Dyslexia: What is it? Awareness of what it means for dyslexics; its impact on life and learning & how to help

Definition of Dyslexia

The word comes from the Greek:

‘dys’ meaning difficult and

‘lexia’ meaning written words or reading

Hence: ‘Difficultly with, or a non-working of, words’.

What is Dyslexia?

Much has been written about dyslexia from the viewpoint of research and education. Multi-sensory teaching is advocated along with a phonic approach. Discussion stimulates progress, innovative ideas abound and good practice spreads daily.

However, here we’re going to look at what dyslexia means for the dyslexics themselves and for their families, the nitty-gritty of day-to-day life.

  • What practicalities have to be overcome?
  • What problems can it cause?
  • What impact does it have on daily life and on learning?
  • What are the positive aspects?
  • What help is available and what can relatives do to help?


How many of these people are dyslexic?

Shopping
Shopping | Source

How can we Understand?

Look at it this way: a dyslexic’s brain processes written language in a different way, causing difficulties with reading and writing, as well as with sequencing (of instructions, of spelling, of time....), with memory, with word retrieval and with comprehension.

Think of it as a circuit in the brain which is like a journey of information from A to B; instead of traveling as the crow flies, the information goes down country roads, gets stuck in fields and can emerge muddy and confused. It takes a few journeys to find B more quickly and to remember the quickest route but, once in long-term memory, the route can be recalled.

As explained by the BDA, dyslexia is ‘a life long, usually genetic, inherited condition and affects around 10% of the population. [It] occurs in people of all races, backgrounds and abilities, and varies from person to person: no two people will have the same set of strengths and weaknesses. Dyslexia occurs independently of intelligence.’


Specific Learning Difficulties

An alternative ‘label’ is ‘Specific Learning Difficulty’, of which there are a few and which often overlap with dyslexia, such as

  • dyscalculia (difficulty with numbers),
  • dyspraxia (difficulty with coordination),
  • attention deficit disorders


What Practicalities have to be Overcome?

On a day-to-day basis the dyslexic has to think about

  • what to take to school or work;
  • what time to wake up, get the bus, be ready for or meet a lift;
  • where to go on the first day of a new school or new job;
  • meeting new people, making new friends;
  • what lesson or meeting is first, second.....;
  • where to go for break, lunch, to meet someone;
  • what to put on for sports lessons;
  • listening to and remembering information;
  • taking notes;
  • planning and writing essays or reports;
  • standing up and talking about something;
  • how to work in a group or team;
  • reading out loud in class or in the office;
  • organising - files, a day, a week, your own belongings or people around you.

There are many other things but that will do for now.


So What?

Ok, so that’s a list about which most of us would say ‘So what? We all have to deal with that.’ Consider how different it is for someone who

  • has a short-term working memory;
  • has difficulty organising things (keeping things in sequence);
  • has difficulty telling the time or even recognising numbers;
  • can’t follow directions well, let alone remember them;
  • has poor spatial awareness and difficulty with directions;
  • has difficulty reading and difficulty understanding and remembering what is read;
  • has coordination difficulties, causing difficulties with tying laces, doing up buttons;
  • sometimes has poor social skills;
  • doesn’t want others to know s/he can’t read;
  • can be afraid of speaking to a group due to poor recall of, or order of, content

Now try to imagine what it’s like dealing with an average day, as well as coping with the usual stresses of learning and living.


Classroom, Office or Anywhere in the World

At School
At School | Source
In the Office
In the Office | Source

What Problems can it Cause?

Potential problems are

  • low self-esteem, thinking you’ll never achieve your potential;
  • lack of confidence;
  • being labelled ‘thick’, ‘lazy’ or worse (yes, even in schools, when dyslexia is now well-recognised!);
  • frustration;
  • falling behind in lessons;
  • being late finishing work to a deadline;
  • getting lost and therefore being late for lessons/meetings;
  • low exam results if no help is offered (e.g. reader and/or scribe);
  • being ostracized by peer groups (because you’re ‘different’);
  • behavioural problems, outlined below.


How does it Impact on Behaviour?

All these issues can have an impact on behaviour. Well, would you behave well in a class full of children if you were way behind through no fault of your own, if you didn’t know why you couldn’t read or remember instructions, if you were laughed at by others, if you were frustrated and worried by the whole situation? I know I wouldn’t.

Many dyslexics are within or above average intelligence which means they perform well in other subjects, can do many practical tasks with ease and enjoy sports. There is an obvious discrepancy between all those abilities indicating potential success and a low performance in literacy skills. When you are expected to succeed and then you are unable to prove your competence in our traditional way, that is in writing, in exams, in our literacy-based society, it can be a terrible and potentially disastrous blow.

A high percentage of prisoners are dyslexic. The following is taken from the summary of ‘Linking Of Dyslexia with Crime’ by Lisa Seeman (www.etni.org.il/dyslexia2.htm):

'Evidence is reviewed that there is a higher percentage of dyslexics in jails and borstals. The high level of dyslexic delinquency is attributed to an emotional shift in a student's personality in cases when his/her dyslexia is undiagnosed or untreated, and he finds himself subject to repeated failures in the school environment.'

Worry, depression, stress and all the resultant factors manifest themselves; the root situation must be addressed if that student is going to reach his or her potential, is going to be happy and is going to succeed in life. It can be addressed with knowledge, help and a lot of perseverance.


Everyday Things

All this in a few seconds?
All this in a few seconds? | Source
Am I late?
Am I late? | Source
What am I doing today?
What am I doing today? | Source

What Impact does it have on Daily Life & Learning?

It takes longer to read, longer to write, longer to plan, longer to assimilate information.

It means not being able to rely on your memory to get somewhere or to be on time, so you have to carry a schedule around with you and make sure you understand it.

It means having help with planning ahead.

It means difficulties with copying from the board or from notes (visually swapping from one set of words to another and retaining the form of what you see in your head and then having to reproduce the text in writing, is a huge demand, almost impossible).

It means forgetting what a parent asks you to do, such as

‘Go upstairs and get a towel from the cupboard and while you’re up there ask your sister to brush her teeth and tell Dad his dinner’s ready.’

If you’re lucky you’ll manage one of those, most likely telling Dad about dinner as this was the most recent instruction.

It means having to ask someone else in the supermarket what is written on the label of a tin.

It can mean not knowing right from left, not being able to read traffic directions or information, let alone dreading being faced with the highway code (you have to read it and remember it!).

It means seeing your classmates making progress and getting high marks for history when you don’t, even though you know more about the Tudors than most of them and can discuss the subject with ease.

It means trying to produce answers for exams when ordering a sequence of information in your head or on paper is far from easy.


What are the Positive Aspects?

Dyslexics often view and think about things from a different angle.

They have different, often better, solutions to problems.

Some can see a finished object in 3D from a 2D drawing.

Dyslexics are often strong visually, are creative and have problem-solving skills. They are prominent among

  • architects,
  • entrepreneurs,
  • engineers,
  • inventors,

often finding a niche in the arts and in entertainment.

They have a refreshing outlook on life and take you by surprise, often shaming you!

Here's an example from my own experience:

I once asked a student to try to write on the lines of an exercise book; he looked at me and said, ‘Oh, is that what they’re for?!’ It was a genuine question as he’d always thought the spaces were for writing in. The awful thing is that not one teacher had picked up on that and he was 15! My reaction was to tell myself never to assume.


A Secret Weapon!

An Alternative Viewpoint
An Alternative Viewpoint | Source

A Positive Viewpoint

In fact, it helps a dyslexic (anyone actually!) to approach the subject from a positive point of view and ignore the negative language of ‘difficulties’, ‘problems’, struggle’, ‘impairment’. Many people I know say things like ‘oh, that must be awful for them’, ‘they get their letters the wrong way round, don’t they?’, or ‘that’s word-blindness, isn’t it?’.

Far better is an approach which celebrates the ‘differences’ in dyslexics, the fact that they are often gifted in many ways, that they have a different perspective on many things, that they can offer answers to problems when others just can’t see it.

My opinion is that if teaching embraced the multi-sensory, multi-method, ‘get down and muck in’ approach which we use for dyslexics, then we’d have schools where children would learn in a far more enriched environment, they’d all learn together with no stigma and far fewer would feel left out or penalised or ‘different’. That might sound idealistic but it would work!


Famous Dyslexics

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley | Source
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso | Source
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci | Source
Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom | Source
Joss Stone
Joss Stone | Source
Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg | Source

Famous Dyslexics

There are many; if they can succeed then so can others. Here are a few:

  • Albert Einstein,
  • Leonardo da Vinci,
  • Richard Branson,
  • Muhammad Ali,
  • Fred Astaire,
  • Orlando Bloom,
  • Alexander Graham Bell,
  • Harry Belafonte,
  • Cher,
  • Agatha Christie,
  • Walt Disney,
  • Erin Pizzey,
  • Whoopi Goldberg....

You can see the full list for yourselves at

www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/famous-dyslexics.html


What Help is Available?

In Britain it is possible to obtain

  • individual assistants
  • individual tuition
  • exam concessions of 25% extra time, a reader (depending on reading age), a scribe (depending on writing legibility and speed): in fact, exam concessions have recently included use of text-to-speech as a non-human reader, enabling a student to work independently
  • assessments done by qualified professionals, private or supplied by local education authority


What can Relatives & Friends do to Help?

Relatives and/or friends can

  • offer practice with games to improve reading, memory, organisation,
  • read aloud a text and ask questions to check comprehension,
  • read aloud together,
  • find books which suit not only the level of reading but also the level of interest,
  • praise progress,
  • use strengths, emphasise achievement and abilities,
  • keep worry or stress hidden as they can rub off and exacerbate the situation.


What does it Feel like to be Dyslexic?

Here are some quotes on how it feels to be dyslexic:

‘I see things from a different perspective.’

‘I can come up with solutions no one else has thought of and I think fast on my feet.’

‘When I am reading, occasionally a passage will get all jumbled up, but when it happens I have to read and re-read the passage over again.

‘I know what I want to say, but I can never find the right words.’

‘In formal situations, although I know what I want to say, I struggle, lose focus and then my mind goes blank and I panic.'

‘I have the right ideas, but I can’t get them down on paper.’

‘It’s like my computer crashing with too much information!’

‘Sometimes when I am being told what to do, the words I hear get all jumbled up in my mind and I just can’t take in what is being said to me.’

‘In general conversation with family, friends and colleagues they usually accept that I tend to ramble, forget and repeat,…. because that’s part of me’.

I’ve heard so many similar to these from students of mine. If you are dyslexic, I invite you to add your own thoughts in the comments section below; I’d love to see what you have to contribute.


Making People Aware

If you are, or if you know, a dyslexic then I don’t need to tell you the following.

When you realise that most classes in school contain at least 2 or 3 dyslexics (varying from mildly to severely dyslexic), it puts the problem into perspective.

I guarantee that several of your acquaintances are dyslexic; they might not have told you but then it’s often the case that it's not talked about for many reasons.

The next time you come across someone who has difficulty reading or refuses to read or makes excuses to avoid reading, take a step back and consider that dyslexia might be the reason. Don’t come to any hasty conclusions that a person is ‘stupid’ or ‘slow’.

Even many teachers are still not aware of what dyslexia is or means to those who have it. It can be a blessing but it can also be a curse. Many use it as a strength and find ways round it, though they usually need help to do so.


Kim's Game - Memory Practice
Kim's Game - Memory Practice | Source
Age related readers from Barrington Stoke Publishers (see below)
Age related readers from Barrington Stoke Publishers (see below) | Source

How You Can Help

You can help by

  • offering to read with pupils at your local school
  • raising funds to go towards research (contact your local association)
  • helping adults at your local higher education establishment
  • offering to help a relative or neighbour with forms, applications etc.

If you are a teacher (and I know you're pushed for time and funding, so this is not a criticism; some of you will know this already):

  • find out more about dyslexia, preferably by going on a course (your school might fund it)
  • check any in your class who find ways to avoid reading aloud or starting written work, who 'play up' when any spotlight is put upon them, who are extremely disorganised or really clumsy,
  • listen to the concerns of parents; they know their children best
  • try lots of multi-sensory teaching for the whole class
  • present notes or instructions in a clear, brief manner, with illustrations and in colour, preferably on a cream (instead of white) background.

If you are a parent:

  • read, read, read to and with your child
  • have as many books as possible around the house, aimed at the appropriate age group, preferably high interest but at the reading age level
  • do lots of word games or make flash cards (see my other hubs on dyslexia)


'Parents know their children best.'

This is an article taken from the SDA (Somerset Dyslexia Association) Newsletter October 2013.

'Parents are key to spotting dyslexia in their children because they know their children best. Problems may escape teachers and some children simply learn strategies to cope.

Parents should be aware that dyslexia often runs in families, it is usually present from birth and 1 in 10 children are affected.

Early diagnosis and support is vital so that specialist teaching can be implemented which means children can reach their potential.

The important thing to remember is that dyslexia can affect people in different ways. Some dyslexics are good readers, while others are great at maths. Apart from reading, writing and spelling dyslexia can also affect other areas such as short-term memory, organisational skills and time management.'


Parent/School Liaison

If you have concerns about your child then please contact their class teacher and the school’s SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).

Discuss why you think your child has dyslexia.

Ask whether your child learns at the same rate as other children their age.

Ask what the school can do to help.

Ask what you can do to help.

Air your views and any worries, make sure they are aware of the child’s strengths and particular interests.

Ask for an assessment if you think it’s appropriate or if it’s needed to obtain extra help for your child.


To help an adult dyslexic family member or friend:

  • ask them if they need help with anything but don't make a big deal out of it, treat it as an ordinary occurrence,
  • ask them what their interests are and find information on those,
  • if appropriate, use games which help reading, writing and memory (doesn't have to be pen & paper), llike Scrabble, Lexicon, Happy Families, Uno - lots of these can be played with family children, so involving the adults in helping the children.


Writing a Report
Writing a Report | Source
Following a Recipe
Following a Recipe | Source

Dyslexia Understood


Now that you know dyslexia is not just a problem with letters or words being in the wrong order, you'll be able to understand and help any dyslexics who come your way.


They'll be glad you understand. They might not need or want your help but if you offer it at least they'll know they have access to some support.


Next time you write a report, enjoy a story, make out your shopping list or follow a recipe, think about how many senses and actions the process involves. Then think about the dyslexic trying to do the same.




Information and Sources

British Dyslexia Association (BDA )site: www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/

Whether for younger pupils or adults, there is a wealth of detailed information.

They have book suggestions, free and confidential helplines and lists of professionals who can help with assessments and tuition.

There are local associations for most counties.

They have a magazine, ‘Dyslexia Contact’, distributed to members and member schools.


Somerset Dyslexia Association (local branch of the BDA) www.somersetdyslexia.co.uk


Dyslexia Action is another organisation which works with all those involved in the field of dyslexia. They have a magazine entitled 'Dyslexia Review' www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk


Whilst dyslexia has the same impact worldwide, the above references apply mostly to Britain (though the information available is relevant to all). However, there is the International Dyslexia Association who can give information on associations, access arrangements and assessment availability elsewhere. www.interdys.org They offer 10 questions as a self-assessment for adults (see below).


The American Dyslexia Association www.american-dyslexia-association.com/


A range of books aimed at specific reading age levels and offering high interest subjects and stories, can be found on the website of Barrington Stoke publishers, www.barringtonstoke.co.uk


Dyslexia Self-Assessment for Adults

(from International Dyslexia Association)

  1. Do you read slowly?
  2. Did you have trouble learning how to read when you were in school?
  3. Do you often have to read something two or three times before it makes sense?
  4. Are you uncomfortable reading out loud?
  5. Do you omit, transpose or add letters when you are reading or writing?
  6. Do you find you still have spelling mistakes in your writing even after Spell Check?
  7. Do you find it difficult to pronounce uncommon multi-syllable words when you are reading?
  8. Do you choose to read magazines or short articles rather than longer books or novels?
  9. When you were in school, did you find it extremely difficult to learn a foreign language?
  10. Do you avoid work projects or courses that require extensive reading?

Each Question checked “yes” = 1 point Score

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.


Copyright annart (AFC) 2014 (No copying without permission; no changing of original hub)

How Many Dyslexics do you Know?

  • Several in the family
  • Friend(s)
  • Work Colleague(s)
  • Neighbours
  • I work with them
  • None that I know of
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 35 comments

annart profile image

annart 11 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Geri. Interesting to hear of your experiences. I know about the Orton-Gillingham approach, though it's considered a little out of date now. It was ground-breaking in its time.

Now it's the multi-sensory, phonic approach but many are also backing up such learning with the morphological approach. My system is still in the making so am keeping my ideas close to my chest until I have patented it. However, it involves using the 'chunking' of words into parts, using the root, the prefixes, suffixes, and any other 'add-ons' which make up a word. I'll have all the details available when it's polished and finished.

Glad this has inspired you possibly to go back to helping dyslexics. I can send you some helpful info if you would like me to so do let me know.

Thanks for reading and adding your valuable input.

Ann


gerimcclym profile image

gerimcclym 11 months ago from Colorado

What an informative and educational article. I had several dyslexic students many years ago and remember feeling ill-equipped to work with them, and very frustrated as a result (because I really wanted to help my students). I started doing research and even attended a conference specifically on how to teach dyslexic students, and discovered what were at that time called orton-gillingham approaches, which were basically very structured, multi-sensory approaches to teaching reading. I started implementing these methods and to my joy, began seeing results, above all an increase in the self esteem of my students once they started experiencing success in reading. I will never forget how rewarding it was to be able to help my students with something as critical as reading. Since then, I have mostly taught English Language Learners, but reading your article brought these memories back and even made me want to work with dyslexic students again. I am curious to learn more about the reading program you are creating (as indicated in your profile bio) so will check your profile for updates!


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Rayshub: Thank you for your kind comments. Understanding and diagnosing dyslexia has made a huge difference in this country, though there are still children who fall through the net and, amazingly, still some teachers who don't know how to deal with it or even deny that it exists!

It's always interesting to talk to other teachers and hear their views.

Your visit and input are greatly appreciated.

Ann


Rayshub profile image

Rayshub 2 years ago from Texas

What a wonderful hub. It is great to see someone in another country so invested in dyslexia; and being a teacher adds such credibility to your comments. I am retired, but worked in special education for 30 + years. In the mid 1980s, Texas passed a law directing regular education to identify and instruct children with dyslexia. It is a great law and a step in the right direction, but still too few children get help. Since the mid 80's, I have had a deep interest in dyslexia. Your hub was very well written and information.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you DDE. It's not really a health problem, more a genetic difficulty to be coped with. You can't catch it, however there is 'acquired dyslexia' which can happen when someone in an accident has a nasty bump on the head. As always, I appreciate your visit and your contribution. Ann


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

An informative and useful hub. I knew of someone with Dyslexia and did not quite understand the health problem until the woman explained but your hub has all the facts and so clearly pointed out out.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

RunAbstract: Thank you for reading and thank you for the votes. Much appreciated.


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 2 years ago from USA

Voted up and more!


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Tolovaj: thank you for reading and for your kind comment. We all know someone who is dyslexic (though we may not realise it!); your friend developed his own techniques for coping and for avoiding having to read aloud (an awful practice, only necessary for testing I think). Strangely, I've noticed that those who are reading or learning a part in a play manage much better; my theory is that they are concentrating on the character and the acting rather than on the task of reading itself.


Tolovaj profile image

Tolovaj 2 years ago

Thanks for this huge and well organized amount of info on dyslexia. I like the phrase 'gift of dyslexia' although I don't have it and am quite happy with this fact. Maybe I can add my own experience? I have a dyslexic friend who had a lot of trouble with reading as a kid and he developed very good memory to avoid the problematic situations when it was his turn to read aloud in the school. He later became very good actor and I am sure looking from this point dyslexia was sort of gift to him as well.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 2 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

One of the most brilliant mathematicians and teachers I have ever know, a gentleman named Jan Stansfield-Potworofski, upon handing us our diplomas (or having organised that handing to us by an Educational Worthy of some importance) said, in all seriousness, "Now you are Diplomats; the holders of Diplomas. Go into the world and blah-di-blah-di-blah".

So we did, and regardless of Wikipaedia's pronouncements: "Diplomat is derived from the Greek διπλωμάτης, diplōmátēs, the holder of a diploma (a folded paper, literally a "folding"), referring in this case not to an educational certificate but to a diplomat's letters of accreditation, which enable him or her to carry out duties on behalf of one country or institution within the jurisdiction of another country or institution.", we blah-di-blah-di-blahed for all we were worth.

I rest my case.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Twilight Lawns: Ian, I'm so glad you found this reassuring and heartening; I'll take that as a compliment! I've heard similar stories of others' experiences with reading and telling the time. I think your relationship with words is a great one - your hubs certainly tell me so.

I've never thought of myself as a diplomat (how strange, as I'm fond of playing with words too) - RSA Dip SpLD. What a good idea!

Glad you stopped by; thanks for reading and for leaving such an entertaining and informtive comment. Have a great evening! Ann


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 2 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Ann, I found this the most reassuring and heartening piece of Educational Writing (and I read a lot when I was teaching) that I have read in a very long time.

I am what I have personally termed a "Selective Dyslexic". By that, I mean that when I read something, I tend to read what I "want" to read rather than what is there on the page. This, by some rather kind twist of fate, makes me get a more interesting message from the original.

I take anything like twice the time to read a book as other people, and whilst doing so, frequently read and reread the sentences before me with the result that I can sometimes pick up that book at a later stage and find relevant passages very quickly. So I am getting my contextual clues... but it takes a hell of a lot of time to do so.

But, as a result of my “affliction” (or “gift”, as it is referred to in the code breaking inset) I look on the world of words and sentences and story telling somewhat differently than most. (Should that have been “somewhat differently from most”? Yes, I think it does.

I suppose I must admit that I don’t hate words, or call them my enemies, but look on that as rather elusive by fascinating friends. I can’t remember when I couldn’t read, so we’ve been good friends for a long time.

I also have great difficulty in telling the time from a chronological clock and there are many times when watching a film, and there appears a clock on the screen, my mind doesn’t register that that is there to indicate that time has passed or that time is relevant to the plot.

Some years ago, when I was studying for a Diploma in Mathematics (That’s right, I’m a Diplomat: Ian DipM.) we had a visit from a gentleman who was at that time, possibly the brightest Mathematical brain in the country... Well or course he was. The chap was Hungarian!

I told him my problem with the telling of time, and he laughed, saying that he also experienced that problem and that to try to rectify the problem; he always wore a chronological watch. As I did. I don’t know about him, but it only partially worked, and I now tell the time using my Smart Phone.

Ramble! Ramble!


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Hi Eddy! Thanks for another kind comment and for your votes. Just home after a long weekend; hope your day's been good too. Ann


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Hi Anna great hub which I know will benefit many,. Voting up and wishing you a great day.

Eddy.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

pstraubie48 : Thank you so much for your comment. I'm pleased you saw this one and thanks too for sharing it. It's so important for dyslexics to be recognised and given appropriate support. You obviously know a lot about it already, what with family and previous teaching!

All the best to you! Ann


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida

Thank you Ann for sharing this important information. My daughter and grandson are both dyslexic. Fortunately they have both learned to compensate for deficits they have. My grandson's Momma has shared with him ideas on what to do and I have been help to help too as I had a number of kids who were dyslexic when I was teaching.

Shared

Angels are on the way to you today ps


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Hello Nadine! Thank you for stopping by and commenting so kindly. I hope this rings true as far as your experience goes. I'll read your hub and see! All the best to you. Ann


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

What a fantastic article. I just published my hub: The world of a Dyslectic when I saw that there are many hubs on this topic. Thank goodness that today children do not have to go through the traumas I experienced.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Wow! Three visits from you this morning, Tusitala Tom! You've made my day and a grey, misty Somerset is all the brighter for it. Thank you so much for such a kind comment.

The degrees of dyslexia are what makes it so interesting and challenging to help these students. Sometimes those with a milder form are overlooked as they compensate so well outwardly. Yes, the day all schools teach with a multi-sensory approach, I shall be happy!

Wishing you a great week ahead. Ann


Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Annart, your Hubs are an inspiration. They're so well researched and presented in such a matter I just feel I have to say that the few I've read so far are among the best Hubpages has to offer.

I haven't met a lot of dyselexic people. I expect they've kept this to themselves. The few I have have said, for example, "I have mild dyslexia hence..." So I assume there are varying degrees of it and that the stronger the dyslexic the problem the harder it is for them.

Interesting that they are gifted in so many other ways. And I agree with you on the changes needed to the ways we educate children - all children.

Well done once again, Annart.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Mel Carriere: thank you for reading and for your kind comment. There are so many successful dyslexics that General Patton is no doubt on a list somewhere. Yes, the 'stupid' label has been used for decades and nowadays is totally inexcusable when research and education proves otherwise. I appreciate you stopping by and thanks for the follow.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

I didn't see General Patton on your "short list" of dyslexics, but perhaps he is on the longer one. The problem that dyslexics have to overcome is being labeled "stupid" from a very young age and never rising above this self-esteem killer. But as you so aptly demonstrate, many dyslexics manage to rise above the "stupid" label to proper and flourish. Thanks for this great analysis.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you, pstraubie48, for reading and for your kind comments and votes. I'm glad your daughter has worked out ways to cope but it's awful that this continues to go on being unnoticed for so long. All the best to her and to you. Ann


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Awesome hub ..my daughter is dyslexic. She suffered with it for years and was told 'you will never amount to anything' because she struggled so . Finally I discovered what was causing her difficulty and she learned how to live with it. She has learned to overcompensate when she reads. She tells me the words sometimes appear to fall right off the page but she is an avid reader and has learned to work with it...thank goodness.

Voted up up and away ps


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you Jodah. You aren't rambling; it's an interesting story and so typical of the way dyslexics are still treated sometimes. Thank you for contributing. Irlen lenses are useful for some because they reduce the contrast of black on white - lots of colours can work, it depends on the individual. It eases but of course doesn't 'cure' the problem which is not curable but manageable. Your son is a success story through his own perseverance and your encouragement, sadly not through any help from school! I greatly appreciate you dropping by. Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

Wow Ann, this is probably the most informative hub I have ever read. It has special importance for me because I have a daughter (now grown) who suffered all her life with dyslexia, and a son who I suspect has a milder case. I agree with Bill that your article is upbeat and hopeful.

In my daughter's case she had to repeat first grade, then when approaching high school we had a teacher interview and were told that her intelligence was equivalent to 3rd grade, it was a waste of time keeping her back and that she would never succeed educationally. This is the most degrading part, "She should just concentrate on being a social butterfly" was the teacher's exact words. They made her go to special classes where the teacher treated her like a preschooler,and refused to believe she was dyslexic because they said "very few girls are, it is a boy problem". We were upset and my wife decided to home school all our children, two of our sons being 'exceptional' students, but our youngest boy also having reading problems. We took our daughter to be tested, and confirmed she had a severe form of dyslexia but it could be corrected to a certain extent by wearing glasses with coloured lenses. They were caller 'Irlin' lenses (not sure of the spelling), but this did help a lot. The home schooling lasted two years after which time all the children went back to regular school, and all managed to graduate at there appropriate level, my daughter having actually caught up the equivalent of 4 grades.

She was always exceptional at art and managed to complete an art and photography course. She is also very skilled at woodwork and has made money from making enclosures for housing reptiles. She learns very quickly from observing things done practically without reading instructions and patterns, married with one son, and is doing well in life.

My youngest son never had a problem coping despite some reading disability. He has always been a joker, happy and popular. Never let his grades get him down, though in his early school years he would sulk and hide under the desk if he got in trouble (before the homeschooling). When he left school he was so popular. He went to Darwin to visit his sister and three weeks seasonal work on a mango farm. While there was offered two other full time jobs, so decided to stay. He is now working as a warder/youth officer in a prison for adolescents. He is Australian number 4 ranked kick boxer, married with one son. It was very interesting to see all the famous names who were dyslexic. Imagine Agatha Christie writing all those novels . Anyway sorry to ramble, but it is an important subject for me. Loved your hub voted up and shared.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you kidscrafts, your comments are much appreciated and it's good to read of your experiences. You're right that dyslexics develop techniques to cope and compensate (though memory is not usually one of them) and they are indeed often greatly communicative.

It is important to talk about this and share one's experiences, so that we can learn and develop better and new ways of approach.

Enjoy your day. Ann


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

Great hub about dyslexia, AnnArt! Bill placed the link of your hub in FB through H.O.W.....Humanity One World.

I was not recognize as dyslexic but I remember when I was a kid that at some points I was not sure in which direction to write the number 3 and I had a problem with 2 sets of 2 letters ... again, in which direction to write them. At that time nobody discussed dyslexia at school. Anyway... I found solutions by myself obviously.

When I was a teacher, I had several of my students who were dyslexic and I tried to help them as much as I could. I remember that I had one student who was severely dyslexic but the mother was quite helpful. His case was so severe that at one point they made him repeat one grade and that was too bad because he had the maturity and he was understanding the concepts; his barrier was writing like any other kid. The good thing was that his parents were quite helpful.

I am not surprised that they are so many bright people who were dyslexic; when you think about it, dyslexic people have to be very creative to find ways to "survive" in our society. They probably develop other senses to compensate like a good memory, they are more creative, they are probably better in problem solving, etc.

It's great that now we have more tools to help kids with dyslexia :-)

Thank you for sharing this great hub! More we talk about more kids will be diagnosed in time to get the maximum help they can get early in their life!

Have a nice evening!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

MarleneB: Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Treating dyslexia like a different language is a really interesting concept that I've never come across before. I'm going to investigate that one & I'd be interested in any more details if you can give them to me, either here or by email; it could be a different avenue for others to consider. Again, I greatly appreciate your input and thank you for taking the time to read and contribute so much. Ann


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

You did an amazing and wonderful job of explaining what dyslexia is and how people can overcome it. And, that's what I really like about this article. You give examples. You let people know they are not alone. I actually know someone who is a high ranking person in a government institution. He's doing well with his dyslexia. He learned to cope by recognizing his dyslexia as a different language, so he translates it much the same as we would if English is our first language and we want to speak in Spanish or some other language. Great job, Ann.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Your Cousins: thank you so much for reading and commenting. I wish you luck with all your students. I know how hard the work can but it certainly is rewarding. I appreciate your kind comments.


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I spend time helping dyslexic students learn to read. It is very challenging for the students and me, but so rewarding when they begin to show progress and gain confidence. This is a very comprehensive article. Voted Up and Interesting,


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

That was quick, bill; I've only just this minute published this! It must have taken me the longest time ever for just one hub so the fact that you like it so much makes all the effort worthwhile. My intention was to get over that positivity so I'm delighted that worked too. Thank you so much.

Yes, it is a photo of me about 5 years ago when I was still working.

Enjoy the rest of your day too! Ann


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Ann, is that a picture of you doing the report? I don't think I've ever seen a picture of you. Thanks for including that in this excellent article. Do you know what I liked best about this article? It was upbeat and hopeful? There was a positive vibe flowing through it and I love that attitude. Yes, there is this problem...and here are famous people who shared this problem...and here are the unique gifts you have because of this problem...so let's learn to turn this problem into a positive!

I absolutely love this; it might just be my favorite of your articles.

Have a wonderful late afternoon and evening my friend.

bill

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working