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Mary Anne 12-27-2002 06:12 AM

Princess Victoria's Dyslexia
Swedish Crown Princess Victoria has revealed that she was bullied at school because she suffered from dyslexia.
Her classmates used to laugh at her as she attempted to read aloud, and she herself believed that she was stupid.

Princess Victoria decided to make the spontaneous personal revelations after being invited to open a conference on bullying, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Royal Palace told BBC News Online.

Princess Victoria's father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, also suffers from the condition, which leaves sufferers struggling to read and spell.

"I used to think I was stupid and slow," the Princess told the conference.

"For me school was fun, but it was also very demanding. When one has reading and writing difficulties, it can be tough sometimes.

"It can sound like a simple problem, but it isn't. I know."

The organisers of the bullying conference, held at the University of Orebro in central Sweden, did not know in advance that their royal guest was planning to reveal her own personal experience of the problem.

"She just felt she wanted to talk about her problems," said royal information officer Catherine Broms, from Sweden's Royal Palace in Stockholm.

"She didn't write the speech in advance - it was just spontaneous."

The princess has occasionally mentioned her dyslexia in the past, but has never gone into such detail about the problems it caused her.

"Because she was bullied over her dyslexia, she can understand how others feel," said Ms Broms.

"Her classmates would laugh at her. It was nothing very serious."

The princess may have been hoping to increase public understanding of dyslexia and its effects, the palace confirmed.

"I don't have any problems talking about it openly. But there are many who haven't received as much support as I," Princess Victoria told the conference.

Sweden's Expressen newspaper said that after the princess' problem was discovered, a special teacher was hired by the royal family to help her overcome the problem.

The condition of dyslexia is relatively common. Between 5% and 10% of the population are estimated to be affected.

Its cause is not fully understood, but is linked to brain activity. In recent years scientists have confirmed a genetic link.

Campaigners want better testing of young children, so that problems are spotted early.

Many leading figures are thought to have been affected to some degree by dyslexia - among them Sir Winston Churchill, Hans Christian Andersen, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.

Josefine 10-21-2003 02:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)

"Jag vet hur svårt det kan vara"

SÖDERTÄLJE. Kronprinsessan Victoria har öppet berättat om sin kamp mot sina läs- och skrivsvårigheter.
Rickard Dahlberg, 10, och Isak Elofsson, 10, lider av samma dolda handikapp.
- Jag vet hur svårt det kan vara, sa Victoria när hon träffade de två små hjältarna.

Victoria och lillebror prins Carl Philip ärvde handikappet från pappa kungen. Alla tre har problem med att läsa och skriva.
- Förr tyckte jag att jag var dum och trög, har Victoria berättat om sitt dolda handikapp.

Besökte barnen
Så för kronprinsessan har det varit ett naturligt steg att engagera sig i kampen mot läs- och skrivsvårigheter - dyslexi.
I går besökte hon Brunns-ängsskolan i Södertälje. Där har man valt att hårdsatsa på extra undervisning för elever som lider av dyslexi.
Som belöning för sitt hårda arbete fick skolan i går ta emot "Bertil Hults pris för bästa praktiska exempel för att integrera insatser mot dyslexi i grundskolans vardagliga verksamhet". EF-miljardären är själv dyslektiker.

- Det här är ett viktigt och angeläget problem, menade Victoria när hon i går fick dela ut priset på 100 000 kronor.

"Är det svårt?"
Victoria fick två nya kompisar på skolan. Rickard Dahlberg, 10, och Isak Elofsson, 10.
Isak har precis lärt sig att läsa och han visade stolt sina läseböcker för Victoria.
- Är det svårt, undrade Victoria. Rickard och Isak nickade.
Efter mötet med Victoria var de upprymda.
- Jag kände igen henne på håret, sa Isak och skrattade.

Dennism 11-18-2003 02:25 PM

I'm not one to speak for the Swedish people but I'd imagine that a good number of them sympathize with her struggle against dyslexia as well with her eating disorder.

hrhcp 11-18-2003 02:33 PM

she has a severe case of dyslexia ?
i thought her father had it worse ?

Dennism 11-18-2003 02:42 PM

I think he did. Not really sure.

Lena 11-18-2003 02:57 PM

I think this depends on the support you get. And the king hadn´t the possibilities in the 50ties, which his daughter had in the 80ties. And maybe they started in Madeleine´s case with help already in the kindergarten.
The strange thing is, that Victoria wanted to start with her studies in 1998 in Uppsala. So then they (she+ her parents+ teachers) thought, that she would manage such studies. And I would say if you study a more familiar/less overrun thing with less students you can profit a lot from lectures, tutors, seminars (even or especially as dyslectic)...and I would say that political science isn´t such a "study of masses"

hrhcp 11-18-2003 03:09 PM

she wanted to start with her studies in 1998 .... what happened to de-rail the studies ?

Dennism 11-18-2003 03:12 PM

Lena, you are right. Her father surely didn't have the help that she did. Dyslexia is a relatively new condition when it comes to treatment. And she no doubt was more comfortable with the tutors and seminars as such as opposed to being in a large class with other students.

Lena 11-18-2003 03:24 PM


Originally posted by King Christian@Nov 18th, 2003 - 3:09 pm
she wanted to start with her studies in 1998 .... what happened to de-rail the studies ?
The court admited her eating disorder, and asked the press to leave her alone. But that didn´t work, so they decided, that she should go to the USA (to a friend of the king. The wife of the friend is a therapist for eating disorders). This was an spontaneous action, because a few days before, the Queen and Victoria had still examined a dormitory in Uppsala.
I don´t know why she hasn´t started her studies after her come back from the USA.

Dennism 11-18-2003 03:45 PM

Well, they wanted her out of the public eye as much as possible. Smart move. She needed comfort and reassurance at that time.

Lena 11-21-2003 03:56 AM

I´m confused :unsure:

" - På grund av dyslexin är det svårt för mig att bara lyssna, jag måste ta egna anteckningar för att det ska fastna i minnet."

My translation: "Because of my dyslexia it is difficult for me just to listen, I have to make my own notes to keep it in (my) mind"

I´ve thought ESPECIALLY dyslectic people benefit more from lectures/talks than people, who haven´t the handicap.
Or is it just my translation, which is wrong?!

Alva 11-21-2003 11:13 AM


Originally posted by Dennism@Nov 21st, 2003 - 9:47 am
"My translation: "Because of my dyslexia it is difficult for me just to listen, I have to make my own notes to keep it in (my) mind""

That's odd. I'll have to ask around about that.

The translation is fine but the original written meaning is a bit odd, I agree. I wonder if CP means that to just listen it´s not enough for anyone, everybody tries to scribble down notes as fast as they can. CP is slow in writing as well so for her, taking notes takes more time, but she needs her own notes to get the meaning?? Or? I agree that listening should be the best way to learn if you were dyslectic.

Gita 11-21-2003 11:31 AM

I am dyslexic and I find that I have to write down brief notes otherwise I can't remember what people tell me.

Lena 11-21-2003 02:59 PM

It seems as if I would have a complete wrong picture of dyslexia. I´ve thought you have problems with reading and your orthography (btw your orthography is just proper, Gita!), but not with listening to other people. I´ve even thought people with dyslexia are better in "auditory learning" than other students :o

Dennism 11-21-2003 03:01 PM

Well, it is odd then. Those who are dyslexic like to write things down. I would have thought the opposite.

Alexandria 11-21-2003 03:13 PM

I used to be a teacher and students whom I taught that had been diagnosed with dyslexia were in fact very good listeners. For many, it is their "best" way of picking up cues and information for later reference as reading (instructions for example) is much harder. The kids I taught were very young, kindergarten to grade 2, so perhaps it is different as you get older, which I have no experience with. But when you're between the ages of 5-9 like the kids I taught were, it is embarassing to admit that you can't read something because the letters and words are jumbled or mixed up. Those students were particularly attentive during the explanation part of lessons because unlike the other kids who didn't listen during this time and who could just read the instructions later on, it was often the only time they got a hint as to what they should do.

Dennism 11-21-2003 04:45 PM

Not just merely a matter of compensating for the lost of something else. But to stop possible embarrassment... Okay. That makes sense. I

Gita 11-21-2003 04:48 PM

I have probems with my sense of direction as well, yes thats right I get my right and left muddled up!

Alexandria 11-21-2003 04:55 PM

And with regards to the kids I taught, they were too young to understand how difficult it might be for a fellow classmate who has dyslexia to read things. Because for most kids that young it's difficult to think how something can be so difficult for someone else when it seems so easy to you.

Dennism 11-21-2003 05:04 PM

Right. And kids make fun of what they think is unusual. A sad cycle.

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