I have to recommend the BBC3 documentary Kara Tointon: Don’t Call Me Stupid. It was shown in the UK as part of a Born Survivors Season – aptly named for those who have dyslexia and have difficulty reading, spelling and writing in an education system and world that requires all these things. The episode follows the UK actress Kara Tointon as she discovers more about her dyslexia.
I have watched the documentary twice now, once with my husband and then with my three children, two of whom have been diagnosed with dyslexia.
As a parent I found it emotional viewing – the tears welled up in my eyes on a number of occasions. But be encouraged, as I was, that you join an army of understanding and supportive parents, like Kara’s parents.
For my own “survivors” it was an opportunity to see someone like them who was cheerful, attractive, optimistic and determined. As they entered Kara’s life, there was an air of dignity in their comments that lifted the stigma of not being good readers and writers. They could relate so well to her experience, particularly the diagnostic testing.
But the documentary also features someone who was not diagnosed with dyslexia as a young boy until much later in his life. His survival story is tinged with sadness for all those people whose life story is similar. It makes “Don’t Call Me Stupid” important viewing for the population who are uneducated about dyslexia to begin their education – for them to raise a red flag and consider the cause when they may have misunderstood a person and called him or her stupid.
So, if you’ve reached the point of frustration and wish there was some way this BBC documentary could be aired in the USA, be thankful for YouTube:
P.S. Don’t forget to watch all four parts.