Rather than discuss my research findings from my newly acquired Doctorate here – you can read more about this at www.unravellingreading.org.uk – I thoought I would reflect briefly on what it means to get a qualification.
On a personal note, I feel a certain ambivalence about using the title, Doctor, in my personal and professional life, with its slight air of stuffiness, its connotations of medical expertise, which feels disloyal to the social model of dyslexia, and rather strangely for me its gender ambiguity. In Italy doctors of anything are designated either Dottore or Dottoressa, which feels right. Alternatively, being a sometimes insomniac listener to Radio 5 Live’s science phone-in, I like the way Aussie Doctor Karl refers to all callers as Doctor Tim, Doctor Jane, etc. So maybe next time you see me, call me Doctor Sue and it will make me smile (my children call be Doctor Mum, as there are now 3 Doctor Partridges in the family!)
The other important aspect for me is that we should encourage all the people we come into contact with professionally to be ambitious. The shy young lady newly told that she is dyslexic and not ‘thick’ can contemplate going to university. The slightly aggressive middle-aged man starting out in new studies can be told he is no longer the black sheep of the family, looked down on by already qualified siblings.
So – and this is a lesson to me too – be proud of your efforts and your qualifications.
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