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School Years 7 – 10 Runner-Up My Sepcial Casse By Siddharth Lakhiani

Had a Doctor vizit toDay
They said im dyslexics, that I weil always be
And dats ok. Maybe gery flish is more apeling to me than grey fish
Maybe finking difrently is the nem way of happyness

Had a Doctor vizite toDay
They said dat is y I ca' nt read like the other kids
Or ca' nt rite as well as the other kids
An d dats ok. Maybe I like seing the world and not just rid about it

Had a Doctor vizite toDay
They said that it is not a mater of inteligense, that im no less smart
That my life will be just a little difrent
And dat my worbs will be confuzing from time to time
And mafs will be bifficult to undastand
And dats ok. maybe I like the word lat instead of Cat
And maybe the simbols that I see are the ones that Albert Einsein sau

Had a Doctor vizite toDay
And dey said I will never be nomal,
But what iz nomal?
Becuz 2 me, I am nomal
But wif a supapowa that only cool people has

Had a doctor vizite toDay
And dey said I will neva see like the oda kids
But I am difrent, a supahero!
And dats mor dan ok. Because the alfabet is so much more deutiful to me

Had a doctor vizite toDay
Dey sed peploe woudl be mean
taht i wil be med fun off
but tahts okie
becsaue i lob everyobne

Judge Charles Durante comments:

School Years 7-10 Runner-Up: Siddarth Lakhiani with My Sepcial Casse. The original conceit of this marvellous poem is to convey the special way a dyslexic processes language and consequently the world. Whereas in less enlightened times, the dyslexic was branded a poor speller, a clumsy handler of language, and of little intelligence, we are now fully aware that this quirk of the brain in no way impedes the development of the cognitive faculties. In fact, dyslexics can have a creative, innovative and rewarding ‘take’ on the world.

The visit to the doctor reveals different aspects of the dyslexic’s life. He might have a more direct perception of the world and not ‘just rid about it.’ His picture of the world does not have to conform to the conventional ways most people apprehend reality. His words and numbers might even have the neatness and complexity of an Einstein equation. The visits are rounded off with the happy acceptance of the situation: ‘And dats OK.’ Reading the poem shows the rich mental and emotional life of a dyslexic person. Sidddarth has to be congratulated for the extraordinary empathy the lines convey.