encouragement, Human Nature, information, inspirational, Mistakes

Brilliance of Dyslexia?

Despite the near disabling aspects of it, it’s not a disability at all, rather an outstanding ability. Once it is discovered and nurtured, the brilliance of dyslexia will present.

I gleaned much information and encouragement at age 39 when I was diagnosed with the help of ATN Access Inc.

 If more were known about dyslexia when I started school in 1968, over time, my skills and passion for writing would have developed with less suffocating in my own defeatism.

In grade one I was terribly confused by the compound word into during the read aloud participation. I remember my tingling cheeks and swishing in my ears when the other kids started whispering the word with impatience. I also remember in grade three when I was sent to the office for “clowning around.” I wrote “Wook book fro Writinp” on the cover of my new notepad. I can still see that, it was bold, a black marker, because writing was something I wanted to do well. This happened frequently, and I was labeled as “a slow learner.” Outside of the classroom, sitting on the hall bench, I recall the coat hooks jabbing my head while an unknown adult tried to teach me math, but it was not unlike classroom instruction, just s-l-o-w-e-r. In the 60s and 70s, we kids with learning differences were just labeled slow and treated like someone ought to be there to scrape pudding off our chins at lunch.

To this day I write form instead of from, top for pot, left for felt, gob for dog and so on. I have edited reversed sentences also. I reverse numbers, too. Some days are worse than others. I write, though, and I accept the fumbling process. Autocorrect is mostly hilarious, but the spelling and grammar police on computers these days make it tolerable. Well, mostly. I do have to proofread my work repeatedly, then when I feel I’m finished with the challenge, I have my computer read it to me, still finding errors.

 So why is this learning disability called a gift? What’s to celebrate about dyslexia? C’mon—it’s devastating! Isn’t it? And it’s genetic, too? Don’t parents feel guilty passing this “affliction” on to their children? How can it be overcome? Or can it? Should it? 

Let’s sift through an article, “The Gift of Dyslexia,” I read back in 2003 by Alanna Mitchell. You can decide if being dyslexic is being gifted or ruined.

Interestingly, the hemispheres of a dyslexic’s brain are more symmetrical than that of non dyslexic persons. Affected persons have difficulty reading; however, the symmetry is perfect for other complex brain functions involving images and three dimensions. Incredible photography doesn’t just happen, it’s a skill. Outstanding artists have the skill, too. Perhaps they’re not all dyslexic, but artistic imagery, even creative literary art is possibly a flourishing talent for those who are dyslexic. Another perk is excelling at spacial perception, like seeing the trick of optical illusions, and catching moving objects as small as a set of keys. Sports are played well by the ones with symmetrical brains.

Also, dyslexics do not seem to sort through information in a direct, sequential way, rather a variety of things are sorted at the same time, rapidly. This gives them the edge on strategy. Throughout history, many people who are now understood as having been dyslexic, made dauntless advances in science, art, music, politics, and sports. Among the greats are Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Alexander Graham Bell, and Winston Churchill. 

Incidentally, a little off subject, if you look these people up for ADD or ADHD and bipolar disorder, a lot of them will be listed as having them with dyslexia. Learning differences (brain variances) share within themselves, if that makes sense. If you know you have one diverse aspect, you probably have three. Also, some of our favourite authors have learning differences including dyslexia, like Agatha Christie and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There are many if you google “famous dyslexic authors.”

The sixteen-year-old, Nicholas Carson, featured in the article, “The Gift of Dyslexia,” didn’t read until he was twelve. He had reported that school was still difficult. It was said then that he thinks in pictures and the school was run by “word thinkers.” So he felt alone in his imagery thinking, yet understood he was also gifted.

The point is that dyslexics have a built-in three-dimensional imagination. They have multifaceted perceptions in varying situations. Try to understand that when a dyslexic carpenter is designing a building, they’re are able to visualize their plan, spin it around and explore all angles from the inside, although it’s troublesome to do this with flat objects like blueprints on paper.

Here’s an example. The letter b from a straight on view is a two-dimentional b. But from behind it’s a d. From above a p, and below, it’s a q. All of these variations are seen at the same time by dyslexics, hence the reading reversals and writing errors. On the other hand, a dyslexic’s stellar imagination can create a compelling story, novel, or poem. We record our mind’s eye imagery. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase descriptive writing.

Dyslexic persons are highly creative, imaginative, athletic, and artistic. It has been established that they calculate thoughts so quickly, they usually don’t understand how they arrived at an answer. This also goes for conversation whereas another’s thought is correctly interpreted before the person has finished explaining something.

Dyslexia then, to me, is a gift. Work with it, not against it, and the perks shine through.

 Please don’t imagine curing my reversals, they are my edge, as backwards as that seems. Understand my ways and accept they’re different. I’m not slow. I’m built for speed, and that sometimes slows me down.

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encouragement, inspirational

User-Friendly Labels for “ADD/ADHD”

OUTSIDE-THE-BOX ABILITY

These days there’s medication to calm humans with the gift of distraction. It’s mostly little humans who haven’t yet had a chance to explore it. This is our educational system, at least in the western world, anyway. ADHD kids are a handful, but they mature into hard workers. ADD kids evolve into productive people, too.

When we think about it, isn’t it difficult for anyone to sit for an hour and a half or so and just listen and record notes and pay full attention while being schooled? Perhaps many are able, but the deep thinkers have distracting thoughts. Daydreams we call this. Some say it with a disapproving facial expression like it’s useless. “Daydreaming again…” And yet the dreamers’ reveries, musing, and fantasies create music, and life-changing inventions, soul-arresting art, and written stories or information that outlasts readers’ lives.

Attention Deficit Disorder. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Disorder? I find that a tad judgmental. Anyone or no one may agree.

To be more accurate, I have user-friendly labels for this so-called affliction.

ADD:
Attentional Dreaming Discoveries
Attentional Directive Detour.

ADHD:
Attentional Differences However Devising
Attentional Differences Hail Development.

If the standard label was issued to your intelligent mind, your child’s or any other human you know, the accused are in the good company of these humans. Interestingly, ADD/HD persons may also have or may develop bipolar “disorder,” and you’ll recognize some individuals on the list:

Albert Einstein
Galileo
Mozart
Leonardo da Vinci
Robin Williams
Cher
Bruce Jenner
Charles Schwab
Henry Winkler
Danny Glover
Walt Disney
John Lennon
Greg Louganis
Winston Churchill
Henry Ford
Stephen Hawkings
Jules Verne
Alexander Graham Bell
Woodrow Wilson
Hans Christian Anderson
Nelson Rockefeller
Thomas Edison
Gen. George Patton
Agatha Christie
John F. Kennedy
Whoopi Goldberg
Rodin
Thomas Thoreau
David H. Murdock
Dustin Hoffman
Pete Rose
Russell White
Jason Kidd
Russell Varian
Louis Pasteur
Werner von Braun
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert Kennedy
Prince Charles
Gen. Westmoreland
Eddie Rickenbacker
Gregory Boyington
Harry Belafonte
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mariel Hemingway
Steve McQueen
George C. Scott
Tom Smothers
Suzanne Somers
Lindsay Wagner
George Bernard Shaw
Joan Rivers
Beethoven
Jim Carey
Carl Lewis
Jackie Stewart
“Magic” Johnson
John Corcoran
Sylvester Stallone

This list was scooped from http://www.psychcentral.com which is an accurate and dependable site for information regarding mental health.

Thanks for reading~

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encouragement, inspirational

Dyslexia Has Gifts

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

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