Approximately 15% of people have dyslexia. This equates to over 30 million adults in the United States, about 6 million in the United Kingdom and 3 million in Canada. Most don’t know they are dyslexic as stated by a number of posts after a google search on dyslexia stats.
This sounds all too familiar as I’m dyslexic and the discovery of my dyslexia did not occur until I was a fifteen-year-old freshman at East Bremerton High School in Washington state.However, the doctor explained that it was a learning disability that I have had since birth.
My high school at the time did not have all the district funding to support the services I needed. for dyslexia training. In order to receive this special training, I went to special physiologists the community of Silverdale, about 20 or 30 minutes outside of Bremerton three times a week for one year.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the ability to learn to read and spell. It often runs in families and stems from a difficulty in processing the sounds in words.
So being dyslexic I had to make some adjustments in the way a learned stuff for exams in school and that in itself was both educational and challenging learning what worked for me and what did not work at all. Dyslexia is like anything else what works for some dyslexics may not work for others who are. So a dyslexic person needs to discover what works for them in life and the education system.
It was not until I enrolled at Highline Community College truly got the help and support needed to be successful in the education world. The disability offices at Highline CC provided me with a tutor that met will me regularly. She, in turn, set me up for success by teaching me how to study for exams. We used flashcards to learn definitions of key words in each class combined with class notes. The office of disability services trained my tutor on how to work with me and my dyslexia.
With help and support of friends and family, I earned my Associates of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts in December of 1987 from Highline. It was fantastic to accomplish this goal even though it took me three years to earn this degree. That was because I took 12 credits per quarter instead of the standard 15 hours per quarter.
Now in order to receive the educational support services that I received one must have a documented learning disability. And that documentation is usually good from 3-years. Then one must be re-tested. That is because people who are dyslexic get good at hiding this condition. But a dyslexia specialists can spot a person hiding this problem quickly.
My dyslexia allows me extra time on tests usually time and a half and sometimes more depending on the arrangements made with the instructor or professor at the time. Also took my tests in a different room than the rest of the class and sometimes with a person who would be a reader/scribe for my tests. That allowed me to speak my answers without writing them because dyslexia causes me to write and read slower than the average person. Extra time to accomplish tasks required while test taking is most definitely not cheating. It just evens the playing field for me and lets me focus on the test.
For the record, I do not consider my dyslexia a disability because I have learned to live with it and deal with it on a daily basis. It just means the that I have an alternative learning style to meet my educational objectives with success.
One thing I make use often and not only for my education success is mind mapping. Mind maps make things much more visual and easier for a dyslexic to learn but it also focuses you towards answering exam questions. And as a dyslexic, I’m more of a visual learner than anything else. My mind wonders sometimes during an exam. So it’s an excellent idea for people with Dyslexiaexia to use the mind mapping process to keep the mind from going off in a direction during exams and not focusing on the question that was asked in the exam, a good way to avoid this from happening is a system called PDS which stands for Point, Develop and Support.
Another thing I do during classroom lectures is using a type recorder so I don’t miss anything when taking my own class notes. Due to my learning disability under federal law, I allow that to have a person in my class take notes for me. This is also helpful and again makes the playing field level for me so I can focus on what is being said by the instructor or professor.
It took me some time to adjust to living life with dyslexia. It was lots of trial and error to discover what worked for me personally. One fact that will not change is that I may not be able to something as fast as the average person but can do it given the support for my dyslexia and sometimes do it better than the person without dyslexia.
Never do I go around announcing that I’m dyslexic. The reason for this is I do not want others to treat me different because of this disability. So very few people even know that I’m dyslexic. It’s not anything to be ashamed of but some people do and will treat you differently if they know about your dyslexia.
There are a number of famous people out there in the world who are dyslexic so we are not alone:
Magic Johnson: Earvin “Magic” Johnson was born in Michigan in 1959. Although he worked several jobs in his youth, he showed a talent for basketball. In 1977, he won the name “Magic” for his ability to pass and handle the ball. After playing for Michigan State University, he would go on to become part of the Los Angeles Lakers and win five NBA championships. He was forced to retire after contracting HIV but still makes time as an NBA commentator.
Tom Cruise: This famous actor started off in such notable films as “Risky Business” and “Top Gun.” Other award-garnering performances have included “Jerry Maguire,”“Valkyrie,” and “A Few Good Men.” However, he is not just famous for jumping on Oprah’s couch and Scientology. Diagnosed with dyslexia at age seven, he struggled to complete his academic studies and found his calling in acting.
Albert Einstein: The genius behind the Theory of Relativity also suffered from dyslexia. Probably the most famous and accomplished scientist of all time, Albert Einstein often got poor marks in grade school. While working as a patent clerk, he came up with his now famous E = mc squared equation. He was awarded many prizes for his scientific works including the Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.
John F, Kennedy: The 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy was the youngest to ever take office and the youngest to die. In 1943, when his Navy PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety. After the first televised presidential debate, he won office in 1961, also becoming the first ever Catholic president. His inaugural address contained the famous words “Ask not what your country can do for you.
Steve Jobs: If you are reading this on an iPad, iPhone, iMac, or other Apple device, you have Steve Jobs to thank in part. As the occasional CEO of the company, he has spearheaded some of its most famous creations. His dyslexia didn’t stop him from attending college where he met Steve Wozniak. They built a computer in the dorm and founded Apple Computers in 1976 with $1,300 in startup money. The rest is history.
There are many more famous people who are dyslexic way too many to list here but you get the idea with the above-listed people. There are smart successful people in the world who have dyslexia. So we are not alone with this condition.
That’s me over and done with my blog post on my dyslexia. Now, if you have a question about dyslexia leave your questions in the comment section below or if you can e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer your questions. Please share this post with others and leave any comments you have below. Love comments on my blog and I reply to all comments made here. Be certain to visit my Facebook Fan Page @ www.facebook.com/thethunderwordpost if you LIKE what you see on my blog.
Special Note: It was brought to my attention by one of my blog readers that my last post on my Dyslexia seemed similar to another blog post out there. So I re-wrote the blog post about my Dyslexia. This post replaces the older Dyslexia post written in June.