What is it like to be Dyslexic for me?
It’s different for everyone depending on the environment. For me it’s a feeling of being very much alone with so much pent-up emotion waiting for a breakthrough, It’s like being at the bottom of a staircase in a wheelchair or with crutches and somehow you ARE going to climb those stairs. The best thing for me because I did indeed know I had Dyslexia, was to have the support of other Dyslexic people. To tell me that it’s ok to be slow, to be different, to use all the tools and help you can get. Sense Dyslexia is genetic for me this meant my mom has dyslexia and my grandpa had dyslexia. Which also meant that my mom could tell me her experience and help me with my experience.
Being in my shoes
For me I didn’t learn to read until I was 10, I would stumble along trying to read out loud sounding out each word. When my Mom told me that I could read silently to myself and skip over words I didn’t know, and read the context and go back and figure them out later. This was a big breakthrough for me, and I just took off reading. Being in a classroom there is so much pressure to keep up with the performance of other students, some get over this but I never did. A lot of the pressure is time pressure and teachers pushing “you got to get this done”. Sometimes a little extra nudge is needed, but mostly extra time is needed. And in order to not get overwhelmed by the amount of work I would block off the rest of the page (no matter what the subject is).
The struggles are real
Reading out loud is really stressful. If I am given a textbook or a lot of pages or any book really, it is very daunting and overwhelming and I will either fall way behind or drop off and then pick it back up again or give up altogether. A 5 or so page form or fill-in the blank paper that might take someone 20 min to an hour to fill out might take me 2-5 hours depending on what it is. I get fatigued or overwhelmed quite easily by the amount of saturation of work. I need more time. I lose focus easily. I get distracted easily.
My Dyslexia has its strengths too
Many Dyslexic people because of not using the left brain to its full potential or using it differently have a stronger right brain which means more visual and special. This is me, I am a Graphic Designer and I chose this path because it uses my strengths. I love drawing, painting, photography. Working with arranging home interiors or outfits. Working with my hands cooking, knitting, sewing, woodwork. These are my strengths, and it is different with everybody some people with Dyslexia might have an engineering tendency and like to build things (legos).
I have personally gone through so many programs. Each one has helped me a little with different aspects. The Texas Scottish Rite Dyslexia Program VHS videos were one of the first programs that I went through and I think it really helped me with dysgraphia and visual processing issues and some reading and spelling. Since that time their program has been updated.
I have been through so many programs I lost count and forgot what they all were, I was even in a special ed class for a while and did not like it one bit. It is not conducive to such a wide variety of learning disabilities and individuals. I think it is best if a person gets individualized personal one on one attention. And so after much research, we found that the Barton Reading & Spelling System is one of the best Orton-Gillingham based programs out there. Barton aims to take the guesswork out of reading and spelling. It does this by having students memorize rules and practice using them with real and nonsense words. Barton was created for students with dyslexia. It’s particularly good for students who have ongoing difficulty with spelling. Students must be able to tell the difference between sounds in spoken language to use Barton. Before they start the program, students are screened to ensure they have the basic skills they need to succeed. There are 10 levels in the program. All students start at the same level and follow the same, scripted teaching plan.