• Gwen Dunn


The child who said this had watched alone for many hours daily since he was able to watch. He looked at a coloured screen but, at five, he did not know the names of colours or the name of the thing he complained about, the jigsaw rainbow, which is part of every programme in the Rainbow series. He did not know what a real rainbow looks like. Still, and usually silent, he continued to watch what he was Ted up of. How much other television he was fed up of, I was unable to judge. When I met him he had another month or so to ‘get through’ before a local school had room for him. Lacking skills, a garden, an older brother or sister, he had little choice about what to do with his time. The nearest playground lay two busy roads away from home. He was not the ‘norm’ of children I met. I remember him as I remember them all, as individuals. He was an attractive one, responding to talk and attention with eager laughter, often a substitute for words. He twisted and pressed his hands together as he tried to find ways of telling, without the necessary vocabulary, what he wanted to share. He would, I thought, love school once he recovered from the shock of finding the world so full of people, especially of other children. He would, at school, be less deprived. Unlike me, however, his teacher would not have much time to watch his hands.


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© Gwen Dunn 1977

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  • Gwen Dunn

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