Is he Dyslexic? is a story for every African parent out there who has the mentality that if their child’s performance in school is very poor then he or she must be under a spell which is what Mrs Badejo, Tife’s English teacher from the story, gave as her candid advice to Tife’s mum after informing her about her son’s poor performance in school.
“Go spiritual, that’s the truth I can say to you. Your son’s case might be spiritual. Your village members might be after his success in life. Who knows? it could be that old woman in your husband’s family” Mrs Badejo voiced out. (An excerpt from chapter one of the story)
Judging by the fact that Africans especially African mothers would in most cases attribute their child’s poor performance in school as something spiritual, we can now see why Mrs Badejo’s candid advice was what it is. It’s an African mentality and it needs to be corrected.
A child being dyslexic is not his or her fault and such children should not be stigmatized for something they didn’t put on themselves. The so-called teachers themselves, sometimes don’t help matters or aren’t patient (long suffering) enough to help the children under their care and supervision just like Mrs Badejo from the story.
Well, as much as teachers have their part to play so do the parents. The parents have a huge role to play. Parents like Mr and Mrs Davies from the story should be emulated in an African society as ours. They tried their best and didn’t give up on their child even when they were fed up with the poor performance of their child in school. How many parents nowadays would be that strong and patient? How many would speak good words to their children even when the whole world speaks otherwise? How many parents would fight for the education of their child?
It all starts from when they are young; the stage when they can be easily controlled. Tife could have given up on education at that young stage in life if his parents didn’t intervene right in time. Though he was very much interested in what he loved doing; watching his favorite debate TV show which actually helped him better his academics later on, education at school is very important especially for a dyslexic person like him.
Dyslexia doesn’t mean that a child wasn’t created for education, that’s a big lie! Every human being has the right to education and dyslexic persons aren’t any less of a human being, are they?
To tell the truth, dyslexic persons often turn out to be the most brilliant and outstanding students. Salma Hayek, Keira Knightley and Tom Cruise (some of the Hollywood brightest stars) were dyslexic even Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking’s, Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso which are some of the people who possessed the greatest mind and talent in history were dyslexic. Yes, that was the case for Tife as well (he became outstanding) but as Doctor Obi said from the story treatment is easy if detected early.
“One thing you must know is that Dyslexia is not a disease and it has no cure but it can be treated. Treatment is easy if detected early just like Tife’s case. Tife’s learning disorder is 100% able to be corrected.” (An excerpt by Doctor Obi in chapter 2 of the story)
It can be treated but it becomes easy when detected early. Tife’s case of dyslexia wasn’t the very critical one unlike what some other persons around the world are going through today, some other persons find it very difficult to see what they read, that is, it appears blurry to them and as such they use audio notes as a means of learning. Some can’t even speak very well and they pronounce words very wrongly. Due to these, writing becomes a difficult thing for them to do.
No matter the case of dyslexia of that child, as a teacher and a parent don’t give up on that child. You are their responsibility. All it takes is your perseverance, your patience and strong mindedness.
“He will not lose interest in learning anymore provided you help him as his parents and he gets help from his teachers as well. The both of you and his teachers are very necessary in his life at this moment” Doctor Obi concluded. (An excerpt from chapter 2 of the story)
From the story we realized how academically sound Tife became. His learning disorder was properly treated.
“…this boy is dyslexic but it’s not a death sentence rather should anyone do anything to lower his morale down; it will only worsen condition,” Doctor Obi said to Tife’s parents. (An excerpt from chapter 2 of the story)
It has no cure BUT IT CAN BE TREATED.
Do you know of any child who is having similar symptoms like Tife from the story or more critical than his? if yes, then take the child and visit a doctor for more details. Remember, it is easily treated when detected early, that’s the truth, so don’t waste time and stop the African mentality of that child being under a spell.
Seek medical attention early! Be there for that child as a parent as well.
In the comment section, kindly share what your own review of the story is.
University of Lagos, Lagos State, NIGERIA