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What in the world am I doing, I'm dyslexic

Nov26

Written by:
2009/11/26 10:54 AM RssIcon

Blogging, it's about writing. Blogging is the web 2.0 phenomenon that has taken over the internet. Every Tom, Dick and Jane is blogging now.  For a while I had thought that you needed to be an author or a journalist in order to be a blogger. I had thought that one needed some form of writing skills in order to blog. Because of this I never got into blogging. Why? Well simply because I have dyslexia.

Can a dyslexic blog? Will people read his blog? Will they mock and ridicule his mistakes? 

These and others were always questions that I was asking and was afraid of what the answer would be. So I never got involved. But like a catchy Flu virus that you cannot avoid, I caught the blog bug. Now here I am, a dyslexic blogging.

What is dyslexia?

Well basically dyslexia is a learning disability. It presents with severe symptoms or with minor symptoms. Dyslexia is diagnosed in people of all levels of intelligence. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that manifests itself as a difficulty with reading and spelling.  Dyslexia comes from the Greek language meaning 'difficulty with words'. It's a symptom of a number of different information processing disorders in the brain.

Anybody can have it. In fact it often runs in families. My brother also suffers a lot from dyslexia. I have also seen symptoms in my son. Conservative estimates vary between 5 and 10 per cent of the population. No correlation has been found between the incidence of dyslexia and nationality, income, ethnicity, race, or IQ, and experts are even beginning to question whether it is more common among boys than girls. It has a genetic component.

Signs of dyslexia

Dyslexia is sometimes difficult to spot because it can be hidden. Often you will not even know, especially in adults who have dyslexia but have had the ability to overcome it. Signs of dyslexia can often be misinterpreted in children who are often regarded as stupid.

Here are some signs of dyslexia for you to look out for, in yourself, your children, or friends and family. This list courtesy of beingdyslexic.co.uk - Common signs of dyslexia.

 

  • May read very slowly with many inaccuracies.
  • Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing.
  • May avoid reading and writing tasks.
  • May have trouble summarizing and outlining.
  • May have trouble answering open-ended questions on tests.
  • May have difficulty learning a foreign language.
  • May have poor memory skills.
  • May work slowly.
  • May pay too little attention to details or focus too much on them.
  • May misread information.
  • May have an inadequate vocabulary.
  • May have an inadequate store of knowledge from previous reading.
  • May have difficulty with planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.

Adults

  • May hide reading problems.
  • May spell poorly; relies on others to correct spelling.
  • Avoids writing; may not be able to write.
  • Often very competent in oral language.
  • Relies on memory; may have an excellent memory.
  • Often has good "people" skills.
  • Often is spatially talented; professions include, but are not limited, to engineers, architects, designers, artists and craftspeople, mathematicians, physicists, physicians (esp. surgeons and orthopedists), and dentists.
  • May be very good at "reading" people (intuitive).
  • In jobs is often working well below their intellectual capacity.
  • May have difficulty with planning, organization and management of time, materials and tasks.
  • Often entrepreneurs.

Can it be treated?

Unfortunately there is no cure for dyslexia. But it can be treated and the learning difficulties can be overcome. Dyslexic individuals can learn to read and write with appropriate educational support.

A person with dyslexia can be helped with a tailor-made treatment programme once strengths and weaknesses of their learning ability has been identified.

Basically, treating dyslexia is just hard work. You have to learn to learn properly. Learn to read and write and spell. But it can be done. Practice practice practice. It's all about developing skills that you do not have or skills that do not come naturally. 

To find out how difficult it might be, try teach yourself to write with your other hand. In other words, if you are right handed, try and write an essay with your left hand. Now take time to teach yourself to write with your left hand.

Me and dyslexia.

All throughout my schooling days I have always been ridiculed. Never knew why.  I could not read properly, could never spell properly. In fact, I always resigned myself to losing 3% in all final exams. We were deducted up to a max of 3% for gramatical errors in exams.

It took me a lot longer to learn than others. I would spend hours and hours at the library. I remember when I was young, in school and having to read infront of the class and teacher. I would go home and memorize the small reading books. You know, Joe kicks the ball, types of books. The teacher soon figured something was wrong, when she started turning the page backwards, but I kept reading forwards.  I was punished for fooling around.

So why did I take up blogging. Well to tell you the truth, it was the scariest thing. But as I look at what has happened since, I can only say that it was the best choice I could make. Blogging has certainly helped me. For me it often takes about 2 hours to get a blog out. Not including research. Research takes a lot longer, as I read very slowly.

But I am getting better, blogging has been a real help. Forcing me to spell correctly. Forcing me to read more. Forcing me to write more. You know, Practice makes perfect.

So, why this post then. Well it serves to be an encouragement to all those out there with disabilities.All those who think they cannot do it. I would encourage you to take up that which you fear the most. Blogging for me has helped in so many ways, it can help you as well.

I am so thankful for my loyal friends and readers, who often times put up with my bad spelling and bad grammar. Thankfully none of them have pointed out too many of my mistakes.

For me, I am going to continue blogging. I hope to see more and more of you here, reading my blog. I hope to be an encouragement to you as we take on this adventure together.

Some more reading on dyslexia

Being Dyslexic

Dyslexia.org

Dyslexia Treatment Center

Dyslexia Wikipedia

British Dyslexia Association

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