So October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. I've had dyslexia all my life, but it took a long time for it to be pick u and diagnosed. I have a very vivid memory of being 4/5years old and struggling with my reading homework which including the word 'what' and I was insistent that the word was pronounced 'w-hat' and my day was desperately trying to get me to say 'what'.
Having dyslexia doesn't mean I'm not intelligent - my brain just works a bit differently and gets a bit more scattered than other people's and I think more in pictures rather than words.
Dyslexia runs in our family - both myself, my brother and my Dad have it.
I always struggled with reading and spelling. I hated being called out to read aloud in class as people would laugh at my reading aloud ability or dis-ability in my case. What I found most frustrating was I was so bright, when it came to writing our work out my head would be buzzing with ideas of what I wanted to say but putting pen to paper was slow and very difficult and I was always pulled up for not finishing my work or for my spelling errors. Despite my intelligence I was in the bottom set for work so some of the other students that where on my table preferred to pick on me rather than do their work so I didn't;t really enjoy school that much.
Finally when my dyslexia was picked up, assessed and diagnosed is was almost like a sigh of relief. I quite beating myself up and my IQ was higher than average but for things like reading and writing speak I scored so low it wasn't;t on the chart but other things I scored ver highly on so I was able to work with my strengths. I also got introduced to assistive technology which has been a lifeline and I got a support worker in class as well as 1:1 teaching sessions to help me with the things I found difficult. I also got special arrangements for examinations.
So what is dyslexia?
Alongside the dyslexia I also have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, or Irlen Syndrome. Some people have it alongside their dyslexia, others can have it but not have dyslexia. This was picked up long before the dyslexia. Wearing tinted lenses - originally it was green, then blue then purple and it helps 'unscramble' the words on a page and makes it easier to focus. I also have a colour filter on my laptop and phone which does the same thing.
"Irlen Syndrome (also referred to at times as Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, and Visual Stress) is a perceptual processing disorder. It is not an optical problem. It is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information."