My son can read.
He can read sideways and upside down.
In fact, he is more fluent when he reads that way.
Yesterday a kid called him a freak
and I said to that boy;
“No, Noah isn’t a freak – every person processes things differently and reading sideways is just the most comfortable way for his brain to focus”.
The kid looked at me like I was the freak, grabbed the book and turned it the right way around.
“You have to be normal, dude,” he said to Noah.
He didn’t mean it in a nasty way – he was just speaking his truth
and I wasn’t upset (neither was Noah).
I’ve learnt that kids react strongly to things they don’t understand.
It was interesting though to see how unbending and conformist kids can be – even at a young age
and how we struggle to accept anything different.
Luckily, Noah can read with the book turned to society’s ‘normal’ as well
is it lucky for him or is it just lucky for everyone else – me included.
With dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome the brain doesn’t see things conventionally.
It doesn’t mean that the dyslexic child is below average -
in actual fact, most people who have it are of high intelligence, their minds are amazing, intricate pathways that fire in the most interesting of ways.
Noah can retain facts about things I couldn’t even hope to remember
and his ability to recall minute details about a subject astounds me every day
but if he can’t express those to others then what a terrible waste that would be
and I imagine very frustrating too.
We have a black board in our kitchen now where we encourage Ivy and Noah to write words and then find others that rhyme
because Noah, amongst everything else, is a rhyming super hero – he just gets great joy from it.
He wrote the word dog but it was more like
b o back to front, upside down g.
He looked at it for a long time, as though he knew it wasn’t ‘correct’,
walked away, put his glasses on,
came back and fixed it up himself and then drew a picture of his bog turned dog.
I thought it was pretty cool that he’d figured it out himself
but there have been many times where I have made him change the letters around
because they don’t make sense to me
and I wonder if, in doing that, if I am teaching him anything except conformity
or whether I am just messing around with his way of thinking
and if that is really any advantage to him at all.
I guess in the grand scheme of things he will need to be able to function in his society
and that means making his brain conform to ‘normality’
but I hope, as he grows, he keeps a little bit of himself too
and maybe he’ll read to his own children someday from an upside down point of view.