Overcoming Dyslexia

Many adults suffer from dyslexia, and they may not even know it. Basically, dyslexics are people who have problems with their reading and writing skills. These people can have no other learning disabilities. These are people who possess at least an average intelligence. Their symptoms may be mild, or they may be very noticeable.

When people think of dyslexics, they think of illiterate people who can read or write. They don’t think of doctors, lawyers and college professors. Symptoms of dyslexia include difficulties with reading and writing skills, but they also surface in other ways. I am dyslexic, but I can read and write rather well. Actually, I am a remedial English Composition instructor at a community college. Some cases of dyslexia are severe. People with these cases may have difficulties learning how to read. Their writing skills may be delayed. In most cases, the symptoms are not as obvious.

My main dyslexia symptoms include some spelling errors here and there. I have difficulties with numbers. This made math classes a nightmare. I would have the equations correct, but I would invert a number some where along the line. Sometimes I will invert phrases when I speak out loud. I am very auditory. I can hear things others do not hear. Along with that I am easily distracted by sounds. My handwriting is frightening. Growing up I was the quiet girl in class. I hated reading out loud. I knew there was a chance I would screw up. Even though I showed many symptoms of this learning disability, my school district did nothing. At that point in time, I was doing just well enough to get by. I wasn’t failing, so I wasn’t their problem. The only reason I was ever tested was because my mother works in special education. She recognized the signs, and forced the district to test me.

On a day to day basis I can keep my dyslexia in check. I am lucky, it doesn’t have a huge negative impact on my life. I have learned how to deal with my struggles. I have learned reading through colored report covers helps cut down on my eye strain. Therefore, I can read more efficiently. Most days you can’t tell I have a problem at all. Other days I’m not as lucky. Usually when I am tired or stressed, my slightly apparent flaws become very apparent.

I’m not ashamed of my disability. Actually, I use it to my benefit. It helps me relate to my students. They know that I have a disability that sometimes makes reading and writing difficult. Even with that disability, I went to college, earned my degree, and now I am teaching at the college level. I write articles and novels. It isn’t always easy. If I can do it, they most certainly should be able to.

If you are dyslexic, and you are letting it run your life: It is never too late to change. I was lucky. I had a mother in the special education field to help me through. My mom didn’t tell my I was dyslexic until I was in eighth grade. She didn’t want me to use it as a crutch. She supported my writing and she helped when I struggled through math. If you do not have that kind of support system, there still is hope. Research your disability. Identify your symptoms. You may not be able to eliminate all of them, but which ones can you work to counter act? What exercises or methods have helped others? Never be afraid to ask for help.

Most importantly remember that everyone learns at a different pace. Just because you have failed in the past doesn’t mean you are a lost cause. If your problem is that you can’t read, join a literacy group. If it is your speaking patterns, find ways to practice and rectify that. Take it slow. Over time you too can deal with your weaknesses and discover your strengths.

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