To all the people looking for real Dyslexic Research...

From time to time, I get emails (not a lot mind you) from people with various dyslexic causes or research or books. I don’t know what to tell these people, I am a dyslexic, but I found out late in life. So for those looking for real dyslexic research, I am sorry but continue on looking. I talk about my experiences and what has helped me in my life, but I wouldn’t know the right way to guide those who are seeking hard research about dyslexia. I will push people towards the one book that makes the most sense for me. It is called, “The Gift of Dyslexia” by Davis and Braun, and I can say the methods in there helped my tendencies. Beyond that I can only share my story.

I have had issues my whole life with concentration on school work. I often would spend 4 hours on homework that others spent an hour on. I always had difficulties on tests. I spent many hours over many years spinning my wheels studying and studying. Yet I would do extremely well in some subjects and quite horribly in others. I had teachers that truly helped my development and others that gave no breaks. The latter didn’t help things. The worst semester of school I ever had was the one that I took Calculus I. I had a tutor, worked in a study group, went to the TA’s office hours, and studied on my own everyday. The TA never gave me a break and told me I wasn’t mature enough for the material (The class was taught by the TA and needless to say I hope this person burns in Heck). I kept at things because I wanted to be an engineer.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in college that I took enough engineering classes at the same time that I hit the proverbial wall. I studied round the clock yet it didn’t help a single grade. I dropped three classes and had a knock out, drag out fight with my mother who was convinced that I was just what my teachers had said for years, “smart but needs to work harder.” I won finally, and got tested for learning disabilities, something I believed that I had a problem with my whole life.

Let me say that if you are worried about putting yourself or your child through the testing, don’t be. It may be the most revealing and appreciated experience of your own or your child’s life. When I took the tests, I was ready for someone to tell me I was stupid or that I couldn’t handle the material or let me know that I had ADHD or whatever. I just wanted an explanation.

I tried to go into the testing without any expectations of the outcome. I thought somewhat that I may have ADHD, but other than that I didn’t know. The process is quite interesting; I took an intelligence test and three learning disability evaluation tests. The combinations of all three along with observations and a proper history evaluation were the foundation for the diagnosis. When the expert sat myself (at age 22) and my parents down, we all were taken by surprise. I had almost a perfectly matched chart to that of what they consider an ideal dyslexic. My mom cried and my dad was flabbergasted by the description of a typical dyslexic. He soon realized that he was dyslexic too. The best part was my intelligence test returned that I had an extremely high IQ, and that is what had probably compensated for a lot of the difficulties I had growing up. Who’d a thunk. (Don’t worry mom and I worked everything out after, she now is amazed that I made it so long without knowing the truth.)

That being said, other than the book I talked about, there is only some mild changes that I have been able to make to help things in my life. I am too old and have already compensated for a lot of tendencies at this point. Just realizing my disability and knowing why I do things that I do, it helped. My advice on dyslexia has to be taken with a grain of salt, I found out late, way too late to really work on my study habits. To this day, some things take me a while, I have to make time for it. I have little concept of time, so I keep a lot of clocks around. I misread words, but I typically check over things twice to just make sure. I am good at seeing the big picture, conceptually laying out things, and finding true breakthrough improvements in work. So it all balances out.

So if you stop by here looking for dyslexia research, you probably won’t get it. You will get a dyslexic’s opinion of a lot of stuff, maybe some out-there thoughts, and you will get some tips of what helps me cope. Mostly you are going to get my thoughts on the economy, industry, and the markets so relax, read some archives. You may find out something actually useful to your life.

Finally, I will leave with the harsh but true words someone close to me has always said when I want to use dyslexia as a crutch, that is, “No one cares that you have a learning disability, they want you to do your job.”

No comments: