Dyslexia is a spectrum of learning disorders that involves difficulty reading due to a difficulty in associating the sounds of speech or numerical values with written words and numbers.
Making that connection is called decoding.
It can make schooling very difficult for children, especially as behaviors associated with dyslexia are often attributed to the student being inattentive or unintelligent unless a dyslexia diagnosis is made.
English teacher Jane Broadis shared a poem by one of her students who is dyslexic. They were exploring poems that can be read backwards, often called "reverse poetry." The poems have a different meaning when read in one direction versus the other.
Not to be confused with palindromes, which can also be read forward or backward, but will have the same meaning both ways.
The poem, titled "Dyslexia," paints a very negative picture of dyslexia when read forward.
When read bottom-to-top, however, it tells a very different story:
Today in Y6 we looked at poems that could be read forwards & backwards. I was stunned by this one written by one o… https://t.co/WHoPVaBEAv— Jane Broadis (@Jane Broadis)1551288367.0
For anyone struggling to make out the photo, AO's poem reads:
"I am stupid"
"Nobody would ever say"
"I have a talent for words"
"I was meant to be great.
"That is wrong.
"I am a failure."
"Nobody could ever convince me to think that"
"I can make it in life."
"NOW READ UP!
Twitter users are overflowing with praise for the student's poem, and its message.
@Jb5Jane @RobBrydon That's brilliant. You sound like a great teacher too. The encouragement and confidence you give… https://t.co/oSlbwoMySh— Toby larone (@Toby larone)1551292832.0
@Jb5Jane What great work! Well done. When you are a famous author, you can look back on this day. (and well done Ms… https://t.co/i3YmkPyVdR— Natasha Haberdasher (@Natasha Haberdasher)1551290898.0
@Jb5Jane I absolutely love this! Bravo 👏 👏👏👏 what amazing young mind with such a gift with words. This was the best… https://t.co/jwnM2G1YXt— PINK (@PINK)1551338619.0
We love this poem by a 10 year old pupil in another school. This is inspirational, not just to children but to adul… https://t.co/ltiyM1DYxW— Magna Carta Primary Academy (@Magna Carta Primary Academy)1551296634.0
Many of AO's fellow dyslexics related to the poem.
@Jb5Jane @RobBrydon Wonderful! I was called stupid by my year 6 teacher. 3 years later diagnosed with Dyslexia. We… https://t.co/Z7O7s18boE— John Hendrick (@John Hendrick)1551292872.0
This is how I felt at school before I got my diagnosis. I never understood how other kids could do the alphabet or… https://t.co/ylhTIFXFae— Jules1701D (@Jules1701D)1551296259.0
@John84Hendrick @Jb5Jane @RobBrydon I wasn’t diagnosed or find out until my 30’s. It was like a true 💡 moment. So m… https://t.co/ofjiV7ExDZ— Colmarie #ProEU #NHSLove ✋ (@Colmarie #ProEU #NHSLove ✋)1551303196.0
Absolutely beautiful ❤️ wish I’d seen something this inspirational when I was diagnosed dyslexic. You must be a tru… https://t.co/XR8z3Lv5ee— Kaya Scodelario (@Kaya Scodelario)1551298325.0
@Jb5Jane @miiisaaaki_chan This makes me really happy. Im dyslexic and I went to a private elementary and was often… https://t.co/21oI58aSab— Aj loves Guy Sensei (@Aj loves Guy Sensei)1551337198.0
@Jb5Jane @KelliAgodon As someone with dyslexia and then having to fight for my daughter’s diagnosis, I love this poem.— Veronica Hosking (@Veronica Hosking)1551369570.0
@Jb5Jane My childhood consisted of having to learn things twice. 1st so I would get it & a 2nd time so I could "per… https://t.co/9ZIgLrEYjn— Chris Edward (@Chris Edward)1551341775.0
@Jb5Jane As a #dyslexic thank you 2 ur student & 2 u for sharing this. Anything that shines a positive light on… https://t.co/m7W6XGUn1e— Colmarie #ProEU #NHSLove ✋ (@Colmarie #ProEU #NHSLove ✋)1551302952.0
It seems from her poem that AO is beginning to learn that how she feels about herself and her self-worth are ultimately more important than what others think about her.
Doing things differently than other people doesn't mean you're doing them badly. And needing help doesn't make you less of a person.