Tuesday, September 23, 2014
A Boy Has Fed His Dog Too Much:
Because he is intensely dyslexic, Ansel's comprehension far outpaces his decoding abilities (as they say in the teaching business). In other words, he would like to be reading books written for young adults, particularly graphic novels full of exciting violence, horror and sex, but his reading skills are not yet up to it.
I've debated mentioning the dyslexia issue here, because it is my son's story more than mine. But lets be honest, nearly everything I write here is an overshare of a sort and at least a slight invasion of my kids' privacy. I do always try to be mindful about not divulging anything that is too personal or beyond the usual ridiculousness of parenting and childhood in general.
I think dyslexia is a different issue however. Discussing it is unlike revealing that my kids wipe snot in the crevices of the couch (not that either one would do that, EVER) Dyslexia is just part of who he is, and the more that he and the rest of us remove the stigma from the term, the better. Of course dyslexia is not the same for everyone, nor is it a perfect description for anyone's situation.
In Ansel's case, it is not just a diagnosis of a learning delay, although it definitely does mean that learning to read has been a horrible pain in the neck for him. He is a good example of the dyslexic as a person with a different style of brain. Ansel is very bright (I know... so says his mother) probably both because his brain is different from the norm, and because he has been doing a huge amount work to learn the stuff that comes easily to most people.
At any rate, as a result of his reading challenges, I have force him to read a "baby book" out loud every night in addition to my readings of more mature stuff that he actually wants to read. Despite a library of kids books that threatens to swamp our apartment, it is still a challenge to pick out a book that he will actually enjoy slogging his way through.
Last night we reread a "A Fish Out of Water" (By Helen Palmer and P.D. Eastman) and I think it is one of the exceptions where the language is simple enough, but the spare plot and humor is classic enough to not be babyish. A boy feeds his pet fish too much, despite having been warned not to do so, and disaster ensues. He ends up calling the police and the fire department to deal with his rapidly swelling pet. All the adults repeatedly exclaim, "A boy has fed his fish too much!"
Yesterday as usual, Ansel and I had been discussing the possibility of getting a pet dog someday, and I had observed that given the family allergies, it would have to be something like a Chihuahua, very small and washable. Ansel told me in no uncertain terms that he did not like Chihuahuas.
In perhaps a moment of parental perversity last night, I drew a boy standing in the lobby of the our kids' school with a giant dog. "A boy has fed his dog too much" doesn't have quite the alliterative quality as "A boy has fed his fish too much." "A boy has dished his dog too much" isn't quite as good either....
And the perspective in the drawing is a mess, but the dog is kind of cute. Ansel found it amusing enough this morning.