Dyslexia and me

So I touched in my last post about having dyslexia and was kinda shocked by the number of people who wanted to know more about it and how it affects me.

It is a bit of a complex story really. I had what my family thought to be dyslexia since I was in primary school. I think I first went to learning support in about P4. But my parents had to ask for me to go to it. They could never work out why I was so slow at reading and hated reading. I found it really hard. I spent the rest of my school days going for learning support. I was also kept back a year at school to before my GCSE’s started as it was deemed I was ready to do them. At school I always worked my ass off to do well but never quite achieved as well as I should. I ended up with a D and two E’s at A-level. At this time I still was officially diagnosed with dyslexia. I went to uni and my lecturer asked if I was dyslexic as my work had the points but made no sense. I went to student support who brushed it off with not having the correct essay writing technique. It was not until I started at the university I am at now that I actually got tested and had a full report done. The results were a bit shocking and brought up some huge issues with both schools I was at.

I had the Bangor Dyslexia Test which were just basic questions. I then had the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale done which was more interesting. The average score for a normal person is 10 +/- 2  for each section with people who suffer dyslexia falling out with the norm. My results were as follows. Information (general knowledge) 7. Digit Span (ability to recall numbers) 6. Vocabulary (defining words) 14. Arithmetic (mental) 14. Comprehension (measure of common sense) 15. Similarities (knowledge of word relationships) 10.  Picture completion (finding the missing detail) 6. Picture arrangement (putting them in the right order of events) 0. Digit Symbol or coding ( making unfamiliar symbols against familiar numbers) 3. Written word rate free writing 16 per minute. The following parts of the previous test a dyslexic person is expected to score low  on information, digit span, arithmetic, picture completion, picture arrangement, digit symbol coding. Dyslexic people are expected to perform well on similarities and vocabulary. I had no idea of this before i started and other than arithmetic which I scored above average on the rest I was well below average compared with the norm.

There were other parts of the test aswell but the overall result said I suffered from dyslexia at the severe end of the scale. I also have Meres Irlen as well. This was some what of a shock when I received the news. I kinda thought I would be dyslexic but not quite as badly as I am. This is why my parents are so annoyed with my schools because they should have picked up on it. I wasnt in a big school and my biggest classes were 13 people. I am glad that I got the diagnosis eventually as it made me feel better because now I know there was a reason for not doing well in school despite working so hard. I would spend longer on homework than anyone else and still not do well.

As it now stands I get a huge amount of extra help daily. When on the computer I have a programme that reads the screen to me so i don’t have to read it. I can also scan anything into the computer that I have to read and it will read it back to me. I also have a program where I speak into the computer and it types what I say (I don’t use it so often because it annoys me!). When I do need to read something I have lilac overlays to go over the page to make the words stop swimming around so much for me.

On a day-to-day basis i find dyslexia really does affect me. i am paranoid about time management and panic I wont get somewhere on time. I also don’t like going somewhere I don’t know. i always go somewhere first to scope it out before I actually have to be there. It seems really silly to the outside people but I find being in shops quite overwhelming as I often forget what i have to get and will get confused that I just go home. In groups of friends I will often repeat myself  a lot mainly because I have forgotten it I have said something. Sometimes people think I am just not paying attention but it is how my brain works. I have to write everything done otherwise I forget what I am doing or have to do. It used to drive my mum insane when I was younger if we had a list of things to do I would go to where I had to go but would forget what I was meant to do there. My writing is also awful. If i can get out of handwriting I do. It is illegible and also i write my letters back to front a lot of the time and get some letters muddled up and don’t know what tp put so just guess!

My love just now is golf and even that gets impacted by dyslexia. In golf you normally look for the other persons ball aswell as your own. If i go to find someone elses or concentrate on someone elses game i forget I am meant to be dealing with my own game. Because at the Golf club I am known for being ditsy it’s not too bad. I just laugh it off so no one expects me to watch out for someone else. When we come to adding scores at the end I get shy and hide away when doing it because I just can’t cope with it sometimes. I can do mental arithmetics but not 18 numbers.

I try to not let dyslexia impact my life and it doesn’t to a major extent but it does on a more personal level. I get frustrated with it. Often I know what I am trying to say but just cant get it out. When I had my assessment for dyslexia it was found I actually have an above average IQ but have really problems expressing my intelligence due to dyslexia holding me back. Which is kinda weird. To think had I been diagnosed earlier and the schools paid attention to my parents concern I might have done better at school and not ended up doing sport and then i wouldn’t have ended up doing nursing. Who knows.

3 thoughts on “Dyslexia and me

  1. Wheezyrunner

    Fascinating, I’m glad you decided to post about being dyslexic. It’s really something I have no idea about. And by the way, I think nursing is a fantastic field 🙂

    1. wheezytux

      hey, thanks. Nursing is fab. I dont know why I wasted years trying to pursue a career in sport as this is so much better!!! Dyslexia is one of thise difficult conditions a lot of people say they are dyslexic to make excuses for poor grades sometimes. Also if people are under achieving at school they can be given the label dyslexic but the better % of them wont be dyslexic at all. It is quite alot of testing and a good 4 hour test to actually get a diagnosis. It is a nightmare! It is livable with you jsut have to make adjustments! x

  2. kerri

    As you said, laughing stuff off — having a sense of humour is important with dealing with any challenges 🙂

    Thanks for writing this and giving us a glimpse into this aspect of your life. It’s also interesting that you weren’t diagnosed with dyslexia until later on in your life, but you seem to be adapting well! 🙂

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