Dyslexia and Me: The Superhero Inside
Posted by ainemosh
Anyone who knows me is aware that when it comes to essay time, I suddenly turn into The Hulk! Or as my boyfriend says ‘The Incredible Sulk’. I find writing excruciatingly difficult! I know what I want to say, but being able to get my ideas from my head onto a page, whether typed or handwritten, is extremely painful. Although I understand writing is difficult for all (which I have been told by non dyslexic students, much to my anger for their ignorance) but with dyslexia it really is an uphill battle. Not all dyslexics have the same problems. For example, my spelling is often on the same level as my non dyslexic family and friends, or sometimes even better! That wasn’t always the case though and I put it down to spending hours type talking to people over the internet without the lazy tlk lyk dis (I may have a rant about txt tlk at a later date). The areas I struggle in are writing and reading rather than spelling.
When it comes to the essay time in the term, this is when you’re most likely to find me throwing strops, threatening to give up or fighting the temptation to throw my laptop out of the window! I know what I want to say most of the time. The knowledge is in my head, but trying to explain it is a nightmare. Knowing what to write has proved very problematic. There are things that, to me, seem obvious so I end up writing facts down instead of explaining in depth. Apparently the bits that I seem to think are obvious are the bits I should be including into the essays. It’s taken me until my final year of undergraduate to figure that out. If I had realised that what I thought was plain to see were the bits that I was meant to include in essays, I perhaps would have been gaining higher marks than I have.
That may sound pretty pretentious or arrogant. A better example of this can be seen in deciphering poetry. The thing I was always best at when I was at school and college was reading poetry. The hidden messages written within the lines were always pretty plain to see for me after a couple of readings. While teachers and lecturers tried to coax the different interpretations out from my classmates, my arm was always raised with an answer. Though I wasn’t always right, I would always give a general jist of what I thought was being said. When I dropped out of Higher English in high school, a classmate came up to me and said, ‘but you’re the only person in the class that understands poetry, why are you dropping out?‘ To me it was all very obvious and I couldn’t grasp why no one else in the class contributed when we studied poetry. I often used to sit back and wait for a few minutes before raising my hand just to see if there were any other answers from my classmates. It’s only in recent years, since being diagnosed as dyslexic, that I have realised that it is due to my thought processes being slightly different to my non dyslexic classmates.
I cannot explain the differences between my thought process and that of non dyslexics as I have only seen life through my dyslexic mind. The way I generally explain to people is, I don’t look at situations in a linear way. For me to get from A to D I may end up at C before B or D before both and then come back to the earlier parts. It’s like I see things in a circle rather than a square. Sometimes this circular pin doesn’t fit the square or vice versa and that’s where my problems lie. Though I may come to the same conclusion as other people, how I get to that conclusion is often far more clumsy or less efficient. However, this is not always a negative thing!
Dyslexia is often described as a learning disability. It conjures up a lot of negative image relating to the struggle with reading and writing as well as other problems, such as my constant questioning over left and right. It doesn’t have to be this way! Some of the greatest thinkers, entrepreneurs and artists have had some form of dyslexia. Albert Einstein, Richard Branson and Johnny Depp instantly spring to mind. In fact, the three leading actors in Pirates of the Caribbean – Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley – are all dyslexic! By coincidence, two of my favourite comedians, Ross Noble and John Bishop, are both dyslexic!
Although turning into The Hulk when writing essays, I focus on the positive things about dyslexia when possible. My superhero powers are not held within the frustration sulking and smashing but my abilities to see things in a different light to those without dyslexia. It’s picking up the hidden messages held within poetry that seem obvious to me, but are a cryptic code to others without my special dyslexic powers. Thinking outside of the box can often scare and intimidate people which leads to negative feedback, but it can also prove to be your spark that makes you different and makes you stand out. It can lead you to new unexplored ideas that lateral thinkers may totally miss out on. So if you are dyslexic and reading this, remember, although it can be an excruciating experience when reading and/or writing, a different way of thinking is what lead to E = mc2.
Posted on February 16, 2014, in Education and tagged Albert Einstein, Awareness, Blogger, Blogging, College, Dyslexia, Dyslexic, Education, Essays, John Bishop, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Poems, Poetry, Reading, Ross Noble, School, Specific Learning Difficulty, SpLD, Studying, Superhero, The Hulk, Txt Tlk, University, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.