Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Dyslexia 2

Sedang men- download Taare Zameen Par hahahaha

Maybe a bit too late but this movie is now my favourite. The storyline, the songs, the casts, they are all superb. But most importantly that it is about the daily difficulties that dyslexic children have to go through everyday, the frustration and how it is always misinterpret as being naughty - albeit more melodramatic in the film, of course.

Somehow or rather, this film brought back my childhood memory, especially when at that time no one understood what is dyslexia and how to handle dyslexic children. It was more frustration to the child himself and I can relate to that as I myself couldn't understand what is wrong with me. Am I stupid or just plain lazy? Why I can think all the answers and yet I couldn't score in exams? I don't see numbers, I see jumble. Numbers tend to move around on the blackboard. I have to force myself to concentrate. I had difficulties to differentiate between 6 and 9, b and d or p and q. What was wrong with me??

Dyslexic child tends to have bad handwriting. Mine was not so bad and it's probably because we had 'writing' class when we were in primary 1-3. It took me ages to train to write as normal as possible. I don't have a distinct style of writing. When most people writing slant to the right, mine was to the left. But we were blessed with a very understanding teacher who never scold on our style. Right or left doesn't matter as long as they are readable. It was just a learning process to find our style, she said. But my learning process continued even now. But, I can easily write roman alphabet from right to left or mirror writing easily.

My late dad used to say that I have bad body posture and balance. I fall easily, a klutz, accident prone and can't even ride a bike properly. What was wrong with me? I started reading that bad balance could be caused by damage cochlea or semicircular canals or such. Did I have bad balance because of this? Do I have a bad hearing? I started to believe that I slowly losing my hearing.

Mom on the other hand always scolded me for having hyper-active imagination. I can sit alone and daydreaming of anything and everything I came into contact, see or hear. Everything around me could trigger my imagination. "Berangan je!" She would shout. Kids my days were not allowed to over-berangan. Berangan won't put food on the table. Painting or writing won't make you rich. The worst you could be is a teacher. Mak ai! I became hard-hearted. Keras hati keras kepala.

These doubts always linger during my school days. Was I stupid? Was I bad? Was I too naughty? So I always strive to be average and even that was a struggle. When badminton fever spread at school, I don't participate because I was never good at sport. I always joke that I have bad eye and hand coordination. I can never judge the distance of the ball to hit it. It was embarrassing but I always cover it with jokes of my inability to play sports. I concentrate on indoor games. Games that I can control.

Friends sometimes told me that I'm anti-climax whenever they told me their problems. It was strange because I can seems to understand their problems and found alternative solutions. Only now I understand that I can sometimes think out of the box. I used to think that I have simple mind. And they used to think that I'm strange.

Unfortunately, no one detected that I was dyslexic earlier.

So watching this movie really brings back the memory on the awkwardness, struggle and self-doubt when growing up, apart from the normal struggle being a teenager. Society have their own set of rules of what we should be and how we should behave. Break out from this rules and you become an outcast. Although we can conform to a certain set of rules set by our society we should always remember that every being, or most importantly every child is different. We learn in different way and different pace. We may not excel in academic but doesn't mean that we don't excel in life.

I have come to terms with myself. Accepted that yes, like some 10% of world population that I am dyslexic. Having learning difficulties doesn't mean that I am stupid. Just a bit slow, that's all.

Have patience :-)