I’ve wanted to write a post about this for ages – but it never seems to come out right. I think because it’s linked with some of my internal issues and self belief. You know that little voice inside yourself that talks to you and points out your faults! That voice is not one of my favourite people to play with. You see I am dyslexic. Not in a major ‘soul destroying’ way but just enough to make life (and blogging) complicated. If you read here often you may well have noticed already. Dyslexic slips happen regularly. Despite fastidious proof reading on my part it seems almost impossible for me to catch them all.
Blogging itself is a rather crazy hobby for a person with dyslexia. I know. I may be the only dyslexic person alive who actually loves words and writing – or maybe not! Basically, what this means for me is that I make a lot of mistakes when I type. Somewhere in the trip from my brain to the computer screen (or paper) the stream of words gets jumbled and often entire words simple get missed out or replaced by other unrelated words. Bizarre – but true. What makes this even harder is that when I read back over my work I see what my brain thinks should be there and not what is actually on the paper. Proof reading is a slow and time-consuming process.
I’ve struggled with this all my life. As you can imagine school was a bit of a nightmare. I was totally convinced I was just plain dumb. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s (when I was in primary school and early high school) teachers didn’t think about ‘alternative learning styles’ and you were either clever or not so. I was considered to be ‘not so’. I failed spelling and writing tasks regularly and was even put in a remedial English class in high school. This was a bitter pill at my ‘results focused’ private school. I still shudder when I think about it. I couldn’t explain to the teachers what was happening and had to just settle with being thought of as a low achiever. Cue some rather intense feelings about my own self-worth and abilities in life.
Yet here I am blogging my heart out. Despite my struggles I love to write. Words and concepts just flow out of my mind and fingers (even though they need a bit of TLC to get them up to reading standard). I seem to be able to ‘feel’ how a something should be written – so for me blogging is joyful but also tinged with a little shame when I do let mistakes pass by my editing. Shame seems like a strong word – but years of feeling stupid will do that do you. I find it particularly difficult when commenting – as I don’t have time or inclination to proof read my comments. Sometimes I press ‘submit’ and then re-read them and almost cry. So if you’ve received a comment from me that looked a bit like an alphabet spew – I apologise – and hope you can see beyond it.
Now I watch carefully as my girls begin their learning journeys, looking for signs they may have inherited my dyslexic ways. An early sign is the slow development of reading skills. Biggest pink is in the clear. At the mid way point of her grade one year she has already reached the expected level in reading for a grade two. She is a reading fanatic and I’m very proud of her. But I will continue to watch as I am committed to not letting my girls be disadvantaged if they have different learning styles. Did you know that it is estimated that of people who generally struggle with reading 70-80 percent are likely dyslexic? Food for thought. If you would like more information on dyslexia this link might be helpful or even this one. Dyslexia is still not well recognised within the Australian Education system and seeking support can be hard.
Okay – now I’m off to do some proof reading before I hit the publish button :O).