A bike ride
When I was a child I didn’t know there was anything wrong. In fact, neither did my parents. There were some peculiarities. I started to say words before a year old; cat, dog… But then I stopped. I didn’t speak. My parents booked me into see a specialist, but he found nothing wrong. I was hearing fine. I would eventually just speak.
I did. One day I turned to my parents and asked them to pass the bread, or something like it. The important thing was that I said the sentence. There was no more grunting and pointing, no single words, instead I spoke in sentences.
The doctors smiled and nodded, I was normal.
Except that when I started school there was a problem. I couldn’t read. Mum tried, Dad tried, I got bored of Jane and Paul. I had no wish to know whether the bucket they carried contained water or not. I lost interest. New tuition was brought in. It was suggested that I was subnormal.
My Mum stormed the school at that suggestion and managed to keep me out of the special class by showing them that I understood more than most. I was asked questions and I answered them correctly. More help was brought in. At this point I must have been eight. Friends were something I watched in the playground. People interacted and ran around. I watched them. I wondered at them. They looked similar to me but when I tried to join in they would laugh and point.
I suffered in silence. The school was no help. I talked to a teacher. She said she would do something about it but then disappeared before the next term. We planted a tree for her in front of reception and the head-teacher said she was disturbed. Throughout it all I tried to get to grips with Jane and Paul. Did it matter that they had lost a dog?
I stayed silent and then the government stepped in. They decided to make the three tier system into a two tier system. I was going to ‘big’ school after the summer.
I despaired. My Mum cried and my Dad became silent. The laughter that had flowed with ease was now a struggle. I sank deeper into myself. I had few friends, if any. I was eleven and still unable to read.
That summer my parents cancelled the holiday. We had two objectives; to learn to ride and to learn to read.
Now, of course, I know that there are links between balance and combatting dyslexia, but that summer, every time I fell I learnt a new word. My writing was still bad but as I balanced I learnt to read. I followed Black Beauty as he struggled through life, then I watched in awe as a lion broke a stone table and finally, that summer, I read about a house filled with one hundred and one Dalmatians.
I started ‘big’ school and I was behind but I caught up. A new world had been opened up to me, a world that would let me climb Everest and wield magic, run with werewolves and cower from ghosts. I had no idea that it would become my future but the world of books and the written word have defined me ever since I got onto that bike and learnt to ride.
Kate Murray is busy trying to write her way out of dyslexia. She has had short story collections published and is now writing her first novel. She also writes for children under the pseudonym Rachel Mcintyre.
Website link – https://kate0murray.wordpress.com/
Children’s writing website – https://rachelmcintyreauthor.wordpress.com/