Letter: Fighting dyslexia

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The Independent Culture
Sir: After reading about the high proportion of offenders in prisons being dyslexic ("Word blind", 7 November) I felt compelled to write. I can see all too clearly how dyslexia can lead to criminality. I come from a middle-class background, yet because my dyslexia was never acknowledged until well into my adulthood, my increasing frustration at school led me to play truant at 14.

Without help there comes a point where you cannot function in the classroom. This, coupled with being constantly told you are being lazy, belligerent, difficult or stupid, does not encourage you to stay at school. Outside school you are exposed to all sorts of bad influences.

From when he was six, I became convinced that my son was dyslexic. For the next three years, until we had him diagnosed privately (having got nowhere through his school), I saw him enter a spiral of self-destruction.

His frustrations made him angry and aggressive. The more alienated he felt at school, the more he tried to alienate himself from us. I am convinced that by the time he was 13 or 14, he would have had some scrape with the law.

We now educate our son privately, where he is getting the right level of help and support. I feel I have my son back. The stunting of life, the denial of an opportunity to strive or even hope is an injustice. It is in all our interests to ensure this does not happen.


London SE4