From Dyslexia to Writing Success


First, I’d like you to understand something very fundamental and important about me; unless it’s a box with a new pair of shoes (preferably swanky boots or trainers), chocolate, or better still, some bling, I hate boxes! Metaphoric boxes that is. I hate the labels, but more than that, I despair that mankind still believes in categorizing people into them.
I am many things these days: a mother, a nurse, a writer, a publisher, and a wife. However, this is not the entirety of my identity and neither is the fact that I am dyslexic. It pains me that people believe a diagnosis, skin color, the language you speak, or your country of birth is reason to single another person out, whether to degrade or uplift.
I was diagnosed fairly early in life, thanks to my awesome mom. Kindergarten was spent with other kids who had learning disabilities. Mrs. Zenolli was my teacher and I will never forget her. I clearly remember those years because she filled them with so much fun. Learning was fun! But as we all know, life is not filled entirely of fun and games. Grade 1 would be the first year of many where life taught me the gift of adversity. (Adversity is not a bad thing.)
Second and third grade was spent in a “special class” called the A-Class. We were essentially a part of the school, but separate, and because of this separation, the other kids looked down on us. It wasn’t their fault, nor the fault of the well-meaning teachers who wanted to give kids like myself a better chance at learning and practicing our brains to think, take in, and digest information like everyone else's. It’s human nature, although it did take me a few years to understand this.
Seventh grade handed me one of the greatest life lessons ever. A teacher took an immediate dislike to me from the first day I entered her class. Without a “How’s your mother?” she put me in the corner of her classroom and told me I was unteachable, that I should make peace with the fact I’d end up no better than a street sweep.
At the time, her words and disdain for my inability to learn conventionally almost broke me. She refused to teach me English, sighed whenever she marked my work, handing it back with huge fat F’s scrawled across the pages, and pretty much protected any child who decided to pick on me for being dumb or stupid.

Read the entire article in the September 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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