by Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.
In 2013, the IDA Alabama Branch (ALIDA) held its first art contest for students and adults with dyslexia. Individuals were asked to describe in words and art what dyslexia means to them. Through this contest, ALIDA wishes to honor the gifts of individuals with dyslexia. As a branch, we spend much time providing professional development to teachers, parents, and professionals in the educational field. We expend resources to further awareness of the impact and prevalence of dyslexia to the public. We provide time and energy working at the state level to engage in a state wide initiative around MSLE teacher training and legislative efforts. As part of our mission, we wish to honor and recognize gifts and visions of those impacted with dyslexia and embrace all aspects of the individual. The works submitted to the contest were overwhelming and amazing!
Due to the response in 2013, ALIDA again held the art contest in 2014. We were again amazed by the entries. Below, please enjoy the art work and explanations. We compiled all of the entries into PDF Power Points on our website to honor all that have taken their time to submit their work. Click here to see more.
Grades 3 -7 First Place, Kaia
“This is a piece about how because of my dyslexia when I read a book, I see pictures instead of words, and how I put myself in the story. The symbols on the book represent how I perceive letters on a page.” -Kala
Grades 3 – 7 Runner-Up, Matthew
“Sometimes when I read the words on a page the letters jump all over. The photograph shows how it feels when I read. All the words are different sizes and look out of place. When I try to read a large novel it is a challenge for me, but I try hard.” -Matthew
Grades 8-12, First Place, Noah
“Finger prints tell who you are, and who you are tells what you might be when you’re grown. What if you have trouble learning? What might happen? What if you don’t get help? You might not like learning which can effect what you might be when you grow up. So I know what I am meant to be because every finger print shows a little more me every time. Now I’ve been helped, I know what it is I want to be when I grow up, because you can never get somewhere without an education and ways to conquer my dyslexia.” – Noah
Grades 8-12, Runner-Up, Grace
“The maze itself represents my jumbled thoughts, which are one of the many side effects of my dyslexia. When looking at the maze some people see a bird taking off. If you turn the work upside down, the bird looks paralyzed. Each time someone tells me what they see in my maze, I make a story out of it. With the bird, my ideas wander and fly, but dyslexia makes trying to express them verbally like I’m walking through heavy, dense snow. Most people say it looks like a burning house, but I prefer to see the house as a representation of my dyslexia and the fire is my ability to cope with it.” – Grace
Adults First Place Katie
“The green leaves in this painting represent the world and the red leaf represents us who are Dyslexic. Every Dyslexic I have ever known was very colorful and creative. Where as everyone else is creative in their own way, the Dyslexic mind is unique and creative. And most Dyslexics have always been shy and for me who is extremely shy, I often times find myself feeling small as the small red leaf looks. But even small, colorful people can do great things.” – Katie
Runner-Up Christopher and Christy
“The photograph that was painted can be symbolic of the challenges that exist for children, teens and adults who are still growing and learning every day not only what it means to be human living this life but also to do so with the impacts of dyslexia. Watering the flower is symbolic of this. All the steps depicted can symbolize that there are many ways to be intelligent and the strengths–‐related to your particular type of intelligence while facing challenges–‐related that come with it.” – Christopher and Christy
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