Thoughts from a Dyslexia Author
People are always amazed that I am Dyslexic. Especially, since I love words and I read a lot. I mean a lot. I read in a month more books than my class of students combined will read in a year. When I tell people that I'm Dyslexic I always get this confused look and they start a sentence like this... But how can you be... if you are Dyslexic.
So, I wanted to dispel some of the myths people have on Dyslexia through my own observations. When I realised I wanted to do this I also realised it wouldn't fit into one post so I'm going to break it up into parts.
Here is a disclaimer. I am Dyslexic but I've never considered it a learning disability as I am also a smart cookie and have found ways around the issue but there are others for who Dyslexia is a major stumbling block to pretty much anything. I am not a doctor and I am not a shrink ( I would use the other word but I could never spell it.) so please don't assume that my experiences are the same as everyone with Dyslexia.
When I was a young girl my teacher told my mother that I had shocking spelling which was sad because I was doing so well in everything else. So, she suggested that my mother should get me to read more. My mother having four children worked smarter rather than harder and enlisted my brothers to introduce me to the wonderful world of books and the library. I still remember standing in front of a large shelf and my brothers getting all excited over Terry Pratchett and other authors.
I cut my reading teeth on science fiction and high fantasy and within a year I was reading about 100 books. I know this because I made a list of all the books I read in my diary. The next year a different teacher but another parent teacher interview and the teacher suggested to my mother that I should read more books to improve my spelling. My mother found this amusing. Personally, I found it frustrating. There are people who haven't even read a 100 books in their entire lives. I should say I was about 8 at this stage though it could have been younger as the memories are only vague.
Reading did help with spelling but only when I read with others who could help me with pronunciation and breaking the words down. I can spell difficult words but don't ask me to spell it out loud, it has to be written as what I'm really doing is drawing the word and making sure it looks right. When I'm tired or having a bad day I can't even do that. I once forgot how to spell the word 'the'. It does mean that if I get the word close and use spell check I can recognise the correct word because I read so much. I should tell you that Microsoft seriously needs a dyslexic person to teach their spellcheck programme to recognise words as I'm often only one letter off but the spell check can't recognise it.
Please read my other posts on this as I explore my dyslexic world.