I’m Autistic: What’s Your Excuse?

January 23, 2007

Ruth Kelly

Filed under: Special Needs In The News — rainmanlite @ 2:35 am

Okay, I suppose I have to add something about this, don’t I?

I believe that Ruth Kelly is wasting her money and harming her child. Why?

Firstly, I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that the child really has dyslexia, and whoever made the diagnosis wasn’t being leaned on because Mrs Kelly can’t accept the fact that her child isn’t hugely academically gifted. What now?

I don’t want to minimise the impact of Dyslexia on people’s lives, but we’re not talking Lenny from Of Mice And Men here. It does not affect social interactions. It does not affect behaviour, except by being a bloody nuisance. The child will be entering secondary school with a statement, and the Special Needs team will be fully aware of the problem and be ready to respond with appropriate coping measures. And there must be plenty, because I know two or three people with dyslexia who are at university and none of them went to a special school!

But what about peer pressure issues, you may cry? I know plenty of people brought it up in the letters column of the Guardian. Well,what can I say? I went to a fairly grim comprehensive and bullying was a fact of life for me there. Would I have preferred to be amongst people who saw the world as I do? Yes. Would I have been better-equipped to deal with life afterwards? No. If you’re going to be regarded as a freak, you might as well be in a position to develop some coping strategies from an early age, because it sure as hell doesn’t stop when you and your peer group turn 18! When you have any kind of Special Needs, bullying is like bad weather, traffic congestion and council tax; you might not like it, but whilst there are ways you can lessen its effect on your everyday life, it’s ultimately something you just have to put up with. Ruth Kelly’s not doing the poor kid any favours by trying to wrap him or her in cotton wool.

Update: Sorry about that, everyone. I’ll only post when I’ve had a decent night’s sleep from now on. 

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