The film The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, a selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, looks into the world of dyslexia from a variety of different points of views.
The film sheds light on dyslexia with experiences of a college student, a graduate student, and a middle school student, as well as interview with a few high powered public figures with dyslexia, like Charles Schwab and Richard Branson. There are also interspersed interviews with experts from the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.
This film, which uses interviews with people with dyslexia to help demystify dyslexia, has little drawings to help illustrate points. For example, when the people from the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity are discussing their dyslexia information card, which is entitled ” Could You Be Dyslexic?” ( http://www.dyslexia.yale.edu/couldyoubedyslexic.html ), each fact that they read is illustrated on the screen for the viewer.
This helps anyone who is a more visual learner, like many dyslexics, rather than an auditory learner, to understand the material.
The earlier the diagnosis, the better.
For example, for the college student who was interviewed, he was functionally illiterate in the 4th grade. He had struggled with his poor spelling his whole life. His mother, a teacher, was excited to teach him to read. However, he struggled with reading. She took him to a doctor to be tested for dyslexia in the first grade, but the doctor told her that they do not diagnose dyslexia until at least the third grade, so they had to wait for a diagnosis. Once he got the diagnosis, he was able to get extra time on exams and learn other study skills. Had he been diagnosed earlier, then he would have had more time to work on his reading.
“People with dyslexia “just [need] to own their dyslexia.”
According to the film dyslexia is one of those things that will always be with people – you can’t just fix it and be over it. There will always be challenges.
For example, a graduate student that The Big Picture interviewed said – you just need to learn the best way that you can. The graduate student, for example, writes out multiple note cards for every exam that she takes. She says that while others might think it childish to write out note cards, she will be the one getting the good grade on the exam.
Overall, I found the the film The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia to be an insightful film into the world of dyslexia. It has illustrations for people that are more visual in learning, and it talks about the positive things that people with dyslexia can achieve, like being entrepreneurs or attorneys. The film helps to show that dyslexia is not an educational death sentence – it is actually a helping hand. People with dyslexia are generally more creative. They think outside of the box and are able to see the whole picture at once.
By Kerry Ayers-Smith for RiSE Scholarship Foundation, Inc.