Hey everyone, so I thought today I would provide you with some fun facts about Reading and Dyslexia.
So what is dyslexia?
You probably already know the answer; it’s most likely that you know someone who is dyslexic, but if you need a bit of help I recently wrote a post about books featuring Dyslexia that may give you an idea.
Reading and Dyslexia is all encompassing. There are multiple Dyslexia symptoms but they all affect your ability to read. Even when reading is considered a strength and spelling a weakness for example.
To be specific Dyslexia is a specific neurological learning disability that is characterised by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, poor spelling, and decoding abilities. Writing, vocabulary and reading comprehension are just secondary factors.
So here are ten elements about dyslexia that you may not know:
1. Difficultly in distinguishing left from right.
If you are in my car it is always the case that you have to say “my side” or “your side” it avoids a lot of hassle.
But if you do make that foolish error of telling me to turn left I will have to check by putting my hands up into an ‘L’ just to check myself.
2. Poor co-ordination or unusual clumsiness.
It does make reading and walking a particular difficulty. Or eating. Or even having a cup of tea…
3. Poor concentration skills.
I love reading and I find it really hard to read for long periods of time. Even when I want to finish a book and it so amazing I do not want to put it down. I have to put my book down and do something else. Which can make reading a lot longer than it needs to be.
4. Illogical sequencing of ideas or lists.
For example, remembering vowels I could never say AEIOU, it had to be EUIAO.
It means remembering lists or information that is considered important, it can be done, but don’t expect it to be in the correct order.
5. Difficulty in remembering telephone numbers.
Okay I know that this is not technically a difficultly associated with reading but it does make it difficult when you have to read more because you cannot remember the number you have to call. It is an occupational hazard.
I know three and a half. Which is not ideal, especially as one number I definitely need is my direct line for work. Currently I have to read it on a piece of paper I’ve tacked to my phone and I always worry I’ll give out the incorrect one!
6. ‘Bright’ and ‘understanding’ of a certain topic but there is a ‘mental block’ with regards to reading or writing about said topic.
This has stopped being such a pain in the bum recently for me. Doing exams it was incredible hard to read a question and instantly know what I needed to write about.
It’s still hard for when I need to learn something new at work. it get’s explained and I understand, but as soon as I walk away to deal with it, my understanding disappears… I sometimes have to go over a point three or four times before it clicks.
7. Difficulty in distinguishing important and unimportant information.
Who else ends up highlighting the whole page or is it just me?
I got around this for years by using the following method:
- Having two copies of the book.
- Copy one put all highlights and notes in.
- Make sure use notes and highlights in different colours – 10 if needs be.
- Make note on spreadsheet of quotes actually used when dealing with practise papers and essays.
- Highlighting new book with these closer to exam date.
- Hope that you got it right.
And this means more time reading the book than your fellow students.
8. Difficulties when it comes to speaking.
For example, mispronunciation of words, lisps, poor rhyming, not noticing differences in words e.g. specific and pacific
Okay so this applies more when you have to read aloud. But what sounds right in your head comes out completely different when you speak.
It also causes some embarrassment when you are trying to sound professional. This happens to me when I’m speaking to a client and I have to read from my file unprepared. Normally before I call I will read through what I want to say and if there’s anything I know I will struggle with say it out loud. It’s extra work but it is necessary to do to prevent confusion.
9. Difficulty revising for exams.
I left this in even though I thankfully finished my exams a couple of months ago now and they were open book. All of the above applies to this point as it creates so many difficulties, – retention of lists, concentration, learning what is important.
Stuff never seems to stick in my head. I’ve always wondered where my lost knowledge goes. It must go somewhere right?
10. Thinks primarily with images and feelings, there is little internal dialogue.
I thought that this random fact was quite interesting as I never thought that the way I think is actually unusual. Whenever I think there is always a picture in my head. Does this happen to anyone else? Or anyone not diagnosed with Dyslexia?
So what about Reading and Dyslexia?
Reading and Dyslexia is something that goes side by side in my head. Issues with reading is considered to be a secondary factor when it comes to reading. But out of the ten points I’ve listed above at least two of them and when you apply my logic seven elements can be contributed to difficulties in reading.
And it is a problem that doesn’t stop just because you’ve left school. For me it is still a secretive daily battle that most of the time I win. Although when it comes to getting my numbers in the right order is one battle too much.
Can anything help?
Yet these limitations have become easier due to advancements in technology. Some of the little beauties that I use all the time are:
- Spellchecker – a godsend for when you switch letters around. I am constantly writing frist and brithday. Luckily my computer knows to deal with this.
- Dragon – A programme that lets you dictate to your computer and it will do the typing for you.
- My Kindle – which allows me to change not only the font and size of the text but also the background colour and brightness of the screen. Making it less painful to look at.
- Dictaphone – perfect when having to take notes, helping with the issue of concentration.
- Audiobooks – I love how much more choice there are now and they are perfect when you need to give your eyes a rest.
Dyslexia is no longer the pain it once was. I have noticed that things are now slightly easier. Whether that is because I am now slightly grown up and have my coping mechanisms in place or because of technology; I don’t know. What I do know is that I won’t let people shame me for having dyslexia. It’s just something that I cannot control.