Autoethnographies of Educators Learning and Teaching With/In [Dis]ability
Edited By Philip Smith
Chapter 2: Who Knew School Could Be So Cruel? Tales of a Learning Disabled Student at an Institution of Higher Learning by dené granger
My first memory of a dyslexic moment, prior to a diagnosis, is from 1st grade, when our first graded assignment was returned to us. I was quite pleased with my 76, as I couldn't even count that high. Patiently completing the assignment, I double and triple checked my work. My care was evident in the fact that I was one of the last ones to complete the assignment. It was one of those worksheets where we had to fill-in-the-blanks using a word-bank. Then I saw my peers’ grades. I didn't realize that we had to copy the words letter for letter, exactly as they appeared in the word-bank. If I had known that, things would have been different.
Probably near that same year, I asked my mother how to spell "maw-maw.” I was writing a letter to my grandmother, and my mother told me she wasn't sure how to spell it: Try m-a-w-m-a-w; does that look right? She wasn't sure. It didn't look right to me at all, but I didn't understand how to translate a French sounding alphabet to my English frame of reference for spelling.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. In Southwest Louisiana, a lot of people still speak French, and my great-grandparents did not speak English. When my mom was a schoolgirl, speaking French at school was against the rules. ← 37 | 38 → Many teachers would use this as an excuse to bully students. Some would hit the student’s hand with a...
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