LEARNING DISABILITY OR DIVERSE LEARNING ABILITY?
The Making Up of a Dyslexic’s Mind
Lynn P. Penner
Have you ever had a session at your computer where you fork-out more finger power tapping the delete key than actually accomplishing your writing piece? Or you waste the ink of your favourite pen, scribbling and crossing?
Maybe it’s ie, but it could be ei… “i before e, except after c”… Believe me, there’re wicked word reversals too. Some nasty ones: won / now, pot / top, form / from or left / felt… This reversal business also happens with reading and writing sentences sometimes. (I what know I mean down to write.) And certain numbers and letters, b, d, 9, 6, g, p, q. L and 7, invert and flip around in my brain so rapidly; but I have to make up my mind. When reading and writing, I have a tendency to twist the truth around. Pardon the pun.
Just to humour me now, please sing along to the flipping letter: My eye-bone’s connected to my—brain-bone, and my brain-bone’s connected to my—spell-bone…. which is connected to my—funny-bone.
The delete key on my first-ever computer keyboard was the advocate who deserted me; went south, leaving me in the cold. Imagine my shock when I discovered that— ’cause it happened all at once—no warning! I tapped delete, and a whole word— sentence—paragraph was disappearing before my horrified green eyes, gaping mouth and furrowed brow. And it’ll always be the first key to wear out. Dang. Dyslexic. Who, me?
I worked retail for years. I had to fess up about my dyslexia. Working with numbers and letters all day on tags and transfer orders jacked up my blood pressure. Admitting there was “something wrong with me” was dicey, but most coworkers didn’t mind checking my transfer forms on my more flippy days. Others treated me like I was developmentally delayed. Win some, lose some.
Understandably, though, sometimes I feel like I’m on the brink of a disastrous, dyslexic breakdown. I’m confused by written directions and instructions, I don’t organize well, and I live by a “sticky note” memory. Persistence and perception are key for dyslexic persons.
Consider this: LD, Learning Disability, or “DL,” Diverse Learning? There’s quite a dissimilarity between the two acronym meanings, and yet if you’re dyslexic, your perception decides the D and L order. Not just the order of the letters, the order in which you view yourself. LD represents Learning Disability. Disability means unable, affliction, disorder, defect, impairment… but what if we review this word, disability, as differently able? Wrap your dyslexic mind around that reversal, because difference means alteration, diversity. Diversity literally means multiplicity, heterogeneity, variety, range. So, understand the meaning of diverse as unique, variation, assorted, multiformity. Plenty of talent, if you will, because able means capable, qualified, accomplished, competent, skilled. What a concept to consider that disability also means differently able. Learning Disability verses Diverse Learning. LD to DL. How’s that for a dyslexic reversal—of attitude? Our attitude towards everything in our lives determines our success.
There are many well-accomplished persons with dyslexia / learning “disabilities”. If you’re so inclined, check internet sites. Google “famous dyslexic people.” If you’re dyslexic or learning “disabled,” by the time you are finished viewing sites, your head may not fit through your T-shirts. Also check out http://www.dyslexia.com/articles/Mitchell2003.htm. That’s how I came to know that my creative outside-the-box solutions, imaginative thoughts and ideas, ability to visualize in 3D; literal interpretation of words as imagery, and heightened sense of spacial perception are due to my dyslexic mind. Before I knew what being dyslexic meant, I was ashamed to admit to it. Now, by exploring my innate talents, I realize my capabilities range and I’m proud to be a diverse learner. I wouldn’t trade it, so please don’t cure me.
Have you thought that your worth as a person with dyslexia is invisible? You are actually invincible. Remember, undercover detectives are invisible, yet their work is brilliant!
It’s okay to be human. Enjoy your mind.
© L. P. Penner, 2015