James’s writing assignment was open-ended in terms of theme, and structure. Students had plenty of leeways to take it in any direction. James had recently spent some time in a bible study which had focused on Galatians, and specifically chapter four. James was drawn to verse twenty-eight of that chapter which suggests we are children of promise. James wanted to use this to compose an essay, which would argue that dyslexia was not a disqualifying for being a child of promise.
Jimmy has brown hair and loves baseball. He knows all kinds of facts and history on the sport. He is a fanatic for the Kansas City Royals, who has only watched on TV, despite living less than an hour from the ball park. He wears his Royals hat to school nearly every day. Jimmy is energetic and friendly, loves to play especially involving games or using his imagination. To know him without knowing his learning difference you would never suspect it. Now Jimmy does try to cover up his spelling and at times is embarrassed by his scores. This frustrates him and he tends to not really put much effort into his spelling.
“The sun in the west was a drop of burning gold that slid near and nearer the sill of the world.”
—Lord of the Flies, William Golding
William Golding’s use of metaphor for the reader who understands the figurative references is beautiful. But someone like me who saw words like “burning gold” or “nearer the sill of the world” became easily confused. Images of “flaming gold” and “a window sill” do not bring great meaning or enjoyment from Golding’s choice of expression. As someone who did not get this sort of thing, my strategy was to read without gathering meaning.
It was not long before my mother was overwhelmed with her situation and with my problems. She was pregnant again and couldn’t conceive of managing with me around. That is when she put in an orphanage so that I could receive the kinds of support I needed. So, at two years of age, I was alone in an orphanage, unable to talk, and walking was difficult. Everyone assumed I was cognitively involved. Months after I arrived in the orphanage my mother died in childbirth along with my only biological sibling.
Lynn found help for her children, but that was not enough as the progress was just too slow. She couldn’t afford financially to do any more, so decided her best option was to offer her children the help they needed. She got the training to tutor her own children. Lynn worked with them for several years building those underlying skills they were missing making it hard for them to learn to read and spell.