For a while now I’ve wanted to write a piece on being dyslectic. There are many forms of dyslexia and I’m lucky enough to only have (what I call) a minor form of dyslexia. Most people do not know I’m dyslectic at all, especially since I love to write and I also do this a lot.
I guess I have a number of advantages when it comes to writing. At primary school a lot of attention was being paid to spelling. As a result the rules for spelling are always in the back of my mind. Next I detect most of my strange spelling whenever I can read along with whatever it is I’m writing. When actually writing using a pen, I detect phonetic written words straight away, however I won’t see it when I’m missing out on words or syllables. When it is a motorist dysfunction I switch letters and I know and see I’m doing this, but for some reason I cannot stop the change in order. This might happen once, it can also happen systematically.
When typing I make continuous errors. Fortunately for me we have auto correctors. They are extremely helpful when switching the order of letters or when missing out on syllables. Unfortunately they do not know show me missing certain words in a sentence or when having written the word with the same pronunciation, but with a different meaning.
This also happens when we’re talking numbers. I can remember most numbers, however I have trouble recollecting the right order, especially when it’s a new or rarely used number. This can be a bit tricky when it comes to telephone numbers, codes etc. Then there is the problem of adding zeros. So my biggest problem is not the adding up or the multiplying but is most certainly is “guessing” the number of zeros at the end.
Then there is the pronunciation itself. Every once in a while – especially when it comes to unfamiliar words – I cannot seem to pronounce certain words. They take me a longer period of time to get them pronounced correctly and sometimes I have to ask others to help me here.
Everything listed above is inconvenient, but it’s not as inconvenient when it comes to actually reading. Now here’s the fun part. When it comes to reading novels or stories which have a great storyline, I can read really quickly. What I’m doing is actually picking out certain words, combining these words and making up a picture in my mind. Now this is where the problem begins. Cause when I have to deal with text without a direct reference or with a number of important words or concepts, I’m very likely to get stuck. I can read a sentence 10 times and still have no clue what it is all about. Imagine a whole paragraph or even worse a chapter. When it comes to studying this usually means I have a challenge on my hands.
In order to deal with reading text with hardly any storylines or examples I can do two things. Both are time consuming, but compared to repeating one sentence over and over and over again it’s probably time diminishing. The first thing is rewriting the text using bullets or better yet arrows. The second option is to listen to an audio book. Combining the both would consist of someone talking about the subject while taking notes. That would be the best option.
The reason I’m talking about this subject is not so much for me, as it is for the people in my nearby surroundings, especially one of my little nephews. He’s dyslectic as well and being born in this area of computers he has a big disadvantage compared to me. I had to write all words – in a very slow pace – over and over again, without any spellings checkers. Nowadays kids are used to being corrected by computers and are using abbreviations constantly. This makes it harder to actually write by hand and notice any mistakes.
Schools are still not fully equipped for children who are dyslectic. It’s important to understand what these children have difficulty with and what they are good at. Let’s start with that most dyslectic people think in images, hence my ability to read novels very quickly only reading a few words per page. They also can make certain connections really quickly, also being the result of thinking in images, instead of thinking in words/sentences. Because of this ability they do not notice errors in spelling very quickly, nor do they when missing out on letters or words.
What does help is telling them about the concept behind the text and learning them to analyze the text, so they can understand what’s important and what detail is. If you are a parent or teacher you can help by reading the text out loud and when possible recording it. Using a voice recorder in class can be a major help when it comes to understanding the content of a subject, so instead or rereading this, it can be listened to again.
There are a number of variations when it comes to dyslexia. The most important thing to remember is it’s related to people who think in images, rather then sentences. In this piece I’ve come up with a number of examples, based on my own experiences. If you have children which are dyslectic, think about this article so you can get to understand them and thus help them out the best way possible.