Real life stories – Ian Currin
My mum took me all over the place to find a reason for my reading problems. I went to speech therapy, occupational therapy, reading therapy, educational psychologists, a neuro-psychologist and optometrists. They all said I was clever and they could see no reason for me not being able to read, some of them suggested I was lazy or uninterested. In Grade 7 I went to a conventional school, which I really didn’t enjoy. The kids were horrible and picked on me for my reading. They called me all sorts of names, including retard. I felt sad and unwanted. It was awful.
It was in Grade 7 that my mum took me to Sandra Stark, who diagnosed me as dyslexic. This was one of the best things ever, because we finally had a reason for my reading problems. It took a lot of pressure off me.
The main reason why I went to school in Grade 7 was because I wanted to go to Weston as a boarder in Grade 8. My mum felt that the jump from home-school to boarding school was too big to do in one step.
This is my third year at Weston. I have a computer program and laptop onto which my text books have been loaded, so that I can be independent of others. I have concessions for exams, including a reader and scribe. I have passed every year since I have been here and I am proud of this achievement because reading is so very difficult for me.
I am also a termly boarder so have to cope with a lot of the academics in my own way. My friends have asked thousands of times what words look like to me and my answer is, it looks like Chinese writing does to you. It’s just lines and shapes.
I really enjoy Weston because it is an Agricultural school. I have made good friends who accept me for who I am and who also share similar interests. I get to do things like endurance riding, showing cattle and spending time on the farm. I have done well with my horse riding and last year got my KwaZulu Natal colours for endurance riding, which meant I got half colours at school for Equestrian. I have also taken part at the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg showing bulls. This year I will be taking a bull we bred on our own farm, which I am excited about.
Just one of the stories in This Is Me