Since I had a hankering to watch a documentary on dyslexia, I went on the hunt. There aren’t many documentaries out there that I haven’t watched and reviewed already, but I finally found one on Amazon.
Speaking on Dyslexia, a film centered around an interview with Gerard Sagmiller, was billed on Amazon as a conversation about how this business owner made it through school while struggling with stigmas around dyslexia. Like many dyslexics, he was told that he wasn’t as smart as the other students, and suffered under that burden.
Despite this poor treatment, he was able to make it through, and find success in his adult life.
When I rented this film, I was expecting to hear more about his story. Instead, I found myself watching what seemed more like the annoying educational videos used to fill in time during class or required workplace safety meetings. At least I was spared the bad acting that comes with the role playing scenarios.
It was a bit ironic when Gerard spent a few minutes talking about how most of the books he’s seen about dyslexia were more like impersonal text books, and less like personal narratives.
Plain delivery aside, this is still a pretty decent film for those looking for a basic understanding of dyslexia. Gerard offers some wonderful tips about how to help dyslexic students in areas ranging from math to organization. Some of his ideas may have been borrowed from Rick Lavoie’s F.A.T. City Workshop, though.
Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed that discussion, before. Huh. Well, back to the film at hand.
They also touched on the mental health aspect of having any sort of learning disability, which is something too often ignored. Depression and suicidal thought are both pretty common in people with dyslexia, because of the way they’re treated in school. The self esteem takes quite a few hits when you’re struggling in the classroom, and perhaps in personal life as well.
He also mentioned how dyslexia lingers through adulthood. It’s not something that can be grown out of, but it is something that can be used to make life a bit better. That tidbit alone is worth repeating, because too many people still think it’s a childhood issue.
Although this film is filed under “Kids & Family”, it seems as if it should be under the genre of “Educational”. I think the intended audience is comprised of teachers and other educational professionals, though parents could also benefit from it. It may be a little too dry for the average person, and I can’t see any child being captivated by it.
Overall, it’s not a bad film, though its summary was misleading and it may have been misfiled in the wrong category online.