|The following paragraphs were written by students studying at
The Dyslexia Center in Santa Rosa, California. They were written to explain how
the world is experienced by the dyslexic and provide understanding
of the many facets of dyslexia.
The ability to see multidimensionally, all at once, or from any
one place at a time. The ability to think in pictures and to register those pictures as
real. Thus, you mix in creative thinking with reality and change
what you see and hear.
Running daydreams: A process of always rapidly creating in your mind,
so you never hear what others really say, or you forget
what they say. Therefore, you can't hear or see things
around you accurately.
Disorientation: The imagination starts running
when something "triggers" you. You become
spacey; you "drift" and make mistakes. It
can be seen in your eyes and felt inside. Triggers can
be written or spoken words, movement, confusion, sounds,
people, exhaustion, sensitivities, emotions, hunger,
fear, etc. Thus, dyslexia affects your life and the
lives of those around you.
Multi-faceted: Dyslexics have complex lives; they are
intense and "high maintenance" people who are
bright, entertaining and unique.
A talent to think 3-dimensionally, in pictures,
like computer graphics: This talent interferes with
symbols, print, spoken language, balance, movement,
and the sense of time. One needs to learn when it needs
to be turned off; each person has to learn when this
is most necessary for them.
Optical illusions: You perceive things in a different, unique way.
You see changes in the details around you. They shift, they get
brighter or duller.
Not just in academics: It affects your ability to integrate what you
hear, see, think, and your ability to follow through
successfully. It affects your sequential thinking and
your ability to stay on task.
A spatial, verbal, and thinking disability: Dyslexia is easily unsettling. This can create extra
movement, extra anxiety, and tends to speed up the thinking
rate which, in turn, can speed up the talking rate immensely.
Trying to catch up to the rapid thinking increases stumbling
and fumbling for words. It can also cause a misperception
of what others say. Dyslexics can't even begin to explain
all of the thoughts and feelings. They always feel that
there is something missing, something unidentifiable.
Dyslexics are often missing the feeling of well-being
An emotional disability: Dyslexia can move
you from a calm state of mind into confusion in seconds.
It's hard for others to understand a dyslexic. Confusion
tends to make a dyslexic moody, overly sensitive, and
unable to communicate easily with others. There is no
question that it affects your relationships.
Variable with its symptoms: Symptoms fluctuate
and depend on the tolerance for confusion that moment,
that hour, that day. Ordinarily, confusion precedes
learning; in a dyslexic, confusion leads to more confusion,
which tends to block the learning process.
Hand in hand with other disabilities: Dyslexia can also cause problems in math (dyscalculia),
handwriting (dysgraphia), listening (receptive language
problem), the processing of verbal instructions or information
(central auditory processing problem), and/or a problem
with day dreaming and staying on task (Attention Deficit
Disorder, or ADD).
A collection of symptoms in reading: Dyslexia
causes the omission of words; letters in words; or not "seeing" a word; addition of
words; transpositions (switching) of letter order; repetitions
of words or sentences; reading and rereading; practicing
what you're to read and still making embarrassing mistakes;
reading worse under pressure; not remembering what you
read; reversals of word order; reversals of letters;
reversals of words; stumbling over words; sounding out
a word and then not recognizing it in another sentence;
confusion over the author's meaning or purpose; "rewriting" the author's words; feeling that you're dumb; total
frustration because you can't understand what you're
reading. You feel that something is wrong with you.
Confusion in math(dyscalculia): Dyslexics
may be burdened by: adding, subtracting, multiplying,
or dividing incorrectly, with seemingly small, "careless" errors; transposing and reversing numbers; "forgetting" to do something; somehow coming up with other answers;
adding when you should be subtracting; suddenly dividing
when you should be adding; somehow losing the process.
Not "seeing" a problem to be worked on the
page and, thus, not answering it can be another complication.
Dyslexics often don't know how they did on a test. They
can work the sample problem, but can't apply the process
to a slightly different problem. Everyone thinks the
dyslexic could do it if they would "just try."
Inconsistent in subject matters: Though perhaps
accomplished in math, dyslexics may not have a clue
when it comes to reading, writing, and spelling. Or
the opposite may be true. Dyslexia can affect learning
in all the subject areas, or a few at a time; this can
vary throughout your life. Without correction we have
to work 7 times as hard as anyone else, or else just
Irritating to others: the person who has dyslexia
may make mistakes that look careless.
Sensitivity: Dyslexics are keenly sensitive
to others, and are able to perceive thoughts and feelings;
this makes mistakes upsetting. Dyslexics also have a
strong sense of justice and are always right!
A talent: Excellent in art, music, drama, sports,
carpentry, mechanics, and electronics, dyslexics can brainstorm
their way out of anything. Dyslexics are creative and
bright, giving others the impression that they should
just try harder!
Correctable: Once someone has been trained
to do the correction, catch their confusions, and clear
up their "stumblers," dyslexia becomes self-correctable.
Dyslexics can then have the experience of being focused.
When you learn to focus, you are finally able to
realize many facets of your potential and are able to
take charge of your life. You experience choices and
successes that have eluded you all of your life. You
open up to increased self-esteem, the value of which
is immeasurable. You learn to understand and accept
yourself. You are different, unique, and talented!