Life of a Dyslexic Student. Dealing with student life: homework, notes, social activities, and so much more.

Location: Chestertown, MD, United States

I have dyslexia. I will never run from this fact. I love it, hate it and live with it constantly.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dreamer and Writer

I mentioned something in my last post that’s been ringing in the back of my mind for a little while now. And that is the difference between a Dreamer and a Writer. One of the more positive markings for an individual with dyslexia is an abundant imagination. Though this often manifests as frequent daydreaming and a somewhat loose connection with reality. I call this being a Dreamer, and you don’t need to have dyslexia to be one, but it certainly doesn’t hurt things.

Being a Writer is a little more structured. It means being able to put down, in words, what you see, either in life or in your mind, and get your ideas across to people in a way that they see it, feel it, and/or experience it as if it were their own. To do this truly accurately requires a gift that I’ve only ever seen few who have earned or been gifted with it. My own sister is a fabulous writers and I believe she has this. I myself have quite a bit to go before I’ll think of myself as a true Writer instead of a pale imitation.

I tend to use a rather normal vocabulary when I speak. I use quite a bit of inflection and gesticulation to get across the image and feeling that I have in my mind. I can recall quite vividly one of the tests used to diagnose my dyslexia. I was asked to name as many tings as I could that began with the letter ‘S’. I said ‘socks’ and then blanked. I can recall images of snakes, ships, saws, and many other things, however the words did not come and I was unable to bring them out. Granted quite a lot of time has passed since then and I can say quite plainly that given the same test, my scores would be drastically different. But listing words and using them in writing is quite different.

That being said I continue to try and improve myself until one day I can wear the titles of Dreamer and Writer with conviction.

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Blogger Liz said...

Hi there -- it's Liz from I Speak of Dreams.

There was an article in the Huntsville Post not long ago from a high-school student that I thought you'd like to read.

I will beat dyslexia And maybe the story of my struggle will help another child learn

A constant fight

I have learned to read and write, but dyslexia is like a constant fight between my brain and the pencil or book in my hands. An assignment that takes a typical student an hour to complete can take me three or four hours. I know the words, numbers and answers in my brain, but I often cannot show what I know when it comes to taking a test.

When I have to write something, I start by making notes of what I want to say and create an outline. Then I elaborate on the outline. I write down my thoughts, and my mom goes over what I've written, helping me organize what are very jumbled thoughts. I use the thesaurus a lot to try to find better words to express myself. I worked on this story for a couple of weeks, writing it and rereading it.

It is as if what I have learned is trapped in my body, and I cannot communicate it to my teachers. It is as if someone is pulling a cloak of darkness over my brain. It is exhausting.

Despite my difficulties with words and numbers, I am an intelligent and strong person who will overcome the exhaustion and continue fighting the challenges of being dyslexic. I am not retarded nor am I lazy or immature.

I hope at least one elementary school teacher reads these words and pauses to think about a child in their class who might be dyslexic, a confused child who really wants to learn, just as Mrs. Allen did for me all those years ago.

November 10, 2007 at 5:55 PM  
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