Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dyslexia--what's your problem?

'kelp' by ldyck

When I hear that someone has lost a limb or lost their health to cancer I aim for empathy but sometimes fall short at sympathy. But those of us who are born with disabilities haven't lost anything. We'd rather have your understanding. 

You've probably been told that dyslexia is a reading problem that some kids face. You may think that once they learn how to read they overcome this disability. 

But reading difficulties can persist into adulthood. I'm an adult with dyslexia.

I have difficulties with...
-spelling
(problem spelling challenging words as well as everyone, ordinary words. I had to ask my husband how to write challenge, for example.)
-understanding what I've read
-pronouncing words when reading aloud
-learning a foreign language
-reading quickly and still understanding what I've read
-"sounding out" words in my head
I think this list is long enough 

You may think:  Okay, so if dyslexia is a problem with reading I'll just communicate verbally. 

And this strategy could work for some, but not for me.

I can get lost in verbal communication. Instead of focusing on your words I try to read you. Are you losing patience with me? What's your body language saying? Are you stiff? Am I frustrating you? Are you shifting your weight from one foot to another? Am I making you uncomfortable? What are you think?

Definitions such as...

What is Dyslexia

are helpful introductions. But the challenges a person with dyslexia faces vary. Are all people with physical, visual, hearing, and... impairments the same? We are individuals facing unique challenges. You need to get to know us before you can figure out how to help.


'Abby content' by ldyck
Next post:
Sunday, December 10th
Book Review:  Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
A Scotiabank Giller finalist

4 comments:

Rosemary said...

The part about "We are individuals facing unique challenges. You need to get to know us before you can figure out how to help" applies to many people, including those with autism for example, whose disabilities are not immediately apparent.

Leanne Dyck said...

Absolutely, Rosemary. Thank you for your comment

Darlene said...

Your Abby is so sweet. Yes, everyone´s disability is unique and can´t be put in a box. Getting to know each person individually is the key.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your kind words about Abby. She truly is sweet in appearance and personality.

And I couldn't agree more about what you said about disabilities. I think it's key to see beyond the label--but I maintain that labels are very important.