Mittelstadt students deal with dyslexia through poetry
The words flow so smoothly.
“Dyslexia is like a blueprint that I have to finish. It’s like a disease that never goes away. When I miss a word it feels like a tower that I have to destroy. Reading out loud is hard. It’s like being stuck in traffic on a huge highway with angry old men honking at me. When I draw, I forget about towers and honking horns. I am in my own world of Paper Craft People and me.”
It's hard to imagine those words came from 9-year-old Peyton Bolden, a third grader at Mittelstadt Elementary School who has come a long way since being diagnosed with dyslexia one year ago.
“These students [with dyslexia] have trouble in reading, writing and spelling and, in some cases, even in all three,” said Mittelstadt reading specialist Susan Collier. “I tell my students, however, that they all have a gift in something, whether they already know what this is or not, and sometimes it may be just waiting to be discovered.
"More often than not, people with dyslexia never get treated because they either don’t know or find ways to work past their disability," Collier continued. "My expectations for my students are very high despite their disorder because it is that confidence in them and their abilities that helps them get past it.”
Collier works with students to help them overcome challenges caused by dyslexia. This year, she created a unique project where she asked the students to share their feelings on dealing with dyslexia through poetry. Bolden’s poem, titled "Dyslexia Blueprint," was entered into the Creative Communication Poetry Contest last fall and subsequently selected as a finalist among thousands across the United States and Canada, and the only one from Texas.
“We are so proud of Peyton for working so hard to overcome and succeed no matter the struggle, as well as for his reading specialist, Mrs. Collier, who has inspired and encouraged her students to turn something that is so difficult into something good,” Teressa Voltz, associate director and instructional officer of ELA in Klein ISD, said in a news release.
“He loves to draw," added Felicia Murry, Peyton's mother. "Especially when he is frustrated or needs some personal time, he goes into his room and sometimes is in there for hours.
"It has become a part of him and is something he just loves to do," she said.
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