A Short Course in Dyslexia

I’ve written several posts on my “delightfully dyslexic” brain. I fully respect those who struggle with more severe dyslexia and find no amusement whatsoever in the challenges it presents. Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that causes the brain to process and interpret information differently. For me, it manifests in spelling and reading as well as in writing and typing.

Someone who has “normal wiring” may see a red sign that says STOP. We dyslexics may read POTS or TOPS. Over time, we learn in context that those letters on a red octagonal sign means you should stop. Over more time, we may even come to see the letters in the right order.

When typing or writing, reversing letters such as g and q or p, d and b are common. In addition to reversing letters, or groups of letters, there are many instances where words rearrange themselves on the paper. Letters from above might jump down and insert themselves into a sentence below. The ending of a word below may suddenly float up and insert itself in the word above it causing a momentary pause while we figure out what the heck the sentence is trying to say. Reading contextually becomes important.

For example, I was engrossed in a novel the other day. A woman was sorting through her refrigerator, trying to track down a bad-fish sort of odor. When she located it, she said, “…so I tossed out the remains and opened a window.” (even as I type this, I have to go word by word to get it right. My brain read, “…so I tossed the remains out an open window.” Okay, so still a possibility, but nothing in the story so far had led me to believe she was that uncouth. It took several readings before I could read it the way it was written.

I remember in grade school in those dreaded “read out loud” classes, the teacher would kindly suggest that I just read what was on the page, and not make up words, or make the sentence something entertaining.

Columns are challenging as well…those charts where you have to go across for one set of information and down for another to find a coordinate… I’m thinking there aren’t too many dyslexic bookkeepers, but I could be wrong.

I don’t have auditory dyslexia, but others have difficulty taking in verbal information—they literally hear it differently than how it’s spoken.

Ah, but we’re creative, our brains are trainable, and if we’re lucky we’ve developed a good sense of humor. Now that I’m old-ish and no longer as concerned about what people think, I have chosen to get a kick out of how I interpret the world around me. I’m especially good at reading those cryptic license plates with missing letters that sort of imply a message but don’t have enough space to write it all out. Yeah, my kinda driver! GO4THNX (go forth and multiply—easy peasy).
(Also see under Posts: Dyslexia and Loose Ghosts, Aug, 2009 and The “Up”-side of Dyslexia: Wipes Clog Drains, Nov. 2013)