Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Star (short story) by Leanne Dyck

What was it like for me to be a dyslexic student in an elementary classroom? Well, kind of like this...

A Star

 I slip the yellow pencil between my thumb and index finger and coil my hand into a tight fist.

“Print your name in the right-hand corner,” the teacher said.

My right hand is…? No, this one.

I push the tip of the pencil into the paper, crave an ‘L’, then an ‘E’, then an ‘A’, then an ‘N’, and then I ran out of room. ‘E A’ is wrong. 'A' comes first. Doesn't it?

I flip the paper over. This time I make the letters smaller but my name still doesn’t fit. I set the pencil on the desk and pick up the eraser. I press down hard and swing my arm back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The marks are still there. The eraser bites a hole in the paper.

“Now draw a line connecting the dots,” the teacher says.

What dots?

My best friend—Little Miss Pretty Face—connects dot after dot after dot and draws a star. I look down at my paper—the gray smudges, the hole.


“Please bring your work to my desk,” the teacher says.

I swallow and a sharp rock scraps the sensitive lining of my stomach.

 My friend looks up from her paper over to mine. “I’ll take it to the teacher.” She covers my mistake with her star.  

Through this story, I hope to promote awareness and understanding of dyslexia.


Recommended books that promote awareness and understanding of dyslexia.

The Gift of Dyslexia
Ronald D. Davis
The Berkley Publishing Group (1994, 1997)
a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.

My Dyslexia
Philip Schultz
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Understanding Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities
Linda Siegel
Pacific Educational Press (2013)