Friday, May 6, 2011

Dyslexic "Jokes"

Last night, while my professor was handing out our exams, he said something to the effect of "Write legibly. Don't be all dyslexic and write all over the page so I can't read it." A number of students chuckled.

Now I don't want to be one of those over-sensitive people who are always noticing when someone could possibly be slighting them. Many times I just let the dyslexic jokes go by, realizing that most people don't actually understand the disorder and that it is more than just writing letters backwards or jumbling up letters. But I have to wonder whether I should be speaking up more and correcting people so that they know that their jokes are hurtful and more to the point, incorrect. Sure some dyslexics write backwards when they are learning to read and write. In fact, I am excellent at writing in mirror image. However, that is not the crux of the disorder-- the disorder is about manipulating units of language and breaking down words into component parts. Sure there are other characteristics that a dyslexic may or may not exhibit, but it is not a disorder of writing words backwards or jumbling words on a page-- it is deeper than that and I am starting to wonder whether we need to have a campaign to finally set the record straight and stop these stupid and pointless "jokes."

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