Archive | October, 2014

Dyslexia awareness, it should be a thing.

20 Oct

it’s been a little while since I’ve been able to post something, so while i was sitting here procrastinating instead of doing home work i though i may as well put my procrastination to good use. Time for a rant post!

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The Saturday just gone, I was lucky enough to be asked to be a panelist for an organisation called Square Pegs, an organisation that is trying to spread awareness about dyslexia across my home state of Tasmania. As anyone who had read my blog before knows, i have dyslexia. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times not so much. So it’s a subject I feel strongly about.

As a writer I cop a lot of criticism when I make a mistake, either in a post or in a draft or a report and while I work hard not to, it still happens. So to say I have a passion for speaking out about dyslexia is an understatement. I’ve had many an argument over the subject and frankly I’ll have many more. So when square pegs approached me and asked me to join their panel I was happy to. Because hey, that’s the kind of person I am. I love to talk, and I love to talk about things I know a lot about, so it was really a win-win for me.

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What I was surprised to find out, well actually not really all that surprised as I kinda already guessed this, but Tasmania has practically nothing to help support people, children in particular with dyslexia. Children with learning disabilities, not just dyslexia, but all of them fun things, in Tasmania, have no support, while every other state in Australia dose.

Growing up, i figured that out first hand, and I was one of the many kids that had to struggle through school, being called stupid, all because my brain decided it doesn’t want to work the way other peoples do. It’s estimated that 10-15% of the population suffer from Dyslexia. 10% you say, well that’s doesn’t sound like a lot, actually, it is. Think of it this way there is a estimated 513,400 that live in Tasmania, so if my maths is correct and i think it is, i’m amazing at math, potentially 51,340 in Tasmania alone have dyslexia. Fifty-one thousand people, who grew up thinking they were stupid, because they had trouble reading and writing. Fifty-one thousand people who stared at the pages of books and wondered why, why was it so easy for the kid next to me when I’m sitting here trying to decode this gibberish they call English. Fifty-one thousand people who had no support, no guidance, nothing to help them through it. That’s a lot, but to bring it down to a small scale 1-10 children suffer from dyslexia. In a class of thirty children, three of them will be dyslexic. The sad thing about that is those three children won’t get the help they need. They won’t love school like their friends, and maybe, just maybe they’ll start to believe all those people calling them stupid.

Dyslexia won’t kill someone, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Children with dyslexia often feel, alone, different, frustrated, and angry, because of it in school. As much as our bad spelling and grammar annoys you, it annoys us even more. We know how to talk, we just have trouble getting that on a page. Have you ever been called dumb, even when you know your not? Have you had it happen so many times that you start to believe it? I have, and so have so many other kids out there have as well. In the school, i was written off as stupid and lazy. The only reason I learnt anything at all was because I refused to believe that, well most days anyways. I knew I wasn’t stupid, and here I am, 23, science student at university and a published author. Was it easy? hell no!  had to work my butt off to get here. Will it ever be easy? definitely not, but having support, having the resources to learn, giving these kids a chance, will make it easier for them. having help, having people who understand how we learn, and how we work is going to make a huge difference.

So if any of you out there actually made it to this point please Check out Square Pegs (links below!). It doesn’t matter if you are a native tasweigan, Australian, or form anywhere else in the world, please share because awareness and support is the only way this amazing organisation is going to be able to do the good i know it can.

website: http://dyslexiatas.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarepegstas

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