Dyslexia for Beginners

This is a bit of a departure from what I normally write about, but its something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.

 

There is one piece of information about me which I can guarantee the response of people when I tell them.

Want to know what it is?

I am Dyslexic.

A little bit surprising for an English Literature student I know.

The response from people that I normally get from revealing this nugget of information is hard to describe, mainly because they often don’t know how to respond to it, however you can see them processing the information in their eyes.  It starts off with shock, and then confusion, progressing though disgust, before coming out with one of three responses, “Oh I didn’t realise, haven’t you done well.”  “My… (insert family member, friend, or person you met once in a bar) is Dyslexic” or “I’m sorry”. All responses make the conversation very uncomfortable, and we, in that very British manner, endeavor to change the subject as quickly as possible, and forget it ever happened.

This is really the reason I felt the need to write about being Dyslexia, because there is so little understanding of such a common learning disability, I use the term loosely. There have been numerous occasions where I have been made to feel inadequate by of the cuff comments, or society’s assumptions about what being Dyslexic means.

Dyslexia does not mean you’re stupid, it just means that your brain works in a very different way to what is “Normal”, nor does it affect your IQ, Albert Einstein was Dyslexic. It also differ between people  Whilst I find reading really easy , and can read faster than some non-Dyslexic friends, I struggle with spelling, and writing, I have a friend who can barely read but doesn’t have a problem with spelling; there are so many variations.

The best definition for Dyslexia that I have found is from Discovering Dyslexia, I’ll put a link at the bottom of the post for anyone who is interested.  Essentially a Dyslexic thinks in a pictorial nonlinear way. So unlike non Dyslexics who think in a verbal Liner way a dyslexic brain is a bit like a crazy mind map of pictures with a million links.

 

A bit like this…

 

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It can make thinking clearly a bit difficult.

However there are some brilliant advantages to thinking like this if people give us a chance. Dyslexics have the ability to see things differently, which is why so many are employed by GCHQ because it makes for good problem solving. Because of the way our brains work we can also process more information faster.

So it’s not all bad.

Emma x

P.S. here are some really good websites about being dyslexic which can explain it a lot better than I can.

   http://www.discoveringdyslexia.com/thinkingstyle.html

http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/

http://www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk/

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