When he was in fourth or fifth grade, Dylan was assigned to read Dr. Seuss' "The Cat in the Hat" to a group of kindergarten students. Dylan's approach to the task was to memorize the book to help him during the actual reading. But even with the book memorized, he made so many mistakes, the younger students had to correct him repeatedly along the way.
Dylan, the son of filmmaker James Redford, is dyslexic. Not very long into his father's fascinating, straightforward and revealing documentary, "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia," you may very well find yourself wishing you had a kid as smart as Dylan Redford. The film airs Monday on HBO with encore broadcasts.
Despite the fact that dyslexia accounts for between 80 and 90 percent of all learning disabilities, says Yale's Dr. Sally Shaywitz, it remains deeply misunderstood and weighed down by inaccurate mythology. Dyslexics do not "see words backward," for example. Another kid once said to Dylan that he had had dyslexia for a while, too, but it went away. In sixth grade, Skye Lucas, who is dyslexic, was called "mentally retarded" by another student.