Homecall the midwifeDyslexia Representation in Call The Midwife?

A midwife from around the same period in which Call the Midwife is based.
via Welcome Images [CC-BY 4.0]

Season 4 of Call the Midwife is on Netflix in the US! Yay!

I’ve been a fan of this show for quite a while. It addresses the history of women’s health and incorporates other topics, like racism, mental health, chronic illness and assorted other social issues into its story line.

I recently watched an episode in which one of the more minor characters, Fred, interacted with a local seamstress, Violet. Though it wasn’t named, I have the feeling Violet may be dyslexic.

Map Reading
Part of the episode dealt with finding their way around the area with only the aid of maps. This was because of a fear of nuclear attack, and the fact landmarks would be destroyed if that were to happen.

When she was given the map, she asked if she could hold it upside down, because it helped her orient herself more easily. This indicates to me that she processes the information on that map more through the pattern of streets as opposed to the actual names.

Being dyslexic myself, I can see the logic behind this, since I tend to have a hard time with maps and direction, too. When using one, I don’t hold it upside down by default, but I do find it easier to use by rotating it in accordance to which direction I’m going.

I can still easily get turned around, but it’s a lot easier to get an idea of where I am when the paper corresponds with where I am in the 3D.

That’s part of why I love GPS maps, but I digress.

“I find it a bit difficult to tell my left from my right…”
That’s one of her lines to Fred while they were in her shop. This one’s pretty obvious. I mean, the whole left/right thing is a huge part of being dyslexic.

I use my wedding band to help me keep track of my left and right sides more easily.

 Visual Thinker
There were a few lines that seemed as if the character was written as a sort of visual thinker. She’s also a small business owner, which speaks to an entrepreneurial spirit. Business is another area with a higher population of dyslexics than others.

I don’t think I’m reading too much into the character, especially since dyslexia is regarded a bit differently in the UK than in the US, but I guess I could be.

Either way, it would be immensely interesting to see how learning differences would be handled in the show, especially considering how far we’ve come in the realm of education since then.

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