Dyslexic British MP Called 'Stupid' for Bad Spellings, Reveals What it's Like to Live with Challenges
Labour MP Peter Kyle, who is often lampooned on Twitter for spelling errors, called Twitter an 'unforgiving' place for people living with 'unseen challenges'
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A politician from United Kingdom has taken to Twitter to talk about his "acute dyslexia" while also asking netizens to take it easy on the strolling of his bad spellings in social media posts.
Labour MP Peter Kyle, who is often lampooned on Twitter for spelling errors, called Twitter an "unforgiving" place for people living with "unseen challenges", adding that often it can "sneering or brutal". He went on to further explain what it is like to live with acute dyslexia.
I want to say something about living with acute dyslexia because Twitter can be a pretty unforgiving place for people with unseen challenges.Every day I get picked up on something I write. Mostly it’s kindly or humorous which is appreciated. Sometimes it’s sneering or brutal— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) October 27, 2019
"The last time I was assessed, when I was 30, my reading and comprehension age was estimated at 8 years and 3 months," Kyle wrote. "For some things, like word comprehension, I was in the bottom 1 percentile. For others, like word association, the top 1 percentile," he added.
What’s it like? Imagine a car where the gearbox (my eyes) isn’t connected properly to the engine (brain).Sometimes words are just shapes. However much I try to engage my brain, the connection just isn’t there. I can see the shape but it simply has no meaning. Frustrating, huh— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) October 27, 2019
"I don’t know why but some words are worse...I was given a hard time recently for spelling ‘lose’ ‘loose’. It’s one of my common ones,"
"When I write it now......I still don’t recognise the right spelling by its meaning, I get it right because I’ve learned the shape. If I write ‘loose’ I now know it looks wrong, and the most likely letter to delete is an ‘o’ and when I do the shape looks right. Sadly I can’t do that for every word!"
The thread went on to detail how he was recently picked on for misspelling "border" as "boarder". "Most people were forgiving, hundreds were not: ‘thick’ / ‘can’t be an MP if you can’t even spell’ / ‘stupid’ / ‘resign and let someone with a brain take over’ etc."
Kyle went on to narrate the harsh treatment he had faced as a child, stating that the constant online bullying reminded him of a time was he wasn't as "resilient". "At school a teacher forced me to stand and read Shakespeare. I did it one painful word at a time," he wrote, adding, "The teacher and some kids thought it very amusing. Most looked at the floor in embarrassment or pity".
Recently I spelled ‘border’ ‘boarder’. Most people were forgiving, hundreds were not: ‘thick’ / ‘can’t be an MP if you can’t even spell’ / ‘stupid’ / ‘resign and let someone with a brain take over’ etc.— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) October 27, 2019
However, the Hove and Portslade MP who was elected in 2015 said he had not given up and despite hurdles, he had reached where he is today. Though Kyle left school without finishing, he returned at the age of 25 to complete his degree. He went on to get a PhD from Sussex University. It took him six attempts to before getting accepted.
Recently, a report by British Dyslexia Association found that schools in UK were failing to diagnose up to 80 percent of children living with dyslexia. As per a report in the BBC, approximately 870,000 out of England's 8.7 million school children has dyslexia. And a per data given by the Department for Education just about 150,000 were diagnosed.
"Above all I know I must work harder than most to achieve the same: prepping, writing, corresponding, reading...everything! This isn’t depressing, it’s liberating," he wrote.
He detailed how he used cream paper when reading a speech to reduce stumbles, a known technique employed by dyslexic people.
But don’t get me wrong, most teachers and staff were kind. I had loads of friends. I hated education, understandably, but had a lot of affection for my school (Felpham Comprehensive) - I hope that makes sense!— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) October 27, 2019
He also reprimanded people for suggesting that he get a member of staff to check his tweets before sending them, saying he would rather have them spend time "something valuable like helping the people who turn to us in times of need" instead.
So if you’re part of the spelling police there’s 649 other MPs out there, enjoy!If sincerity is what matters most to you, then welcome!And if after all that you still want to hurl insults the very least you can do is get my name right......it’s Dr Thick to you!— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) October 27, 2019
His tweets have been widely read and shared on Twitter with many cheering for the MP for revealing his inspirational story. the thread brought forth many encouraging words. People shared their own experiences with dyslexia or raising children with dyslexia.
Thank you for this. I will show my 11 year old tomorrow. As a point that dyslexia doesnt have to hold her back. This is an example of her writing, makes perfect sense (Roman jewels). pic.twitter.com/HKlm1Txmyj— Caroline 1 in 46.5 million (@PointlessBrexit) October 28, 2019
What an inspirational thread .Thank you for sharing. I've supported many adults with dyspraxia and dyslexia to find employment and it's tough. But awareness is key.You sharing this goes a long way to address that.— ⚫Jayne Phoenix #FBPE #GetBrexitGone🔶#FAB (@DoreJayne) October 28, 2019
This is a good reminder and am sorry for the flak you get. I never appreciated how hard it was until I worked with a dyslexic colleague who would spend hours proofing stuff and be bitterly upset when mistakes got through. She worked twice as hard as I did and opened my eyes.— Isabel Hardman (@IsabelHardman) October 27, 2019
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