Here’s a snippet from an interview with Kim Firmston, author of Lorimer’s Stupid, a novel in the SideStreets series for reluctant readers, which covers teen angst, physical activity, and art. It also touches
on more serious issues like the misdiagnosis of ADHD and dyslexia and preserving self-esteem, even
in the face of parental disapproval.
What were your experiences growing up with dyslexia?
I was diagnosed with a learning
disability at an early age. I went to a special school in Edmonton for
the first two years of my life. I really liked school back then, but
even at that I struggled with reading. In Grade 3 I ended up at a
regular school, and that’s when things really fell apart. I had a hard
time. It wasn’t until I went to summer school that year that I actually
learned to read well. But even back then I loved reading and writing. I
wrote every day and I read mountains of comic books. In grade four I
went to a new school and my teacher was told I had a learning
disability. As a result I was sent to the back of the classroom to
colour for the year. In my teacher’s mind, having a learning disability
meant one simply could not learn. Later during my journey through
school I met up with some wonderful teachers who were able to help me
discover the best ways for me to learn – even if they were different
from everyone else’s. Now I tell people I have dyslexia right off the
bat. That way when they say, “Good afternoon.” and I blurt out “Good
morning.” we can laugh it off. Dyslexia always seems to make the
opposite thing come out of my mouth. It can be really frustrating, like
when I’m trying to give directions, but most of the time it’s just good
for a giggle and no big deal.