It’s dyslexia awareness week 

And I was not aware. Not even of the fact that such a week existed. But having found out, and being dyslexic, I thought I might share my experience. For your awareness. 

This image is a near perfect illustration of how dyslexia feels to me. ‘Near perfect’ because the words don’t literally move in a watchable animated way, but the experience of scanning this block of text, the way it makes your eye second guess each word that it lands on, is how static words appear to me. In fact, I can read this block of text as easily as I can a regular block. That is to say, as painfully as I read regular text. 

An animated paragraph of text where the letters between the first and last letter of each word are moving quickly into three different orders. The effect is confusing and hard to read. The text reads: Dyslexic is a neurological disorder that usually effect people of average or superior intelligence. Dyslexic individuals have an impaired ability to recognise and process words and letters. Dyslexic usually shows itself in the tendency to read and wrote words and letters in reversed order; sometimes similar reveals occur in the person’s speech. Dyslexic has beeb shown to be treatable through patient instruction in proper reading techniques.
Not sure who made this one. Would love to give credit where due.

The same goes when I spell words. Imagine a word, and try to observe how your brain sees it and prepares to get it out. Try the word for the largest land mammal with big ears and a trunk. When I think of that word and go to type, it’s like the letters are in a little tombola. I’m rarely confident what order should end up on the screen, or if they’ll be greeted with a little red squiggly line. 

It makes reading and writing exhausting and stressful, but over the past few years as conversations around neurodivergence have become more open and productive, I’ve begun to accept it and almost appreciate it more than ever. Not exactly in the camp with those that see these differences as gifts or superpowers – though I support and applaud those that feel that way about their neurodiversity – but I see how the challenges it’s given me have shaped the way I see and approach other challenges in life. 

I won’t go on any more about it here, but I’m very open to discussing it if you’re interested. If you’re just curious to know more, or dyslexic yourself and keen to share perspectives, or especially if you know a dyslexic child and you’re looking for support or advice. Drop me a line. 

Note. I’m not sure about the part in the text block about superior intelligence, though I’d love to see research that says so. And I would rather say that dyslexia is manageable than ‘treatable’. As for ‘proper reading techniques’! Surely what we should have learned by now about dyslexia and neurodivergence is that ‘proper’ and ‘normal’ and all these narrow old ideas are just too limiting. Find what works for you, and then you do you. ❤️

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