Dyslexic Writers, learning disabilities in the arts.

As a dyslexic writer I was hoping to start a conversation about it. It’s quite a struggle to write when I can’t spell the words right. I do have some tools to help me though. I have a great spellchecker that makes sure that my ‘and’s don’t constantly stay ‘nad’s and my words stay in the right order. Maybe someday I’ll turn it off and write a post without and see what everyone thinks about it. 

Dyslexia doesn’t mean stupid, a lot of people think that. It doesn’t mean that you can’t learn, it just makes learning harder. I fight to read and I fight to write, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy them. Sometimes, when I am tired, I find that I just can’t make my brain process words. I can’t make my mind work right. When I am tired I can’t read and have to slowly decipher every word that I am trying to ingest. It’s a struggle, but worth it. 

Right now my mind is tired. I’m having to double check every word that goes onto the screen. Everything that I see feels slightly fuzzy and I have to pause a lot to make sure that I’m doing it right, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I can envision things in three dimensions because of this problem. Reading is more difficult, but I can picture the shape of a molecule easily. I can’t tell my left from my right but I can watch a TV show and not tell whether it is in 3-D or not because my mind naturally makes shadows and shading do the job they were supposed to. In some ways I have a challenge, but in others I am blessed and for that I am always thankful. I wouldn’t change dyslexia for the world, not for a dang thing. I see the world a little differently for it, and that makes me stand out. 

I have a question for everyone reading this. What challenges do you face when you write? Feel free to tell me because I would love to know. 

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10 thoughts on “Dyslexic Writers, learning disabilities in the arts.

  1. Having dyslexia does NOT make you stupid, it makes you unique! One of my favorite professors in college taught classroom management, and she also had dyslexia. The important thing is that she didn’t let her struggles stop her from anything she wanted to accomplish, and from the looks of it neither will you.
    Everyone struggles with writing, as a teacher of writing I can attest to that. It is hard to put words down, to solidify them in a way that seem so permanent. And to top it all off, writing is an incredibly personal venture, so putting your thoughts out here on the internet is a brave thing, kudos to all of us bloggers for that.

    • It may not have been very clear, but that was what I was meaning to get across. I didn’t proofread it as well as I should have, oops… It must be interesting to teach writing, can you share an anecdote about working with dyslexic students.

      • Absolutely, and I was simply agreeing with you that dyslexia doesn’t make you stupid.
        The biggest struggle with all writers is that their teachers have spent so much time focusing on what was wrong with their writing, that they are hesitant to write anything at all. With all of my students, I encourage them to just write. Write what they are interested about and worry about looking at how the writing can be better later.
        One dyslexic student I had last year began the year with huge struggles in writing. He was fearful of writing, because he didn’t want to get his work back with a bunch of red marks. Once he realized that writing was about so much more than correctness he began to open up. He filled his writers notebook with a lot of writing, and we talked a lot about everything that he was doing right! He learned to overcome his fears by embracing his voice as a writer and working through his struggles little by little. I can only hope that his teachers in the future won’t break down the student that I saw grow so much in my class last year.

  2. I love that story. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s not exactly easy to admit that you have a learning disability.

    My story is an interesting one. I was a tutor at a community college. I had thought that everything was normal, honestly believing that it was that hard to read when you’re tired, but I was wrong. My boss started a program. They arranged for a professional online test to be set up to check for learning disabilities. I took the test, thinking that I was perfectly normal and the next thing I know I’m seeing an educational diagnostician and learning that there are ways to make my learning more efficient, the next thing I knew my grades improved and I had explanations for things like why I couldn’t tell my left from my right.

    After my diagnosis, which was lauded as a success at my local community college, I noticed that some of my students had stopped coming to see me. They thought that I couldn’t teach because I had the diagnosis, that upset me, but eventually the students understood that it was what made me so good at my job. I explained things differently and allowed complicated subjects like chemistry and math to be a little more easily understood. It was the reason that I was able to see connections between things that most people didn’t notice at first. I finally knew why I had always learned things so differently than other people. Why my math steps were different than others and I was able to help people.

    Dyslexia made me who I am today, and I am eternally grateful for that.

      • You are quite welcome. I spent a lot of time in books growing up. If I wasn’t reading a book I was writing a letter long enough to become one. People would tell me they loved my letters but they were so long & detailed they often had to split their reading up & read them twice but always asked that I send them more letters. Take your time & don’t stop what you love.

  3. I’m not just dyslexic, I’m left handed too. Everything seems ass backwards. And when I am tired, its anybody’s guess and the world’s greatest spy’s best decoding to make any sense out of anything I say or write. But you are correct, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It takes me 3x longer to do certain things. I often get logged out while writing in platforms such as this because it takes me forever & a day to type proof read and still end up with missing words or random words that don’t fit into what I was attempting to convey. It just makes me want it more & struggle as I may giving up or giving in is no option. Its not in dyslexics to give up. Back up, but never walk away.

    Here’s one challenge When you sound a word, type it and spell check has no clue what word you mean. Thesaurus is a dyslexics best friend, where dictionaries are the class bully to us.

    • Oh yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Sounding out words is the death of me, especially when I am tired. However what gets me the most often is that whole ‘ie’ or ‘ei’, I can’t get that right ever. The other spelling issues I can deal with, but that gets me so mad all of the time.

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