Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dyslexia Does Not Mean Stupid

My son Rex is a bright little boy - articulate, intelligent, and a born leader. He also suffers from mild dyslexia and receives learning support at his school in Bahrain.
Should we have to move back to live in Northern Ireland I'd like Rex to go to the grammar school I went to. To get into the school requires the passing of an entrance test. The school has many pages on its website devoted to the admissions procedure - and the 'access arrangements' which ensure a child with mild dyslexia (like Rex) are given 25% extra time in the test - the same as he would expect to receive if sitting state exams such as GCSE or A Level.
The school (naturally) requires an Educational Psycologist's report stating that Rex is dyslexic before they can give him the 25% extra time.
The school has made it clear the assessment done on Rex in Bahrain is not enough to convince them my son is genuinely dyslexic. However, mysteriously, they have also said Rex cannot be assessed by an Educational Psychologist in NI just so he can sit the transfer test. (Why?)
I phoned Education Board to seek their advice. The woman I spoke to suggested that if Rex was dyslexic he was probably too stupid to go to grammar school.
Induge me with this list of Famous People with Dyslexia
Mohammad Ali, Hans Christian Anderson, Beethoven, Alexander Graham Bell, Orlando Bloom, Napoleon Bonaparte, Sir Richard Branson, Erin Brockovich, George H.W. Bush,
Julius Caesar, Prince Charles, Cher, Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, Tom Cruise
Charles Darwin, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Michael Faraday, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, Zsa Zsa Gabor,
Galileo, Danny Glover, Vincent Van Gogh, Whoopi Goldberg, John Grisham, Woody Harrelson, Steven Hawkings, Tommy Hilfiger, Dustin Hoffman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Magic Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Keira Knightley, John Lennon, Jay Leno, Carl Lewis, Steve McQueen, Michelangelo, Mozart, Jack Nicholson, Louis Pasteur
General George Patton, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Allen Poe, Nelson Rockefeller, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rodin, George C. Scott, Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone, Jackie Stewart, Quentin Tarantino, Thomas Thoreau, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, Leonardo da Vinci, Robin Williams, Woodrow Wilson, Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright and William Butler Yeats.
The only other thing these people have in common is that none of them has ever been educated in Northern Ireland.

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