Monday, July 18, 2011

Living With Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disorder.  Plain and simple.  It follows me all my life.  I am a self diagnosed dyslexic (is that a word?).  I was able to put a name on my "problem" when I started teaching first grade and had a student that was making some of the same mistakes I had been making since I was in first grade.    

I described the "problem" that the student was having to another teacher and said that I wanted to have my student tested in order to have a diagnosis and to be able to help her succeed. The results came back .... dyslexia.  I then learned how to help her and in turn, without realizing it, I was helping myself. 

Then I had a family.  I became a stay at home mom.  Then my girls began entering school. L and behold, one of my girls was showing the same symptoms at home.  I asked the teacher to have her tested and she accused me of being a "hovering mother".  She said testing was unnecessary.  

I insisted, I spoke with the principal and finally, the teacher had to give in.   My daughter was tested and diagnosed with dyslexia.  The reason for sharing all this?  It's in the genes!  

Life with dyslexia is different with each individual.  I transpose numbers.  I worked part time in a bank and proofed checks.  My total of the pile of checks HAD to equal the total the teller put with the checks at the end of her day.  Time after time I did not balance.  

How embarrassing!   

My supervisor was so patient.  I tried to slow down entering the amounts, I tried to say the numbers out loud as I was entering them, etc, etc, nothing worked. I felt like a total failure.  

The super kind supervisor asked me if I wanted to transfer to a different department.  I quickly responded Y. E. S.!!!!  And off I went to the bond department.  I did not enjoy it there.

I talked to John and we decided that I needed to return to college to pursue a degree in elementary education.

Guess what class I had the hardest time with..... Of course it was  math....geesh, was this ever going to end???  (not in my lifetime, I have now discovered).

This made me a quiet, insecure person inside who tried to compensate by pushing myself to be outgoing.  I still fight this to this day.  

Dyslexia has a firm grip on me in other ways.  The most annoying is that when I am talking I am thinking about what I am saying and often times the totally opposite word comes out of my mouth.  

John tells me that I will sometimes say a sentence in reverse!  Oh, that leads me to want to talk alot!  NOT!

Of course there is the right, left thing, but it seems a lot of people do that, so no biggie.  But to say things the opposite I really mean to?  How rediculous!  

The dyslexia seems to be getting worse as I age....Hum.  It is the root of some disagreements that John and I have.  Like John: "you said so and so".... Nan: "I did not!",   John:  "oh, yes you did!"  I think you get the picture.  

But I persevere.  I write this blog.  I check it, but when proofing my own (I just typed won for own and caught it) writing, I am sure I have put some doozys out there.  Oh well, I hope you all can figure it out.  

Here is some detailed information.  They speak of children here, but it can be applied to adults, as well.  

"Suspect a language-learning disability if your child has difficulty in several of these areas over time:

  • Learning numbers or the alphabet
  • Rhyming words
  • Remembering colors

  • Sounding out words
  • Persistent reading or spelling errors
  • Reversing numbers or letters
  • Remembering facts (including math facts)
  • Misunderstanding arithmetic signs
Middle School

  • Reading comprehension
  • Written expression or spelling
  • Understanding word problems
  • Organizing, planning or managing time
  • Completing or handing in assignments
  • Concentrating or paying attention
High School

  • Reading fluency and comprehension
  • Organizing and expanding ideas in written expression
  • Remembering and retrieving detailed information
  • Comprehending more complex information


Dyslexia is frequently accompanied by significant strengths in reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as visual-spatial and motor skills necessary to excel in the fine arts, performing arts and athletics, engineering and science."

Ah, ha!  There are good things about being dyslexic!  I am an artist, an organizer, I have good problem-solving skills.  

My daughter was / is a super athlete, has great problem-solving skills  (she's a shrink with her own practice).  She is a gifted photographer!

So, living with dyslexia can be a pain in the tush, but it has gifted me with my artistic abilities,  it makes me thing of solutions to problems when John believes "all is lost and hopeless".  

Would I trade it to be a "normal person?" Heck no!  I like the way God created me.  He created me for a purpose.  He created me to find a struggling first grader and to help my precious daughter.  

If you don't like something about yourself, my suggestion is look at the bright side!  There is good in all situations.  And with that, I sign off telling you 

God Bless you today!  

1 comment:

  1. Another thing we have in common! I too am a self diagnosed dyslexic!

    I didn't know what was wrong with me until I was becoming a teacher!

    I was encouraged to do art as a child because I had so many problems in school. I like art because it is basically problem solving and no one will tell you you are doing it wrong!

    I can't spell, and often my grammar is wonky, but if I use spell check I can put something out there that I'm not too ashamed of.

    I have so many stories! Yes, it does seem to get worse as we age, but I care less about it.


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