A young girl begins school in a new class. The group is asked to recite words written on the board, and, in near unison, do so. The teacher calls on individual students to read and write what’s on the board. Several can. The girl cannot. Instead, she writes what many might consider nonsense.
The class laughs at the girl as her mother, who works as a custodian at the school, secretly observes through the window.
Thus begins the film Confetti, our window into the lives of a mother and her twice-exceptional child who has dyslexia.
The film, written and directed by Ann Hu, is inspired by her journey with her own 2e daughter, Michelle. In the film, Lan (mother) and MeiMei (daughter) live in China, where Hu is from. They run up against barriers created by a Chinese education system that isn’t necessarily equipped to support children with learning challenges.
After nine-year-old MeiMei (Harmonie He) demonstrates an ability to read and speak English, a visiting American teacher identifies her as likely being dyslexic but also gifted. He says she learns in a way that’s different from others. “The brains of some people are just wired differently,” he says.
The use of that language in particular — “wired differently” — clearly resonates with parents and educators of twice-exceptional children. It’s just one of many moments with which those who support 2e kids can identify.
Lan (Zhu Zhu) shares her daughter’s apparent dyslexia diagnosis with her boss, the principal of the school. His response: “Is it contagious?”
Hu explained to 2e News that part of the Mandarin word for dyslexia sounds similar to the word for “poisonous.” With that, dyslexia “sounds like a poisonous condition!”
It’s a humorous but likely fru...
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