The joy and shame of dyslexic blogging.

July 1, 2011 · 40 comments

Essence and Importance of Words1

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).

signature new smaller

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ellie April 17, 2014 at 1:02 am

I’m dyslexic and an avid journal-er. It turns out that is how I process information. I need to write it. I’m also, as it turns out, a bit of a perfectionist. And my Dad is an English major. So he instilled in us kids the importance and the skill of proof reading. I have a love/hate relationship with writing.

I am always struck with the irony of it all when I start a new journal.

You’re doing great and I bet no one noticed from your writing.

Reply

2 Rachel Lee August 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm

MARCS BABYLAB
University of Western Sydney

SEEDS OF LITERACY
Are you pregnant?
Is your baby 0-5 months?
We need babies with or without a family history of dyslexia to be part of our exciting new study.

JOIN the “Seeds of Literacy Club” and receive:
Babylab Science degree upgraded at each visit
$30 travel money for each visit
Small gifts at each visit.

WHAT is “Seeds of Literacy”?
An exciting new 5 year longitudinal study, of 100 infants from 5 months to 5 years, 50 with and 50 without a family history of dyslexia.

An understanding of how early experience affects later literacy may assist intervention and support for children with reading difficulties.

You may be eligible to participate if:
-You have an infant aged between birth and 5 months;
-You have or do not have a family history of dyslexia;
-You and your infant are available to be recorded approximatley every month from 5 months to 13 months, then every 4 months until your child is 5 years old.

To register or for more information contact:
Rachel Lee at
babylab@uws.edu.au
9772 6313
babylab.com.au
Rachel Lee recently posted..Welcome to Marcs BabylabMy Profile

Reply

3 Rachel Lee July 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Hi Caz

Can I contact you by email regarding a dyslexia study?

Kind regards
Rachel
University of Western Sydney

Reply

4 Caz May 21, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Such a shame I didn’t notice this comment. Would have loved to help out.
Caz recently posted..Easy Thai Green Curry Chicken (Cuisine Companion Cooking)My Profile

Reply

5 Helga Rivers December 9, 2011 at 3:28 am

He is surely not alone in his feelings!! thank you for sharing with us. Dreadful. Being able to edit and edit and edit again?

Reply

6 Jacky October 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for this blog, it is such a shame that dyslexia is seldom recognised or catered for in the education system. My daughter is dyslexic and obviously we told her school when we arrived from the UK and would you believe the first thing they asked her to do was to stand up in assembly in front of the whole school and read an oath which they gave to her as she got up on stage! Dreadful. But after years of hard work now would you believe she’s training to be a stage manager! I’m so proud of her achievements but know for anyone struggling with dyslexia its a constant battle.

Reply

7 Trish July 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I’ve never noticed either. I am glad you have found way to still do what you love and excel at. There is no shame at all in sharing personal difficulties.
I struggle with leaving words out and changing tense mid way through a sentence.I feel terrible about some comments I’ve left or if I go back over old posts.
Trish recently posted..Something new ~ HairMy Profile

Reply

8 Louisa July 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I can’t believe I am only commenting on this now, I would never have known this and am so grateful that you chose to share this with us. Another reason you are just all kinds of wonderful!

Reply

9 Amy July 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I’ve never noticed Caz and I’m an ex-high school English teacher! 😛 Actually, part of the reason I got out of teaching was because I was told that there was no way to help students (such as yourself) who needed it. No time in class, no time outside of class, nothing. Just pass or fail and move on. Very frustrating when you see kids struggling and you genuinely want to help.

Reply

10 Kellie July 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Caz, amazing post and must say I think you are an awesome writter/blogger. Your ability to write openly and honestly is what brings me back to this space time and time again.

p.s – I have never noticed any slips..x

xoxo
Kellie

Reply

11 Missy Boo July 5, 2011 at 12:56 am

I’ve never noticed your dyslexia 🙂 I have a very good friend who is a radiographer (and very bright). She went to school in London where they were trialling alternative learning approaches. There was never a push in spelling at her school but more focus on that kids were learning! Lucky for her, as she is dyslexic, and she cannot spell for anything!!! Never stopped her achieving her potential and her dreams 🙂

Reply

12 Lee July 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hi Caz,
I have been away for a few days and now I am home catching up on my favourite blogs! I must be dyslexic too because I haven’t noticed any typo’s or alphabet spews! I often notice them in mine though. Strange.
Thanks heaps for sharing and let go of that shame… it’s not yours. It belongs to those old teachers.
x Lee

Reply

13 Mumma's Mini Mes - Kym July 4, 2011 at 9:01 am

Hi Caz! I never noticed a thing and I totally agree with Keepbusycate, I have many mistakes which I notice when I look back through posts because I am always doing 20 other things at the same time.

Reply

14 Caz July 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Thanks Kym – yes it makes me work much harder not to have the mistakes. I’m probably abit over sensitive!!

Reply

15 Naomi Ellis July 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm

So brave and wonderfully honest of you Caz. I would have had no idea, never noticed any mistakes in your posts and I love everything that you put together. I so love that you are working you way through it and have not let it stop you writing and blogging in a public way. Very impressed. N x

Reply

16 Caz July 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Thank you Naomi – all this encouragment is making me feel all warm and fuzzy!! :O)

Reply

17 Julie July 2, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Oh Caz, I think you are AMAZING! To be completely honest, I would not have picked this from your writing on your blog or on your comments AT ALL! I think you are articulate, interesting, clever and extremely well thought out in your posts… that’s why I enjoy reading them so much.
You poor darling, school is such a tumultuous time anyway, without having that type of pressures placed on you :o( You should be so proud of yourself Caz, seriously. Your little pinks are lucky ladies to have a Mama like you… whatever academic path they wish to pursue, they will have support and that takes care of half the battle xo

Reply

18 Tat July 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Well done for following your passion and you know what, I’ve never noticed (and your blog is one of the 3 blogs on my must-read list).

Reply

19 Caz July 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Ah yes the ark of deflection!! I’ve become very skilled at swapping words and not dealing with numbers. I also have a hubby who proof reads all of my important stuff!! Thanks so much for your encouragement 🙂

Reply

20 Mum on the Run July 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thank you for baring (nearly!) all.
Like others, I would never have thought there was a single thing amiss in your fabulous blog.
My sister is dyslexic and school wasn’t a dream for her. She was amazingly skilled at the art of deflecting attention and dodging detection though.
My sis a brilliant writer, like you.
It’s awesome that you’re not held back from your passion.
🙂

Reply

21 Carlene July 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm

This is an amazing post. My husband is also dyslexic and has struggled with reading and writing for years. At times he gets incredibly frustrated and feels just plain ‘stupid’.
You’ve done so well to overcome this obstacle and write beautifully.

Reply

22 Caz July 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thanks Carlene – I feel for your other half – it can be difficult and very frustrating. He is surely not alone in his feelings!!

Reply

23 Thank you July 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm

While I am a regular reader, I am writing this comment under a different name.

I am certain my sister is dyslexic. She has always struggled with getting the words to the paper. My parents organised tutors for her in secondary school but none ever really helped.

She comments on my blog under anon, and people reading must often wonder at all the typos. I actually don’t think she can see them as she writes.

It is also why I hate sites who don’t allow anon comments. Not everyone has the skills to write wonderful comments, many people have slipped through the education system and ended up unable to read and write.

In fact, when we write in marketing copy we try to allow the ‘average’ Australian reader to understand it, that means about year 7 level.

I am so glad you have mastered your craft of writing, no, I would never have noticed this and don’t expect I will notice anything different now you have said it.

Reply

24 Caz July 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Thank you so much for commenting. Very interesting to know our average reading level is year 7. It frustrates me knowing there are others who may have never been able to over their dyslexia and are left feeling dumb and de-valued. I wish there was more than could be done to help. Might have to ponder this for a while. Thanks again:O)

Reply

25 Kylie Poke July 2, 2011 at 6:19 am

Thank you for sharing that about yourself. By reading your blog you woud never know it as it is always such a wonderfully written (informaive & often humerous) piece of work & certainly a joy to read. Lets hope if any of your pinks do have it, the education system of today has advanced enough to assist & encourage.

Reply

26 Caz July 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thank Kylie 🙂 From what I hear the education system is still not so great – but I’ll be on their case if I need to be!

Reply

27 Kymmie July 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Oh Caz, I would NEVER have known. Whenever I visit, I am always amazed and delighted by your words, and thoughtful prose. And thank you for sharing. For your honesty. And for your links. It’s so wonderful when bloggers share information they know with others, and even a little bit of themselves too 😉 xx

Reply

28 Caz July 2, 2011 at 8:45 am

Thanks Kymmie, it’s so nice to hear that. I love to write – so it’s worth the extra effort. Hope all is well with you and the boys. Hope you’ve avoided the dreaded flu that seem to have engolfed Victoria!!

Reply

29 Kellie July 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Well done for sharing this, Caz. I agree with Melissa – how good would it be to show your old English teachers this blog? It’s a real credit to you. You write beautifully and I always enjoy your point of view on topics. I can’t imagine how much time you must put into editing. You are a real inspiration, Caz! xx

Reply

30 Caz July 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

Thanks Kellie :O) – It is time consuming – but I just can’t stop. Addicted!! I just don’t have a much time for twitter and FB – busy proof reading!!

Reply

31 jody July 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I would never have guessed, i always find your posts easy to read, you do a great job! thank you for sharing with us.
Have a lovely weekend! x

Reply

32 Caz July 2, 2011 at 8:40 am

Thanks so much Jody. It’s ALWAYS nice to hear that. Hope you are starting to feel better. That flu is a horror!!

Reply

33 Dorothy July 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Thanks for sharing that Caz. I’ve never noticed anything different about your writing, so you’ve obviously managing your dyslexia very well. I have to tell you that I often miss words or write the wrong words down, and then when I re-read some writing it makes absolutely no sense. I think my hands just can’t keep up with my brain sometimes. Isn’t the computer wonderful for that though? Being able to edit and edit and edit again? I’ve often gone back to old posts and corrected mistakes, which I hope nobody noticed 😕

Reply

34 Caz July 2, 2011 at 8:39 am

Thanks Dorothy! Yes thank-you God for the ability to edit on the computer!! Without it I’d be snunk. I often slip back in a fix up the slip ups after I’ve published too. I think as Cate said it makes me even more conscious of it. Thanks so much for dropping by 🙂

Reply

35 keepcatebusy (Cate) July 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I know we all make mistakes when we are typing – and I think most of us (who are sensible) just ignore those mistakes as they do not detract from the post itself. I know I make lots of errors, nto because I’m dyslexic but because I am usually trying to do too many things at once!!
I also know I do not proof read enough – so perhaps your awareness of your dyslexia actually makes you a more careful blogger??
Either way – your blogs rocks! So it soooo doesn’t matter 🙂
xxxCate

Reply

36 Caz July 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm

You could be right Cate! And thanks – those words are like music to my ears!!

Reply

37 Becky from BeckyandJames.com July 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Yes, thank you for sharing this, Caz. Your passion and dedication to this blog considering how difficult it must be is amazing and inspiring.
I am glad you persevere!! x

Reply

38 Caz July 1, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Thanks Becky 🙂

Reply

39 Melissa July 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thank you for sharing that with us 🙂 It mustn’t have been easy. Bet you’d love to go back to your old school/English teacher and show them what you’re doing here. Keep up the AWESOME work 🙂

Reply

40 Caz July 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Thanks Melissa 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: