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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Living with Dyslexia
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11/08/2007 05:40:35 PM · #1
I have been invited to speak to the local literacy council on how best to teach students with dyslexia.

With my college education, teaching background, and two sisters who are dyslexic (NEVER let my older sister tell you a phone number), I have a good idea about what it is, what it isn't, various ways to cope in an academic setting, etc. I've got the "how to teach" aspect pretty much under control. What I need are stories of people who "survived."

The sad reality is that many students become so frustrated with learning that they end up dropping out for one reason or another.

If you are dyslexic, or are close to someone who is, would you mind sharing what helped you "keep going" when it got so tough you just wanted to give up (if it got that bad for you)? If you don't want to post here, please feel free to pm me. OR, if you have some off the wall method that you had never seen before and haven't seen since that worked for you, let me know.

I can find story after story of "celebs" that are dyslexic, but I want some stories of "real" people. :)
11/08/2007 05:45:37 PM · #2
Good idea to go for real people. Many of the celeb stories, especially historical figures like Einstein and Edison, are exaggerated or outright misrepresentations of the known facts.

Good project, please let us know how it goes.
11/08/2007 06:11:24 PM · #3
A little off topic....

My favorite bumper sticker: DAM! Mothers Against Dyslexia

11/08/2007 06:28:03 PM · #4
Originally posted by dwterry:

A little off topic....

My favorite bumper sticker: DAM! Mothers Against Dyslexia


I saw one that cracked me up

Dyslexics of the world UNTIE!!!

I was mildly dyslexic back in school, guess I still am. I had issues with reversing letters and such, but mostly my issue was not being able to follow a line of text to the next line in a book. I would re-read the same line over and over again or skip entire lines. Newspapers and magazines were easier since the text columns are much narrower than in a book, therefore easier to track.

I didn't get into reading novels until I was an adult. I still get eye fatigue when reading a book.

I went through therapy before they really knew what was going on. Lots of exercises with eyes following objects. I used to have a ball hung by a string over my bed, the task was to hit it and follow it back and forth until I feel asleep.

I don't really notice it now except for the eye fatigue. Either it's improved or I've learned to deal with it.
11/08/2007 06:30:44 PM · #5
i have a form of dyslexia / Dysgraphia
I could never write script & would take me a couple of hours to fill a page copying into script, printing is barely legible / many letters interchanged / could never spell ..

when i was in the states (1960s) I was punished for my 'bad handwriting' + promoted to the next grade anyway -
when i first moved to Canada (grade 6) "they" decided i was "mentally challenged" (retarded in in those days) they told my mother that & wanted her permission to test me ..
she said "go ahead knock yourselves out" ..
ran through a whole series of tests .. coordination / motor skills / reading .. hmm . nothing wrong with that kid & at that point they found i was reading at grade 12 level ..
the process was repeated in grade 8 as well .. though at that point, my reading & comprehension was 'college' level

sigh ...

spent extra 2 YEARS in high school.. because i failed 'english' twice (and had a good time .. but that is a different story)
In highschool I felt that I was the only person in the classes that READ the novels but I couldn't write about what was in them ..

got through school by practice & patience

& eventually computers made it easier
whatever .. 2 college diplomas later (associate degrees? i think they are called in the US) ,then the Bcs & Msc ..
& i would love to go back & do a PhD .. but time & money ..

11/08/2007 07:08:53 PM · #6
Originally posted by ralph:

2 college diplomas later (associate degrees? i think they are called in the US) ,then the Bcs & Msc ..

Bcs or BSc ? ;-)
11/08/2007 07:27:24 PM · #7
Originally posted by jhonan:

Originally posted by ralph:

2 college diplomas later (associate degrees? i think they are called in the US) ,then the Bcs & Msc ..

Bcs or BSc ? ;-)

Bcs Bachelors of Computer Science
11/08/2007 07:44:51 PM · #8
David Bailey CBE Hon FRPS. rated as one of the 20th centuries greatest photographers is probably one of the best known dysexics. Look at his achievements
11/08/2007 08:39:44 PM · #9
I'm certainly a little dyslexic, that I know. When I was in grade school it was not really recognized. My dyslexia is mild, and perhaps as a side effect, I can read upside down almost as fast as I can forward. I can even read mirror-imaged type rather well.
Our son has some of the dyslixia, as well as mild ADD. I'm certain that, like me, he'll overcome it, and I'm glad that it's recognized rather than lumped with catch-all behavioral issues.

Being an agnostic, I love this joke:

Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac?

He lies awake wondering if there really is a dog!
11/08/2007 09:00:20 PM · #10
T-shirt Design.
Here is a shirt I designed for my last job.
11/08/2007 09:16:19 PM · #11
Originally posted by BlueZamia:

T-shirt Design.
Here is a shirt I designed for my last job.


Haw! I gots ta order me one of those!
11/08/2007 10:35:05 PM · #12
Dyslexic, agnostic insomniac; lies awake at night wondering if there is a dog...

back to your serious programming now :-)

R.

O heck, Kirbic beat me to it :-(

Message edited by author 2007-11-08 22:35:42.
11/08/2007 11:01:31 PM · #13
Well now this hits so close to home for me. I am not dyslexic but my daughter is. In fact she has severe dyslexia. We are in the trenches with our/her learning disorder. School is very difficult and every year at the beginning of the year I get the talk about how I need to "do this with her" and "push her with that". The kid tries so hard at everything she does...it just is so hard for her to read and write. She has dysgraphia as well. My husband is mildly dyslexia, but only had some minor issues in school. It has been nothing but a struggle to find a program for her where she can learn in a manner that is suited for her. It makes me tear up everytime I talk about this. I don't know if this is something you are looking for, but dyslexia, in my opinion, is a family issue. I am glad to know that you are educated in how to teach it. So many out ther are not, and do not understand how to get through to kids who have dyslexia. We need more people like you. See, I told you this hits close to home.
11/08/2007 11:05:59 PM · #14
njsabs2323, I hear you. I can understand that it is frustrating for you and your daughter. I'm just glad you understand. I've met a lot of parents/caregivers that say, "She's not got a problem, she's just lazy." She is NOT lazy, I can promise you.

The trend I am seeing in this thread, as well in all the other sources that I've seen, is that it is hereditary, or strongly seems to be.

Have you tried colored transparencies on her papers? As odd as it seems, black print on white paper can make some people's dyslexia worse. The colors over the page can sometimes make the letters "sit still." If this is something you haven't tried, and are interested, let me know and I will get you more information on it.
11/08/2007 11:07:32 PM · #15
Originally posted by dwterry:

A little off topic....

My favorite bumper sticker: DAM! Mothers Against Dyslexia

is it sad that it took my a good 30 seconds to figure that out?
11/08/2007 11:10:51 PM · #16
It is genetic....I have tried to read all that I can about dyslexia. Yes....I thought at one point she was being lazy too. I just didn't know. I got her tested and sure enough the kid is smart....but school is difficult. I have NOT heard of trying to read with color transparencies. I would really like to know more about that. Thanks so much.....by the way my name is Jennifer

Message edited by author 2007-11-08 23:11:22.
11/08/2007 11:13:50 PM · #17
Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac?

He lies awake wondering if there really is a dog!


That is pretty funny. It took me awhile to figure that one out to.
11/09/2007 12:07:34 AM · #18
I was diagnosed with "minimal brain dysfunction" in elementary school in 1972(?). I think they call it ADD now. Took me years to learn to read. The astigmatism makes text jump around when I switch (uncontrollably) from dominant eye to lazy eye and back again. You learn to work around it. I know my limits, and will never apply for a job as a proof reader.

I do wish some of this had been explained to me better when I was a child. Somehow I never understood that I had extra hurdles to overcome, or that I needed to approach reading and memory differently than others. It left me feeling stupid and bewildered for along time.

Maybe I should just erase this, Its hard to get the memory of vague unvoiced feelings across 30 years later.
(9 words corrected)
Got to love spell check, I can't tell one vowel from another. Computers are the best thing for dyslexics, you just have to get close enough to a word for the computer's dictionary to narrow down the choices...
11/09/2007 01:14:02 AM · #19
I homeschool my son who is dyslexic. We have worked one on one for 5 years and his progress is very slow. We do phonics a lot and this seems to help. As as he has gotten older he can workout/guess the word due to the context more easily, this can be good strategy and has helped his confidence. His memory for words is very poor. Numerically he is fine and rarely transposes numbers. I think practise is a key, laying down pathways in the brain, but it is such hard work for my son at times it seems literally painful. Different colours etc. don't seem to help in his case.

Like Jennifer said, I too think it runs in families. I was surprised at how slowly my husband reads, also at his getting some words or names back to front when rushing. His mother went to a French convent school in Egypt and was late reader, she was punished severly by the nuns and had to wear a "dummy" sign. Now she can read French, English and Italian. It just took a long time for her.

Not long ago I took a few Latin classes with my older son and was encouraged as one of the other students talked about her dyslexia. She was finding Latin a bit of a struggle as recognizing an English word out of context was a bit of puzzle for her let alone Latin. She had recently achieved a Phd in something, can't remember now, and worked as a researcher. I was pretty impressed at how she overcame her difficulties in order to do what she wanted.

My son told me how he would love to be able to read all the Star Wars books, man, I just wanted to cry.

Message edited by author 2007-11-09 01:15:49.
11/09/2007 01:21:00 AM · #20
How does one become conscious of their own dyslexia? Must you be observed by someone else or are there patterns you can recognize yourself? I've always wanted to ask this question.
11/09/2007 01:34:50 AM · #21
Oh and do I feel like giving up? YES at times,but I know that with one teacher to 28 or 30 students he will not get the one on one help he needs. Besides I really enjoy being with him and watching him learn and grow. I have had to learn to be patient and chillout which is a good thing no?

Message edited by author 2007-11-09 01:35:16.
11/09/2007 01:48:53 AM · #22
I had mild to moderate dyslexia as a child. I was diagnosed when I was about 6 or 7. Reading was incredibly hard for me (inverting letters, numbers etc.). My school in the Chicago suburbs back in the early 70s was an experimental school and really did not assist me in working through the problems.

What became extremely useful was when we moved to a small town and I was given special education by the best teachers. It was slow but I was able to progress once things clicked. When I was in 4th grade, I could read at about a 1st grade level, in 5th grade I was at about 3rd grade level, and by 6th I was top of the class.

I really firmly believe that learning music during this time period was the most dramatic thing that changed my ability to organize my brain correctly and read and learn. The music on the page is linear and as a beginner very simple - but like language- you can hear the sounds and learn how to make them correctly.

Through practice of reading the moving black dots on the page of music and hearing the sounds going up and down, I really feel it helped me to re-train my brain.
11/09/2007 07:58:09 AM · #23
I have mild Dyslexia and Scotopic Sensetivity Syndrome (//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotopic_Sensitivity_Syndrome)
I have managed to cope with it and am now studying for a degree in Music with Digital Arts.
To help me cope, i brought a dictation machine and a dictation programme for my pc, so i can record everything and then when i get home i can say it back to my pc and it writes it out for me.
This does lead to some hilarious mistakes, but thankfully my lecturers are used to me now :)
What helped me get through school was that i am a very stubborn person, I was told i wouldnt pass any of my GCSE's with anything higher than a 'D' but due to some bloody hard work and alot of help from a friend i passed with 15 A-C grades and went on to 'A' levels

For those dyslexics who have difficulty reading blocks of text, i have found a way that makes it easier.
If the thing you are reading is a block of text, where the left hand side is straight, and the right hand side is indented, turn the page upside down! You will find you don't jump lines any more as your eyes have somewhere final to head!!!

I can talk more if you want, just pm me :)
11/09/2007 09:13:25 AM · #24
Originally posted by bledford:

How does one become conscious of their own dyslexia? Must you be observed by someone else or are there patterns you can recognize yourself? I've always wanted to ask this question.


What I have found is that as people hear of the struggles others have gone through, they begin to identify. For example, several people here have mentioned that they had trouble going to the next line, became frustrated with moving letters, etc. From there, they can look back at their school history and say, "So that is why."

I just want to say "THANK YOU" to everyone in this thread. I really appreciate all the input.
11/09/2007 03:56:12 PM · #25
I have a cousin and an uncle with severe dyslexia. I know my cousin had one hell of a time in school. My uncle helped her out a lot by teaching her tricks that worked for him and just letting her know that she's not alone and most of all she wasn't stupid.
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