What I tell every child I meet on the earth. “You’ve got greatness in you and how you learn has nothing to do with how brilliant you are!” Henry Winkler (The FONZ)
Dyslexia is not a disease, you don’t suffer from it nor does it increase or decrease. It is a unique ability which to those who have it, is just part of their daily routine. It has always been and it is assumed by them that it will always be.
It is tiring because it affects the written and visual perception of words. It is however a gift. A splash of colour in an otherwise black and white world. It is discovered after a while by those who have the symptoms to be a blessing.
Many of the most successful people in the history of the world have been gifted with Dyslexia and all of them have a story of courage about the triumph of overcoming.
Dyslexics for the most part see things in pictures so when they are at school they often don’t understand until they can form an image in the mind. This helps them retain the knowledge. The difficulty comes when words have no relevant image available. These are usually the kind of words which join sentences together like “the” or “and” and “that” for example.
In extreme cases the letters themselves become isolated and when learning the sounds which two letters make together, a dyslexic cannot make the connection. They have no trouble making the sound, they just can’t recognise the letters which symbolise that sound.
This missing clarity of understanding reflects back into the ability to spell. For the best of intentions a dyslexic can make fundamental errors when writing and typing. I have had many dyslexics tell me they are thankful for the spell check in today’s computers but it doesn’t mean the words look right once the spell check has made the necessary changes.
Another area of confusion is remembering left from right. So to be sure I am going the right way I need to be pointed in the right direction, not given spoken direction instructions. Whilst a GPS is useful and I like the voice directions, if I can’t see the screen I am in a lot of trouble!
As dyslexics mature they often find ways of hiding their difficulties. It is not uncommon to find a dyslexic working for himself. This has the bonus of them being able to call the shots and alleviating the chance of exposure in the case of working for an employer.
Dyslexics will be incredibly creative. When faced with a problem, they begin to invent a way around it. There will already be a solution for the problem but their desire to keep their difficulties secret drives them. They will succeed and retain the knowledge as well, it just may take longer than it needed to.
One description I heard recently is that the “normal” world is every shade of grey from black to white but every now and then there is a splash of colour and these splashes of colour are those in the Autism, ADD, ADHD, OCD and Dyslexia spectrum. If this is an accurate description then the general prejudices no matter how humourous are derogatory and unfair. Without these beautiful minds in our midst the world would be a very boring and uneventful place.
My own journey has been one of feeling lowly and stupid at times, but recently I have pushed through and now have a desire to make the wider community more aware of just how gifted Dyslexics are.
I did a radio interview with a fellow dyslexic and oh my gosh, what an empowering time it was. If you would like to hear it, please follow the link below and I will send you an email with the download instructions.
Please click this interview download link to receive the download instructions.