For anyone who sloughs over dyslexia as an imagined problem that overprotective parents use to give their kids more time on tests, watch HBO’s “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” Monday, Oct. 29.
It’s far from a perfect documentary, but it proves that dyslexia can be seen. Imaging shows a dyslexic’s brain patterns are different.
Dyslexics explain how they must spend considerably more time reading materials others would find basic, but nothing is basic when word patterns are random.
James features his son, Dylan, in it, but the film does not explain that.
“As a director, I chose to let them talk,” Redford says. “It’s really a series of people talking. My point of view comes through in the choices I made in the editing room. I did not want to distract [the audience]. Initially, I was very sensitive to the complexities of featuring your own family.”
“My son would be the first to say he is the last one who thought he would end up in a film on HBO,” Redford says. “I am not like the Kardashians. After he saw it, he said, ‘So many people have helped me along the way, this is a chance for me to give some of that back.’ “
Look for the signs: Does the child resist reading? Does he have trouble retaining what was read? Does the child suffer headaches and stomachaches at school?
“Most parents would rather not face the reality of a dyslexia diagnosis,” Redford says. “The earlier the child is diagnosed, the better.”
People assume “the more glib you are, the more intelligent you are, and that’s not really the case among leaders, artists and entrepreneurs,” he says.