Weekly Writing Challenge – Blue is my colour


Every day after school Kate was called into the sitting room where her father sat on the sofa with the dreaded cardboard clock face with movable hands.  It was a routine they both loathed, along with the book reading and times table sessions that also occurred on a regular basis.    Kate was 5 years old and still had not mastered these skills.  She was always the last in the class in most subjects and although nothing was said she knew that her father thought she was slow.   His face betrayed him  as he toiled to teach her the rudiments.  His cheeks  splashed red with frustration then deepened to crimson as the anger built.    Sessions always ended with salty tears spilling from  Kate’s  brown eyes and a sense of despair exuding from both parties.

Many years later when a teacher raised the possibility of dyslexia,  Kate’s mother mentioned that she also had problems reading

‘the words dance off the page’ she said

It turned out that grandma also had issues with the printed word. 

‘Have you noticed that she reads books from back to front’? Kate’s Mother asked

  Dyslexia is apparently hereditary.  However,  in Kate’s childhood little was known or published about it and dyslexia  often went unidentified.

Since then much research has been done on the subject and it has been found that black typeface on different coloured backgrounds or single coloured perspex placed over words can  resolve many reading difficulties for dyslexic people.    Some people even wear glasses tinted with the colour that works best for them.

Luckily for Kate something naturally clicked at the age of 6 and she spent the next few years making up for lost time, consuming book after book until she was ahead of her fellow classmates. Reading is still a major passion of adult Kate’s life,  although maths and spelling will never be her strong point (numeric dyslexia is also common) but computers make life a lot easier for her.

Just think what difference a splash of colour could have made to Kate’s life.   She may not have been bullied so much at school, she may have excelled at an earlier age,  she may have passed more exams, she may have developed a higher self-esteem, her family life may not have been so fraught.

I wonder how many other children and adults need that splash of colour in their lives?

And I wonder how many of you perusing this story found different paragraphs of the piece easier or harder to read?

Blue is my colour – I am Kate


39 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Challenge – Blue is my colour

  1. Pingback: Snapshots of Artistic Expressions in La Paz. Part I: Paintings. « 3rdculturechildren

  2. “She may not have been bullied so much at school, she may have excelled at an earlier age, she may have passed more exams, she may have developed a higher self-esteem, her family life may not have been so fraught.” She also might not have ever thought to blog from this perspective – robbing us of the world seen from her eyes. Not every experience need be painful to be meaningful, but not every painful experience need be meaningless. Lovely writing, wonderful perspective.

  3. Irlen is quite common. I had a number of children in my classrooms with varying degrees of Irlen. Having an interactive whiteboard made things easier as I could change the colour of the print as well as the background to make it easier for my students to read. As a kid I use to read in dark corners much to my mother’s frustration and worry that I was ruining my eye sight. It was the only way to keep the words/letters from merging together. It wasn’t until many, many years later when I was teaching however, that I found out I too had a touch of Irlen Syndrome.

  4. What a unique take on this topic. It’s such a thoughtful post and I’m sure I have just had my tiny little horizon broadened a bit more. I agree with Viveka in that turquoise is the best read in the list and it is a pretty fascinating colour (I’m always trying to get some turquoise jewellery).

    Thanks also for visiting and liking my Weekly Photo Challenge:Happy at http://inadvertentlyincorrigible.wordpress.com. I have only just joined the weekly challenges and that was my first weekly challenge post. Thanks so much for your thumbs up! Hoping to see much more of your work in the ” travelling, meeting people and experiencing new cultures” that you’ve mentioned in the “About” section.

  5. so cool. learned sumthin, great post. I couldn’t read the navy paragraph at first, then my eyes adjusted. It’s a table! i can refer to, when using colors. thanks I see the all the pastel background are, for me, more comfortable to read…salute!!! bravo!! yay! funky

  6. Interesting post! I have been wondering lately if I have a degree of dyslexia, particularly after reading the comments. I notice that there seems to be a common thread among the comments with regards to artistic, creative, visual, and a sensitivity with the senses; do you know if there is also common thread with migraines? Wondering about that. Thanks.

  7. Pingback: A Splash of Color to Make You or Break You… | Simply Charming

  8. Sleepy, I have to repeat the WOW.
    That blue really is in 3D for me. Last year I was able to assist a child in school who had trouble reading on white, she now uses tinted paper. I wouldn’t have known about it had I not watched the documentary on Tara Tointon and her Dyslexia. I think the more people know about the symptoms and ways to help, the better.

  9. Very interesting – the only color I had trouble with was the darker blue, but then I’m not dyslexic. I’ll have to try to get my husband to look at this – he’s a real champ at flipping words back to front!

    Also – I just looked at the comment from mamacormier, and I agree. White text on black is almost impossible to read. I sometimes feel as if it’s used as a hipster filter: If you can’t decipher this, you’re too old to be cool – go away.

  10. i have problems if I have to read a number quickly. The number can get transposed or flipped (9 becomes a 6 or vice versa.) I don’t have trouble reading except if I am tired. It feels like two sides of my brain are trying to read at the same time. Hence, slightly scrambled word.
    My dad is the person in my family who has dyslexia. I don’t know for sure if I do but I think I have a minor case of it.

  11. Often when I go to blogs that have a lot of text on black I don’t stay long. Photographs work beautifully posted on black but words not so much (at least for me). Last night at a parent council meeting at my school, one of the parents approached me about buying specially printed books for her dyslexic child. I’m looking into it but I have a feeling that these books might be cost prohibitive for my meagre library budget.

  12. What a fascinating post, and so were the comments. I couldn’t see the blue at all, and yet others found it the easiest. I know from publishing that black print on a creamier surface is easier to read than dead white, but I wonder what your colours would have been like to read if they’d been printed on a white background instead of a dark background…
    Can we do it again!!!!

  13. My sister is dyslexic (and so are both of her children). She too suffered as Kate did but I have since learned that dyslexia isn’t just ‘word blindness’, it is a whole different way of perceiving the world so to the lady grieving for her little girl, I’d say treasure her difference because she will never follow the crowd!

    • Yes you are right it is a whole different way of seeing life. My love for colours and my artistic streak I think comes from my own dyslexia. Anything interactive and visual is the way I learn. In England they opened up a steel museum and environmental museum based on this visual effects, touch, sound, colour – I gained so much more from this than the artifacts with a written explanation behind the glass approach.

  14. I liked the blue paragraph best. One of my son’s is dyslexic. School was a nightmare. Now he works as a set designer for TV and loves it.
    I’m not dyslexic – I can read fine. It’s talking where I stumble! I’d rather write than talk. Both my son and I express ourselves best in visual mediums – maybe dyslexia (or in my case verbal dyslexia) has something to do with being visual thinkers.

  15. What an interesting take on the colour theme. I’ve heard about dyslexia but I feel that I have a better understanding of it from the way you put your story across.

  16. My baby girl was diagnosed with dylexia last Friday. I think I had been aware since she was very little that she may be. Her cousin is too. I’ve been grieving for her this last few days, for the difficulties shes faced and will face, but there is relief too that she will now have strategies to help her. Thanks for posting this, we dont know her colour yet but I look forward to finding out!

    • There are many strategies out there now Karen and dyslexia comes in many shapes, forms and varying degrees. Many are gifted artistically and express and learn through the senses. Touch, taste, colour, sound, texture, imagination, music, – I think you and your daughter have a lot to look forward too with the right strategies. 🙂

      • Thanks Sue for your encouraging reply. She is a very hands on learner and does like to dance, sing and make stuff so I can relate to that. Also quite a problem solver, often looking at things from a totally different direction which is of course logical to me, now! I think she will be quite a business woman too eventually. So it looks like an adventure now rather than a problem to solve – thanks!

  17. Great post … the best color for reading was the turquois – the words wasn’t melting all together and it wasn’t too sharp for the eye. The worst color was pink and red plus the blue you used for the single line. Really like this post.
    I had reading problems in school too, but because I was too impatient – and my eyes wondered away quicker than my reading. Still do that.

  18. Nice one.
    The blue is lovely, but not good for reading. Black on white is best for the eyes. I do notice on the net that quite a few blogs are near impossible to read…

  19. Interesting that the darker green was easiest and most appealing to my eyes, and I tend to be attracted to green shaded clothing & design preferences. Compelling thoughts.

  20. This is true for some kids… I used to purchase colored transparencies for my students to place over the pages in their books.. they chose the color that worked best for them. It helped some.
    Oh … I cannot even read the blue paragraph! It is just a blur.

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