This week I had the pleasure of attending an event with the International Dyslexia Association. It was part of a professional development training for teachers. The teachers were put through a simulation of what it was like to be a dyslexic student. They read out loud with difficulty, wrote in their note books with challenges and experienced the hardships of the classroom. Then, they discussed how hard it was to do these very things and imagine what a student would feel like doing this 6 hours a day.
While they experienced this, my question was if they realized their intelligence was not affected? They still had the ability to comprehend the fact that they were having trouble. Dyslexia does not affect intelligence. Following the simulation, students from grades 7 through high school spoke about what it is like to be dyslexic in the classroom. They talked about how hard they work to get assignments done, finish readings and being in the classroom in general. These students were amazing, gifted and bright. In business, they talk about hiring people who pass the airport test, people you would want to be around and create with if you were delayed on a 10-hour flight. These students are creatively using technology, self-advocating and gaining a perspective on the world that we all could use. They passed that test with flying colors. Supporting these types of students is critical because it would be easy to lose them if we do not take the time to understand them.
My hope for this journey that I am on is to continue to bring awareness for what the International Dyslexia Association is doing for students, parents and teachers. The organization is working hard to support future generations. Time to get on board!