Hi, my name is "Alice" and I have Visual Dyslexia. Yes, I have a learning disability. Nobody wants to talk about it, especially me. On rare occasions something comes up and I feel that more people should be aware of this condition. This is not very easy so please tread lightly.
By definition, Visual Dyslexia is number and letter reversal, as well as the inability to write symbols in a correct sequence. Trauma Dyslexia is brain trauma to an area of the brain that controls reading and writing.
For most of my life this label has remained hidden in a file folder in someone's office. The diagnoses came early in life, somewhere around the end of Middle School. Teachers happen to notice that I could not differentiate between b q d b, 3 5 8 6, left and right, always jumble letters in words, etc.
Many kids in my class would laugh when I had to write something out and ended up mixing up a few letters in the words. By High School I refused to write anything on the chalk board. Recently, I was handwriting directions for someone and started crying after writing a word almost backwards, then could not figure out the Rights and Lefts. Please do not ever, ever, ask me for directions. To this day I have to be driven somewhere unfamiliar, even with a GPS.
It is theorized, that the dysfunction in the left side of my brain was caused from a severe head trauma in my early years. Long story short, I was thrown from a horse and kicked in the head. I can't remember the exact details of the diagnoses, they probably ended up getting burned in a hole in the back yard. My wonderful mom even tried to help by putting an R and L on the appropriate toes of my shoes. Sadly this only added to the embarrassment.
I knew I was smart, I have always loved to read and even made honor roll. It just takes a lot of work to adjust and make it happen. I still love to read and write, spell checker is a wonderful ally in the battle for my own mind. Sometimes it feels like a wire is crossed, if only it can get rerouted somehow. I just picture myself as a bulldozer pushing everything out of the way.
I wonder how many people truly, honestly, live with this label too.
Living with Visual Dyslexia
It doesn't seem fair, sometimes. My grandfather was a scientist for the U.S. Army and lifelong Mensa member, my mother excelled in Medicine and my father in Engineering. My dad even holds 4 patents in railroad communications, as well as his name on 17 others. Both of my brothers majored in mathematics and physics. Me, I have the desire to follow suite only not the ability. It's not an excuse by any means.
Ironically I can create anything with my hands and a set of tools, I just can't write it down. For example, I bought a 2001 Ford Mustang, created a custom direct port NOS injection system into the plastic intake manifold by bending brake line. Even had a local surf shop make a hood to fit over all of the nozzles. It was a beautiful machine.
I love science, space and engineering. Many people do. What is most heart breaking is when you can't follow your heart into the career path of choice. If I could stop flipping the numbers & letters around I could be in a white bunny suite with a wrench in my hand spending the days building rocket engines for a commercial space program. A girl can dream. I know I can build it, I just can't get through the right classes at school. Then again I would probably create quite a mess out of a schematic. My next project is building an R2D2 from scratch. This should be interesting!
Is this you?
Many people fear being associated with any type of "learning disability." Many people often times use such devices as an excuse, or to get attention. Others will do a wonderful job at hiding it, so it can be difficult to find associates on common ground.
Many parents are wondering if they have a child with Dyslexia. It is common for many elementary level kids to mix up letters and numbers. Please keep in mind that a professional psychologist or psychiatrist will be the most qualified person to answer your questions. If your child has suffered severe head trauma, you might want to pay attention to their letters and numbers in the coming years.
How common is Dyslexia?
Do you, or anyone in your immediate family, have Dyslexia?
The purpose of this page is to reach out to others who live with Dyslexia, or live with someone who does. You are not alone and can accomplish great things! It helps to be able to share this experience.
Just keep in mind I am not any kind of health professional and not giving advise of any kind. I am just a person who feels the need to open up about this secret I have been hiding most of my life.