I have this issue when it comes to writing. My brain is different. As a kid, I was removed from class and placed with an academic therapist because I couldn’t read. The letters clumped together just didn’t make sense. I’d get confused seeing my classmates breeze through reading assignments because I couldn’t. I hated reading, especially out loud. Reading is simple, but as a kid, I made it sound impossible. Eventually, my teacher stopped calling on me to read, and I didn’t mind one bit! I loved school for the social aspect, but when it came to the work, I struggled.
My reading comprehension was poor so it took forever for me to complete anything. English—I don’t have fond memories of that class. All the red marks on my paper convinced me that I irritated my teacher. Her frustration was all over my paper. I felt dumb because I just couldn’t get my thoughts in order. And all the grammar rules intimidated me because I couldn’t experience them. How does one experience a comma or semicolon? It was information that I couldn’t connect to anything so I’d forget.
Later, I learned I was dyslexic and it was a huge relief. Now my childhood totally makes sense—everything, my difficulties reading, my horrible spelling, misusing words, and my inability to figure out new words. Really, the list could go on. Having a dyslexic brain is cool most of the time. I can credit my creativity and love of seeing things differently to it, on the flip side, having this challenge really sucks as a writer. I feel like it’s having Asperger’s in the literary world. People with Asperger’s syndrome have difficulties picking up on social cues. I have difficulties with communication–I can’t pick up on the no-brainers of language sometimes. On my about page I mentioned that I would nearly hyperventilate when I had to write a paper in college. Now it’s easy to image why.
They only thing that has increased my literacy are good stories. Like I said, I hated reading until about eighth grade. Then I saw Anne of Green Gables, discovered a character I really loved, and decided to read the books. After that, I was hooked on reading because I naturally like people. And I learned that I could spend time with all kinds of folks by just reading a book.
Now to writing, it was the love of characters that started me on this journey. Simply, if it weren’t for people I wouldn’t write. As a student affairs practitioner at Virginia Tech, I worked with some incredible students. I knew there’d be only one way for me to tell their story. So three years ago, I bought a laptop and started writing it. And it’s about that time I share.:)
Even though we can feel alone with our limitations, we are never alone.
So encouraging! Here are celebrities with dyslexia that inspire me.