Setting the Stage
When I was 31 I was diagnosed with a condition called dyslexia. It is a language-based processing disorder. Those with the condition have problems with reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes speaking. Dyslexia effects each dyslexic differently and to different degrees.. I have trouble with spelling, words that look/sound alike, use of proper tenses, and other issues. One thing that dyslexics aren't, is dumb. Life is a challenge for those with dyslexia and other forms of learning disabilities. Don't get me wrong, I am not whining or asking for pity. I am not a victim, I am me.
When I was diagnosed not much was known about the disorder. I was told I would need to learn how to work with the situation. For example I carried a small address book that I put words I had trouble spelling. I bought my first computer that had spell checking ability. I am no longer afraid to ask for help.
But, that wasn't always true. For years I wondered why I couldn't do what most sixth graders could. If I did ask you to read something I wrote and you pointed out that the correct word was "then" not "than" or "is" not "are". My instant and silent thought was always "you dumb ass." (Please forgive the foul language, but it is essential to the story.) I remember one day I spent 3 hours trying to figure out how to spell "fare" of bus fare, talk about frustration. I have issues proofreading material. I can read something 10 times over several days and still find errors later. You can quickly see how my self-image was destroyed over the years.
Then one year my brother was diagnosed with dyslexia and I started to wonder. So I made arrangements to be tested. I can remember crying for the 75 miles I had to travel to the test site. I was afraid they would tell me I didn't have dyslexia and I was just a dumb stupid person. I cried all the way home, because I now knew there was a reason and the reason had a name. I wasn't dumb or stupid! Just dyslexic.
I never used the dyslexia as an excuse or a reason why I shouldn't attempt to do something. I have written 4 books, 2 of which have won awards, a study guide, and numerous computer training manuals. When I was doing all day lectures for nurses I got several written comments on the program evaluations that read: "someone as obviously as intelligent as you should be able to use was/were etc properly." My response to that was to mention at a strategic point once in the day that I have dyslexia and expect me to make a few grammar errors. After starting that approach I was often approached through the day. Those approaching me would make comments such as: "I am going to tell my son/daughter/grandchild about you and how you are successful in your life and they can be also." I think you can see how this disorder can wreck a person's self-image and their life. But the know set me free. I wasn't dumb just needed to deal with an issue.
Why I am Sorry
I am sorry that while I had professional editors in the past for my writing projects I do not have an editor currently for this website. So you may/will find some errors. Don't hesitate to let me know. All I ask that when you point out those errors you point them out with respect, I may have thicker skin then I did at 31, but I am still sensitive. Click here to send an editing message or go to the contact page and use the link there.
More Information Regarding Dyslexia
Many, many famous and successful people have dyslexia. They didn't or don't let it hold them back from their personal/professional goals and have achieve great things in their respective profession. People like Whoopi Goldberg, Magic Johnson, and Cher are just a few that deal daily with the issues of dyslexia, Please if you think you or someone in your family, regardless of their age, has dyslexia please give them back their life by getting them help. There are other learning disabilities that result from broken processing functioning such as:
- Dyscalculia: math processing
- Dysgraphia: writing problems
- Dyspraxia: difficulty with motor skill development
- Executive Functioning: difficulty creating plans, organizing, developing strategy etc
There is information available regarding dyslexia and how to get assistance for people of all ages. On the Internet search for dyslexia. You can start on the National Center for Learning Disabilities site by clicking here.
Remember that dyslexia is not cured, but can be successfully dealt with. Please advocate for your child, grandchild, family member, peers, and yourself etc if you think they are experiencing dyslexia by first becoming informed and getting testing done. Otherwise a life may be wasted to unnecessary poor self-image, misbehavior, and other forms of under-achievement.