Since it is Dyslexia Awareness Month, I thought it was time to say it- “I am dyslexic.” What that means is I am not stupid, because by definition those with dyslexia have average or above average intelligence, but often times I may feel stupid because what I want or intend to say is not what comes out of my mouth or hand. Even now, as I am coming towards the end of my Ed.D. degree, dyslexia can interfere with my writing or words.
It’s true. I think one thing - and it’s right in my head. But between my head and my mouth or fingers, it gets jumbled. So I say, write, or type something different than what I intended. Then I tend to get frustrated and embarrassed, especially if others correct or laugh at me. You see, dyslexia is a language based disability. It’s not just reversing letters, although many dyslexic individuals tend to do that. It’s more than that. Dyslexia affects how we process language, whether it’s written or spoken, so that what we understand can be different from what is said or read. Or, as I sometimes do, the messages are not always clear to others although they made perfect sense when thought.
So I ‘get’ the students I work with, many of whom are dyslexic. And when I tell them that I, too, have dyslexia, they are relieved and maybe a little encouraged. Someone ‘gets’ them. Someone will not get mad at them or make fun of them. Someone understands. And I feel the same way.