Dyslexia? September 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 10:13 AM

We’re pretty sure I have some form of dyslexia or some learning disability. 

When I was little, it took me longer than most kids to read. I had a LOT of trouble with mixing up my d’s and b’s and g’s and p’s. I would write a lot of numbers and letters backwards. My mom has suspicions of some sort of learning disability, possibly dyslexia, but once I finally got the hang of reading, she let it fall to the back of her mind. From the time I learned to read until about a year ago, I always had trouble reading. I was at a normal level with other children and I was never held back in any way from the other children. But I have never been able to read for more than about 20 minutes without getting a severe headache. My mom used to think that I possibly was making it up since I hated reading. That was not the case. On top of not being able to read for a long amount of time, I had trouble getting my eyes to focus and stop skipping from line to line, so I was never able to get much reading done before I got a headache.

To me, it was always really frustrating. All I wanted was to read. But because I couldn’t really read very well, I grew to hate reading. I despised reading and dreaded the idea. Also, Jonathan learned to read at the young age of four. He could read small chapter books at that age. Though he could read, he had ZERO comprehension. He just liked to read words-but he NEVER knew what the book was about or the plot or characters. So for me, it was frustrating going through homeschooling where my brother is reading all of these books and I’m struggling. I also had trouble reading aloud. Because my eyes cannot focus on just one line, I would never be able to finish one line and go to the next. I would read the last word in a line on the page then skip 2-3 lines and start reading. The story never made sense and I hated that. I started reading with notecards so that I could follow the lines better. This helped, but it was quite annoying. 

So we eventually kind of forgot about it and it was just a known fact that I couldn’t read very well. Then finally when I got into high-school, and the reading became more intense, I had to be able to read more than in 20 minute increments. I had to go to my eye doctor, so my mom told them my problem. *Backing up in time a little.* When I was little, about 8ish, my eye doctor had given me different prisms and things to work with. I had a popsicle stick with something on the end of it and I would have to cover an eye and read, then cover the other, and watch TV doing certain things with the prisms. Truthfully, I forget why exactly, I just know I did it because I still have the prism and the stick =). But anyway, that was supposed to help me with the reading, but it didn’t change much. So when I went back to the eye doctor about beginning of 9th grade I believe, she told me that my eyes have a lot of trouble focusing and that when I try to focus my eyes on a line, that strains my eyes and then I get the headache. She said there was a simple solution-reading glasses. So I got the reading glasses and I use them pretty faithfully. If I don’t, I still get headaches.

So that was that. The glasses helped SO much and now, I LOVE to read. I had a reading list of 11 books this summer. Along with the mass amount of reading I have for school right now, I’m also reading Beowulf as well as Angela’s Ashes (and I plan to read the sequel, ‘Tis, and the third book when I finish). I just read all the time and if I’m not reading, I’m asking people for books I should be reading. The glasses seemed to fix a lot of my problems, but I still get headaches if I read small print. Anyway, I’m thankful that that was resolved-almost. 

You see, I’ve had this problem for a while, but never chose to acknowledge it. I think something is wrong with my brain. haha, my mom laughed when I said that to her. I think that my brain has trouble sending signals to my mouth of what to say. When reading lists and numbers, I say them backwards or out of order. If the number is something like 829564 I would either say 465928 or just say something like 649285. If it were like a phone number, I could read it and then dial it fine-I just can’t TELL someone what the number is. It’s very frustrating. 

I’ve really been noticing it and paying attention to this in my english and chemistry classes. In English, I was in a group. We were writing something as a group and I was the secretary-I write quickly, so I was in charge of writing what we came up with. I wrote at the top of the page “By: Group Dziwulski, Bickel, Dubell, Davis, Grant and Shive.” Well, when I was reading that to the group, I said “By: Group Bickel, Davis, Shive, Dziwulski and Grant.” It was totally smooth as if I read that in order. I caught myself and then one girl leaned over and she said “that’s not what it says!” I was confused, but I do that often. If there is a list of groceries or something, I will read them out of order. I’m not sure why. My mom and sister get frustrated because when I read them phone number (they always call when they’re out and ask me to look up people’s numbers for them), I have to do it at least 2-3 times because I say “219, I mean, 912.” It gets old. 

Then, in co-op, I was in Chemistry. Well, I am also the writer for that. My other two lab partners are the ones who usually do most of the performing of the actual experiment while I write down the results. Well, when I go to read them back to them so they can have the results also, I will say “9.0” and they’re like “you mean 0.9?!” I always feel bad because it happens quite often and they seem to get a little bit frustrated because it makes a huge difference whether it’s 0.9 or 9.0 for example. I understand their frustration, I just can’t do anything about it! The one girl is always like “it’s your dyslexia kicking in”, and I always say “yeah, I guess so.” After messing up numbers multiple times, I started noticing how much of a problem this really is. I get upset with myself also because if I were to read the thermometer and write the number down, I’d be fine and the number would be correct. It’s when I have to verbalize my numbers and words that I get all mixed up. 

Anyway, it’s annoying to me and to others. My mom said she had been noticing it a lot, especially with phone numbers. My mom knows a lot about learning disablilties, as will has a form of dyslexia and Mary has disgraphia. Will is 11, almost 12, and just recently began being able to fully read. Mary, 10, has disgraphia which means that she can see a sentence, but when she goes to copy it onto paper, she can’t space things correctly. Her handwriting looks like a 1st graders because she has no concept of space and size. She has big letters, small letters, words put together with no space and words with big gaps between them. Mary sort of has what I have but in a different form-my brain has trouble talking to my mouth and Mary’s brain has trouble talking to her hands. Anyway, my mom has had a lot of experience with these types of things. She’s pretty sure she knows what I have, but I forget what it’s called. It’s some form of dyslexia and it can be fixed. =] I don’t really even care if it’s fixed truthfully, I just want to know that it’s not normal-I didn’t think anything was wrong with me, so it baffled me that I couldn’t speak! Now I can just say I have a disability =] 

Okay, so that’s all I wanted to say. It’s something I’m interested in and so I thought I would blog about it =]. Maybe when I write my second research paper I will pick a topic that has to do with learning disabilities. . . hm. 

That’s all.


Oh wait, and allergies suck, just wanted to let you know.


5 Responses to “Dyslexia?”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Wow, I didn’t know this about you. Hope you can get some succressful treatment for it so you don’t always have to be frustrated.

  2. dyslex6 Says:

    Can sympathise with you on that. One has to have a LD to know what it feels like. I guess I have the same problem but in a hugely different way.
    It is with numbers. I seem to get around pretty well with words but I can’t be trusted to remember numbers. Tried getting special help with that. Math stumps me. I am ok with Geometry, and Graphs (Pie charts etc.) but they can keep the numbers. Elementary algebra is fine as long as there are NO numbers (Not many any way) but I am lost by the second or the third step of working out the formula at the most.
    Very recently I had asked a math teacher friend of mine about ‘Factorization’ and he started with the (a+b)square and I said I knew that and he then proceeded to explain that factorization is; the reversal(Working backwards to the original (a+b)square and I was so totally into the woods , I suddenly remembered that there was something else that I had to do and , excused m’self. No problems with phone numbers as long as they fall into a pattern, you know, I ‘d memorize as the second two digits are twice of the first two , or if there are similar digits which repeat or some thing. A number like 892 222 5511. Ok with that. Don’t ask me to dial
    212 485 3719 I am gone!! I need to look at the book and dial and still get it wrong. And it is a number I can’t afford to forget!
    I am sure there is some genius doggedly pursuing some deep neuro psychological experiments to figure out ways to help dummies like me but till then , I write those numbers in big bold letters where I can see them before I dial them digit by digit and get it right the FIRST time! Hopefully.

  3. John Hayes Says:

    You might find some useful information about visual dyslexia at .

  4. zoanna Says:

    Maggie, I am so glad your reading glasses are helping. I knew there was something stylish about you last week when you came over, but I couldn’t place it. Nice frames!

    I, too, have numeric dyslexia.
    Discovered it the hard way: with the checkbook errors. My poor husband, several years ago, was letting me do the bills and checkwriting. I was okay writing the checks, but entering their amounts in the ledger? NO way. I’d write 35.54 and it should have been 53.45, so ended up thinking we had more money than we actually did. Or the reverse, I’d panic thinking, ” Oh no! I just wrote a check for 504.99 !” when the actual amount was just 405.99 (not all numbers are always scrambled). When I realized my problem was not mathematical, I felt smarter. But when it landed us in the overdraft, it was emotional. I couldn’t handle it and asked Paul to shoulder the bills from then on, which he (gladly) has!

  5. Stephen Says:

    I had no idea. I hope you’re able to find a solution soon.

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