The Double D: Deaf and Dyslexic: Bradley’s Story

‘Teacher’s shouted at me when I didn’t hear them or understand what they said’

I’m reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Who am I?

Hi, my name is Bradley. I like exploring and finding things on the beaches or woods near me. I love learning new facts about anything, literally anything. Did you know that Nutella was made during World War 2?

I have a deaf mum, sister and grandad. My dad is ‘hearing’ that means he doesn’t need hearing aids to hear.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I’m deaf… it’s okay, it’s not contagious. I wear 2 hearing aids which help me to hear. At the moment, my hearing aids are clear, I want red hearing aids!

My hearing aid.

What was primary school like for me?

So, I went to two different primary schools. The first one, I didn’t like that school because they didn’t understand me, this school was difficult for me, because they didn’t know how to help me with my work, I found it frustrating and got angry sometimes, I left this school in Year 3.

Then in Year 4, I went to my new primary school, I was nervous and worried about the new children and teachers. I didn’t know who I was, or what it meant to be ‘deaf’. Then I realised I couldn’t hear the teachers sometimes, I didn’t understand what they were talking about. School work was hard for me.

My mum tried to help me, but I was frustrated. I hated being deaf and wished I was like the other children. My Teacher of the Deaf was amazing, she let me do fun things like learning about history (my favourite topic), finding out new facts, teaching me new words, telling me her stories (I enjoyed this).

My mum, sister and Teacher of the Deaf made me feel proud to be Deaf. Now I enjoy going to trips with my local deaf group, I can talk about my deafness and why I wear hearing aids to new people that I meet. I now have a ‘Deaf identity’ (that’s what my sister tells me)

British Sign Language

Fun Fact: I learnt British Sign Language and I got a Level 1 Qualification at 11 years old.

Later in Year 6, before I was moving into secondary school. Mum found out I was dyslexic, now it made sense why I found it harder than other children to understand things in school and outside of school. It was too late for my primary school to help me but it wasn’t too late for my new secondary school to help me.

What is secondary school like for me now?

Secondary school is awesome, I never thought I’d like school. I mean at the beginning, it was a bit rocky, but that’s just because they were getting to know me. Now that they know what I need, it is rare that I will have bad days, but when I do, my teachers are always there for me. They never shout at me when I take my time to answer questions, or when I don’t hear what they say, they are patient with me.

I have a full time teaching assistant with me to help me with my work in class and out of class. She is kind, patient and calms me down when my anxiety is high. Dyslexia for me means that my brain jumbles up the information that is given to me which means that it takes longer for me to work things out.

I have made new friends and enjoy spending time with them, I don’t worry about if I can hear them or not, because they know how to communicate with me. They don’t make me feel stupid if I don’t ‘get’ what they say.

Now to those teachers who shouted at me for not understanding you. It wasn’t my fault. It was yours, because you didn’t take the time to understand me.

This was Bradley’s story. Like him, hundreds of deaf children nationally, will be affected by councils budget cuts this year.

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I am deaf, obviously. I am passionate about deaf rights and want to raise awareness on the issues that deaf people face on a daily basis while bringing in my own personal experiences as a deaf person in a deaf and hearing world....

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