Sharing my Story:The Dyslexia in Me..

Dyslexia:

Dyslexia Self-Assessment for Adults from http://www.interdys.org/AreYouDyslexic_AdultTest.htm

YES

1 Do you read slowly?  x
2 Did you have trouble learning how to read when you were in school?  x
3 Do you often have to read something two or three times before it makes sense?  x
4 Are you uncomfortable reading out loud?  x
5 Do you omit, transpose, or add letters when you are reading or writing?  x
6 Do you find you still have spelling mistakes in your writing
even after Spell Check?
 x
7 Do you find it difficult to pronounce uncommon multi-syllable
words when you are reading?
 x
8 Do you choose to read magazines or short articles
rather than longer books and novels?
 x
9 When you were in school, did you find it extremely difficult
to learn a foreign language?
 x
10 Do you avoid work projects or courses that require extensive reading?  x
Each Question checked “yes” = 1 point Score  10
If you answer “yes” to 7 or more of these questions, you may have signs that indicate
dyslexia. You may want to consider seeking consultation from a specialist or a formal
diagnostic assessment from a qualified examiner.
So above, you can see my answers to the above questions.  My mom always thought I was/am dyslexic.  Well, thank goodness I had her as a mom because I am 100% sure she was right.  Not only am I dyslexic but I am also dysgraphic.  The crazy part is that I never realized it until my son pointed it out.  Not directly did he discover it, but he is the one who helped point it out to me.  I have always had a bad habit (in my mind) of not finishing my words when I write.  Now again, I never thought much of it.  I have always known that I must go back and reread what I write because I typically only write the first half of a word.  When I am actually writing, I see the whole word, and I assume that I have written the whole word.  It is not until I proofread my notes, papers, etc before I see that I am missing half of my words.  I realized that this is part of dysgraphia just recently.  My son answered his math problems, and I graded them.  I was shocked by a few of his answers.  I thought, “I know he does not think that 6 x 11 is 6.”  So I asked him the problem aloud, and he answered correctly.  Next I showed him his written answer.  He looked at me and said, “I don’t know why that says 6.  I wrote down 66.  I know I did.”  It was at this time that it hit me.  We both think we are writing down the correct thing, but obviously, we need to always proofread.  (Of course, convincing a 9-year-old to go back and read over something that he wrote is a whole other blog).
Sounds easy-to proof read-but her comes the kicker….it requires more reading.  So now we get back to the dyslexia piece.  Dyslexia has many different parts-the reading, the spelling, and the writing are the main ones.  The reading….oh, how I envy those who can pick up a book and read the whole thing in a day.  My husband for example can finish a book that it takes me a month to read in about a day to two days.  Reading immediately makes me tired.  I am learning as I teach my children different ways to read.  I have also found that for some reason I can read easier on a kindle.  I know that sounds weird but it is true.  I am also very thankful for books on CD.  Why did I not discover them sooner?  This is another wonder of homeschooling!  I listened to books on CD a little in the past, but now we listen to them all of the time.  Children love to be read aloud to.  Unfortunately for my kids, I fall asleep when I read.  I hope each night that they can all agree on one or two books or that my hubby is around.  He can read to the kids for hours.  It is amazing!  Well, books on CD have become my safety net.  We can all listen to wonderful stories.  I am actually getting to enjoy all of the classics that so tortured me during school.  I now realize that I had to work so hard just to read the words that I never got to enjoy the story.  The classics are wonderful-I had no idea.
The spelling…who needs to know how to spell-right?  We now have spell check.  Well, spell check only works if you get close to the word that you are trying to spell, and then you have to pick the correct word that you want from the list.  Spelling has always been a nightmare for me.  It makes me laugh each day when my 7-year-old daughter can spell things that I can not.  We keep saying that she and I are going to have a spelling bee.  The scary part is that she will most likely win!  I am learning along with my kids all of the wonderful spelling rules out there for English.  We have one tough language.  Hopefully, my kids will go through life with a little more knowledge on spelling than I had, and I will be able to help them with spelling throughout their schooling.  Spelling rules also are helping us (yes, believe it or not-I did say us) with decoding words in addition to encoding words.  My husband about burst out laughing at my pronunciation of the word “archipelago.”  I think at that moment he almost revoked my “teacher” title for our homeschool.  Thankfully, you can teach an old dog new tricks including how to decode!
The writing is as above.  I have been pretty lucky with writing.  The missing letter piece is about all I experience.  My son, however, works a little different.  He can dictate a beautiful and sophisticated sentence.  However, when he writes the answer to the same question-it is usually a short, 3-4 word sentence that is direct and to the point.  He is amazing in his effort though.  Prior to my taking the Orton-Gillingham subscriber course, he answered questions in one-word.  Now he writes his answers in full sentences without even thinking about it.  In hind sight, I may have done this also.  Thanks to my mom and her knowledge, I do not remember writing being an issue.  I do remember her teaching me strategies for writing papers and notes.  The Catholic School-fear may have kept me from ever writing one word answers, again-I do not remember that part of school as a child but as an adult, I have not found writing difficult.
Oh-one more..I almost forgot.  I am rhyming impaired and so was/is my son.  I am sure you do not think of being able to rhyme words as a gift but if you can rhyme-take a moment to appreciate it.  Those songs that are so much fun to other kids-Hannah, hannah, bobanna,fi-fy-bobanna, hannah- yes, these are almost impossible for us.  Writing poems with a specific number of syllables and with a rhyming pattern…forget it.  Still can not do it.  Maybe one day I will be able to.
I think back now about elementary school.  I think about how many kids had a difficult time with reading.  We all sat in the same reading group year after year.  None of us liked to read aloud.  In fact, it was one of my biggest fears in grade school.  Everyone knew us as the slow readers…you know the ones-the kids who get to read a paragraph instead of a whole section in the text-book.   As an adult, I now understand why I did not enjoy these things.   The amazing piece is that I now have an amazing knowledge to use to help one of the most intelligent kids I know (yes, I realize that I am biased on this one).  I have the tools to make the classics enjoyable, writing easy, correct spelling possible, and possibly even rhyming some words to make a poem.
The term is dyslexic.  It is labeled as a learning disability.  It is actually just a different way of learning from the majority of the humans out there in the world.  We learn just fine-just not by reading.  We can see just fine, and we can hear just fine.  It is simply that relationship between the symbols we as humans use to read and our brains is chunkier.  We are very verbal and intelligent.    I was lucky enough to have a mom who figured it out.  I was lucky enough to have a child with the same way of learning so that I could learn how to learn better myself.  He has taught me more in his short life, than I did in my entire years of schooling.   Take the time to work with a child if you are a teacher/parent or find someone who can.  The child will thank you later!
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2 thoughts on “Sharing my Story:The Dyslexia in Me..

  1. Wow!!!! I never in a thousand years knew I did all these things for you in school. I guess I am/was a teacher after all. I always thought it was my vocation,and I see it at work, but I didn’t realize it had happened at home too. What a revelation!! And it came from my daughter!!! With love and appreciation with you as a teacher too. Mom

    Like

  2. Pingback: Disability? Not Now…Maybe Later | Simple Days making for an Exciting Adventure

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