To be dyslexic is to suffer from Dyslexia, it is a frustrating and 'hidden' learning disability, I am dyslexic and here are some personal experiences of this learning disability.

Dyslexia runs in my family. My brother has a rather severe form and at the age of twenty-six his writing looks like that of the kids who have just learned to join their writing, messy. My mother has a very mild form in relating to numbers, don't ever ask her to remember one or write it down from memory. My cousin is dysphasicwhich is a related learning, language type of disorder. I myself am in between my mother and brother.

I can tell you it is a bitch! I have beautiful handwriting, I think better with a good pen in my hand but my spelling is so bad there are words that even I don't understand when I go back to read it. I have to substitute words I can spell for words I would like to use. I have trouble with words that look the same like venerable and vulnerable, when reading I can see the difference but if I write them I can't. That's not too bad you say, well letter reversing is one thing I do well and when loin ends up in a sentence instead of lion this becomes weird. I have given up trying to learn how to touch type, the letters won't stay in my head no matter how much I practice. To node here on e2 I have to do it in Word to begin with to catch the weird spelling. I have to put my trust in the spell checker and the three dictionaries (including the Australian Spelling Dictionary with odd spelling pencilled in by me) that sit on my desk. To back up the dictionaries as there are times I can't find the bloody word in them I have a thesaurus, which does help, but it can't help when I can't see the ruddy mistake. Hence proofreading becomes a task that is short of nigh on impossible. My partner has to proofread the simplest of writing for me (bless his cotton socks), it can become a chore for him to read my work instead of it being a joy.

Gosh, don't get me started on grammar, this will be likely to never end!

Ever have to write down an address and when you get there the number is so wrong that you knock on a little old lady's door expecting a morbid of Goths and you have given the little old lady a turn when she takes in the make up and PVC corset? No? Well I have. I get people to write down the address for me now, it saves scaring little old ladies. Phone numbers are Satan's spawn sent to drive me mad!!! The more numbers there are the more likely it is to go wrong, I tend to swap numbers around but the question is which numbers. I took me six months to learn a number by heart even though I call it practically every day. Did I mention that I work in a library and there are days that I cannot shelve books because the Dewey decimal system looks like a foreign language? But I can tell you the Dewey number for a hundred different subjects. Okay breathe, calm down. Needless to say I have problems with numbers.

On a positive note I can see stuff in my head in Technicolor and 3 dimensions, I figured everybody did until I read an article in Time magazine about that particular aspect. I pity the people who don't, to visualise things is pure poetry. I have many creative talents, I can transform a flat piece of fabric into a garment and see the flat pattern in the garment. I can think in circles and squares which helps with problem solving and I have good spatial concepts, great for seeing where furniture should go before you move it into the house. I love words and immersing myself in them and the worlds they form in my head, it is a pity that they seem to get lost between my head and the paper. I am glad my reading is not affected by dyslexia like my brother who still has to practice reading lest it become too hard. In many ways the different way my brain is wired by dyslexia has formed my chosen paths and made me more aware of the written word than those who do not struggle with it. It also makes me aware that I need help to make my writing make sense. I am more than happy to change stuff when people message me with typos, as long they understand why I make very simple errors. But I still hate numbers!

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