done to Harry. Having taught infants for 25years I appreciate how tricky it can be to get help. In latter years we got excellent support for our dyslexic children. It took years of being told that children who we highlighted, at maybe six years old, were just slow developers!

Martin H. said...

Recognition and the correct support is vital isn't it? Thanks to you, Harry has had both.

Our son-in-law is dyslexic and he's been working as a chartered senior naval architect for nine years now.

I wish Harry every success for the future.

patsy said...

Well done that boy, I can so sympathise with your hopes and fears for him Muddy.You must be so relieved that he has turned out so well and that he has found good coping mechanisms.
I love that phrase to describe Harry's experience of "the world... seen as a multi-layered 3D adventure." No wonder then that many of Disney and Pixar designers are dyslexic.
When, after years of negativity, my son's new learning support teacher called dyslexia "a gift" rather than a disability, I nearly fell to the floor and kissed the blessed woman's feet!
And touch typing, a brilliant idea. Both son and I intend to enrol on a course during the school holidays.

her at home said...

Well done Harry and well done you from someone who knows about it from both a child and a parents view point. Youngest is stil undergoing a barrage of test everything from eyes to brainwaves have been looked at and there is now talk of him doing some sort of computer skills work so that when he goes to College ( seconday in UK terms) he will be able to type his work out.

I see Dyslexia as a gift too its just a hard slog trying to convince the rest of the world that it isnt just laziness.

Tattie Weasle said...

Dyslexia is just another way of looking at things and just because you don't see things the same way doesn't mean to say you see them wrong. The Boy is having similar problems and for me who like you decvours books I find it scary and frustrating both at the sametime. I am so pleased to hear how well Harry has done.

Friko said...

not so much catching up on the accounts as catching up on fairly comfortable thoughts.
I agree, the internet is grand, so is listening to the radio and best of all, reading books. Don't let anyone tell you to get rid of them, you can always use them as wall insulation, they even look pretty.
I am glad your Harry has found his place in the order of things.

ChrisH said...

Well done, Harry!

(As an aside, Rose was considered borderline dyslexic and one horrid teacher told me she would never make anything of herself... Hello Horrid Teacher - 2:1 in English and straight into a job in publishing!)

Anyway, collecting myself, well done to both of you for hanging on in there and succeeding - and some!

Olive Tree Guitar Ensemble said...

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Fred said...

Time wasting here, too and found this. Such good advice. So recognise this with youngest especially the trying hard bit. So demoralising for them when they see their friends who get A's without opening a book. When he was eight he went to something called EDL (can't remember what it means) but basically he learned to touch type, using a series of coloured dots on fingers and corresponding keys. It transformed his school life.

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