Living With Dyslexia – Self Acceptance

I am smart……..

Growing up in a small school was wonderful. It was just what I needed. I did lack in certain compartments though. I had struggles. I never did understand how I could read an entire book and never remembered what I read. The letters just jumped off the page. My handwriting was awful. It didn’t matter how much I practiced it didn’t seem to help. Math was so hard I cam in during other classes to get help. Thank God I had an amazing math teacher. I never would have passed. It didn’t matter how many times he tried to explain problems and solutions to me. I never remembered. It was like another language. I was super creative. I had no coordination. Couldn’t tell you my left from my right. I had no perception of time. I always showed up way early to thing because I never wanted to be late. I burned a lot of food. I didn’t understand measurements. Things that were so easy for my other classmates was a real challenge for me. I eventually believed I wasn’t as smart as everyone else. That just wasn’t the case.

Years later in college a professor noticed my learning differences. That professor finally asked a question that would soon answer so many questions I had growing up. That professor asked ” Have you ever been tested for dyslexia?” I had not.

In my 30s I was diagnosed with dyslexia. By dyslexia I mean the whole shebang. Dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Most people have heard of dyslexia. Dysgraphia is the writing part of dyslexia. Dyscalculia is the math part of dyslexia. Things would have been so different had I known this earlier in my life. But after I found out I learned so many things about myself and my gift. I decided to turn this into my learning ability through self acceptance.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters, and words (decoding). Dyslexia affects area of the brain that processes language.

Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. Many super intelligent people have dyslexia. It is a gift of being able to see things from a lot different points of view all at once. But it is hard to prioritize. People with dyslexia are very brilliant but find it hard to focus. It sometimes makes it hard to make since of things.

One in five people suffer from dyslexia. About 70% to 85% of children placed in special education for learning disabilities are dyslexic.

Aspects of people’s lives that have been affected by dyslexia:

  1. People with dyslexia have lifestyle challenges.
  2. Dyslexia can affect the short term memory so people with dyslexia might forget and conversation or important dates. They might even be bad at remembering names.
  3. People with dyslexia might have issues with organization. They forget meetings or appointments.
  4. They might be very tired because they tend to work harder than most people.
  5. Reading and writing will always be a challenge for people with dyslexia. Processing sounds and letters are often very confusing for dyslexics.
  6. People with dyslexia have issues with time perception and often have to set alarm clocks and calendars to remind them of important appointments. They also burn food easily.
  7. Dyslexic individuals struggle with a sense of direction. They often need a GPS even with places they have been before.
  8. People with dyslexia depend on a good daily routine to cope with dyslexia.
  9. People with dyslexia can seem weird because they have so many different perspectives at once. They seem unaware of social cues. They have so many ideas that they might talk out of a conversation or seem reserved because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing. They sometimes appear incoherent in a conversation.
  10. They find processing details exhausting such and numbers and sounds because it is harder for them.
  11. They function differently on different days. Some days it seems like everything is improving. Other days it seems like its getting worse.
  12. They are highly creative. They thing outside the box and view the world from all different perspectives. 22% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic.
  13. They see things that others don’t like words jumping off the page in many different ways.
  14. They get overwhelmed by what they see. So many possibility and their thoughts come in all garbles and distorted. It gets very confusing at times.
  15. They are more likely to have ADD. 40% of people with dyslexia have ADD. 60% of people with ADD have dyslexia.
  16. They can experience thoughts as reality. They believe they have told you something when they haven’t. They will swear you never told them something you have.
  17. They may not know they have dyslexia.
  18. They think in pictures instead of words.
  19. They will always have dyslexia. There is no cure.
  20. They use their brain differently. They use the left hemisphere. This doesn’t always get information to the right area or even causes a delay of information.
  21. Dyslexia is inherited.
  22. They often have a low self esteem. They are just as intelligent as the rest of us. They just learn differently and have different learning strategies.
  23. No two people with dyslexia will have the same exact symptoms. Everyone with dyslexia will have different symptoms. Some lose things and have poor organizational skills. Some have low comprehension in reading. Many have problems organizing ideas to write. Some have issues organizing days or months of the year. Everyone with dyslexia have symptoms that are different.
  24. They are full of contradictions. They are highly aware of their environment but appear lost. Their brains are very fast but appear slow because of all in the possible information they are filtering through and processing.
  25. They have great strengths. People with dyslexia are very good at reading people and have great people skills. They have a great memory and can rely on it for accurate information. They have vivid imaginations and are very intelligent.
  26. People with dyslexia can be incredibly successful because of all the strengths that come with dyslexia.
  27. People with dyslexia have changed the world such as Albert Einstein, George Washington, Steven Jobs, Henry Ford, and Stephen Spielberg.

Signs of dyslexia:

Preschool:

  1. Sometimes will talk late in life.
  2. Has a hard time learning nursery rhymes or song lyrics that rhyme.
  3. Struggles to name familiar objects and uses general words. ex. uses thing and stuff instead.
  4. Has trouble remembering things in the right order like singing letters in the alphabet.

Grade School:

  1. Has trouble sounding out words.
  2. Often confuses letters that look familiar (b,d,p,q) and letters with similar sounds (d/t,b/p;f/v).
  3. Has trouble with spelling.
  4. Often doesn’t recognize common words.
  5. Struggles with handwriting and organizing writing ideas.
  6. Has issues with reading comprehension.
  7. Has issues sequencing numbers, letters, and events.

Middle School:

  1. Reads very slowly.
  2. Has issues with reading comprehension.
  3. Spells the same word correctly and incorrectly in the same assignment.
  4. Struggles with writing assignments.
  5. Has issues sequencing numbers, letters, and events.

High School:

  1. Often skips over small words when reading aloud.
  2. Has issues with reading comprehension.
  3. Seems to be searching for words when speaking, and might substitute words ( Such as saying gate instead of fence).
  4. Struggles with writing assignments.
  5. Has issues sequencing numbers, letters, and events.
  6. Often doesn’t get the joke.

Truthfully if you looked up dyslexia in a dictionary you should probably see my face. I have learned how to embrace my strengths with dyslexia and put them to good use towards my life as a teacher. I have students with learning differences so in many ways my dyslexia has been a gift for many people including myself.

A part of self love and self care is accepting who you are. You have to accept your challenges and your strengths. It has taken some time but I have done this.

I have passed on the gift of dyslexia to my daughter who also has dsylexia, dyslgraphia, and dyscalculia. Luckily for her we caught it early so she realizes her challenges and strengths. She also knows she is really smart.

Albert Einstein who was considered the smartest man in the world had dyslexia.

See I told you I was smart……….

“Children with disabilities are stronger than we know, they fight the battles that most will never know.” – Misti Renea Neely

Published by Coach Jeanie

Self Love and Self Care Life Coach Odessa, Texas

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