When I was young, I was a voracious reader of Peanuts comics. Its creator, Charles M. Schulz, did something very rare for his time — he explored children’s anxiety with school and social failure. When no one else did, he just seemed to get me. And, of course, his books invited me in to enjoy and feel confident reading. I loved Peanuts so much that I collected the books, wrote Schulz a fan letter and adopted a beagle.

Calvin

My beloved beagle

Schulz wasn’t dyslexic (that I know of), but he could relate. He reported failing every subject at school — a common theme in his comic strip, which ran from 1952 to 2000. Hating school, feeling different, being bullied — Schultz laid it bare with humour and compassion.

sally failing

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about being dyslexic in 20 Peanuts cartoons:

1. We hate school (and we’re not shy about it)

sally hates school

2. We’re listening but we don’t always understand what you’re saying

Image result for charlie brown teacher voice peanuts

 

3. We may need you to repeat things a few times before we get it…

sally repeat that question

4. Talking loudly won’t help us understand you better

Related image

5. We get serious cognitive overload

Image result for peanuts hate school

6. We don’t like tests (but more time and clear instructions helps)

patty multiple choice

7. Homework is painful (hence, our excellent procrastination skills)

Image result for peanuts hate school

8. We don’t find reading “fun” (unless we’re reading comics, of course!)

peanuts reading

9. Combination locks are torture (as is remembering any numbers in sequence)

Related image

 

 

 

 

10. We get teased. A lot.

charlie brown bullied

11. We have anxieties on anxieties…

charlie brown depressed

12. We feel like outsiders

charile brown unloved

13. We root for the underdog (maybe because we can relate)

14. We question authority

sally brown gets a c

 

15. We see the bigger picture

sally brown math problem

16. We see things you don’t

Image result for charlie brown looking up at sky

17. We never give up

Image result for charlie brown never give up

18. We are entrepreneurialsally santa letter

19. We are resilient

Image result for “I think I've discovered the secret of life -- you just hang around until you get used to it.”― Charles Schultz

20. We learn to appreciate the little things in life

warm puppy

“Be yourself. No one can say you’re doing it wrong.” ~Charles M. Schulz

schulz

Posted by lostandfoundbooks

I am unable to withstand the gravitational pull of bookstores and anything vintage. I am passionate about art, books, coffee, public radio (CBC), social justice and writing.

4 Comments

  1. As a lifelong Peanuts fan (I also wrote the man many times) and collecter, and now a therapist, I truly appreciate this collection and point of view. Under my nose the whole time. Many thanks!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Did Schulz write you back?

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  2. I have twin daughters that are dyslexic and the powerful truth behind some of these brought tears to my eyes. They struggle daily but I’ve never seen anyone try as hard as they do. They are my hero’s.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Kim! I’m glad these resonated with you — they certainly meant a lot to me as a child struggling at school. Best wishes to you and your amazing daughters (I’ve got an amazing daughter too!).

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