I am dyslexic. Now that I am an adult and have been working with it for most of my life, it really doesn’t inconvenience me. I know how to adapt. I have learned that there is always more than one way to accomplish something.
As a kid, I didn’t know this. I remember how excited I was to start school, how much I really wanted to learn. And I also remember the shock and dismay I felt as I realized that there were some things I just couldn’t learn, no matter how hard I tried. These things seemed to come so easily to the other kids. I was afraid that maybe I was just stupid.
This was before there was as much awareness of dyslexia and learning differences as there is today. I certainly wasn’t aware of it, and neither were my parents. Fortunately, there was a teacher in the school who recognized what was going on. She started helping me learn how to develop personal learning strategies that helped me work around my dyslexia. She made a huge difference in my life.
There are a lot of my personal experiences in The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon. It is the story of Hank the homing pigeon. When he starts flight school, he’s full of enthusiasm and he does well. Then one day he is given an assignment he just can’t complete because he finds out he has no sense of direction. He is devastated! All his dreams come crashing down around him. But a wonderful teacher helps him find a tool to help him work around his difficulty and he goes on to succeed!
Here are some of the teaching points I like best about Hank’s story:
- Hank is a smart bird. This never changes – even when he discovers he has a learning difference.
- With the right approach and the right tools, Hank can accomplish what everyone else does.
- Everyone learns differently. There are so many different ways of doing things or learning things that a person can find the one that works best for him or her.
- Caring teachers can make a big difference in a student’s life. They deserve to be appreciated.
I hope Hank’s story can be helpful to others out there. It’s a great book for parents to use to encourage a child who deals with a learning difference, or to help children be more aware of friends or family that have to work with learning differences. It’s a great book for anyone who loves to learn and occasionally gets frustrated as they head for their goals. If you would like a look inside the book, check it out here, here, or here.