As many people now work on computers whether it is for work, study or just for fun you will have to type and spell which as we know by now is not the best thing in the world for a Dyslexic person to do.
There is are various types of software which you can by these days though which can help, one of which is Dragon Naturally Speaking which is a voice recognition program. The whole idea is once setup, you can just talk in to a microphone and the software translates your voice / words in to text and types this out for you. This means (if it works correctly) that is does not matter if you can or cannot spell the word as the computer will know how to.
So the question is, will this work?
Rather than typing this I am sitting here talking to the microphone whilst I am talking I am watching the words appear as I say them, this means that no matter which word I want to display I don’t have to worry about spelling for example ‘environment’ ‘laryngitis’
the software is not perfect as it will sometimes write the incorrect word. The software is capable of learning your voice which will allow for less mistakes to be made so at time you will be sent back and simply talk to your computer whilst it types everything you say.
Although I have been talking and software is doing a very good job I still have to go back every now and then and correct the errors that sometimes appear however it is saving me a lot of time and of course I do not have to worry about my spelling errors.
I think if you want to use the software to its full potential it will take time to get used to talking rather than typing I am also finding that trying to construct sentences is a lot slower than typing as I have two think of the words or sentence and when I am speaking am trying to talk as clearly as possible so that a few mistakes are made.
I would guess that using the software more often it would become a lot more natural but like everything it just takes time.
If you read the above you can see there are still some mistakes (I didn’t fully edit the text to be ‘perfect’), I did have to change a few words, one of which being ‘word’ which when I kept saying this it kept writing ‘mood’ for some reason.
Although not perfect the software will / can save you a lot of time as while you are talking you simply watch the text appear as you go and if you spot a mistake, stop talking, correct said mistake and carry on.
From time to time you will be faced with people criticising your spelling / reading whether this is at work, in a shop, at home or just about anywhere you need to read and write in front of people who don’t know you are dyslexic.
For me I’ve always dealt with this criticism badly but I would guess most people do as no one likes being show up. I’ve found it hard over the years to deal with people who point out spelling errors or when I read something incorrect and for the most this is because I am dyslexic and I cannot read and spell very well rather than just making a mistake.
My full time job at the moment is a ‘Internet Marketer’ – what this basically means is I will create a website, add content, get some links and try to make money off said site. All the sites I create will have some content on as without the content a site is worthless in the eyes of the search engines. However this of course is not a great situation to be in when you can’t really write and spell very well and you are constantly adding in new content to sites.
Throughout the years of working online I’ve had hundreds of e-mails from various people commenting on my spelling errors and grammatical errors on just about every site I’ve ever produced.
Up until recently I’ve always wanted to send an e-mail back to these people telling them to .. well being polite ‘get lost’ and many times I have which has caused some online arguments via e-mails which, at the end of the day is just pointless. It’s hard for anyone to take criticism but I think being dyslexic and knowing that you can’t spell very well cuts you just that little bit deeper.
As time goes on though and I become older and wiser I tend to play it down via e-mail and just explain that it was just a silly error and I’ll get it changed but I’ve found this a very difficult transition and still do.
It is not an easy thing to do but if someone is going to criticise your spelling / reading you really need to be able to just let it go and move on. I do find being daft with it normally works but it is a hard state of mind to get to.
On the other site of this though many of the e-mails I get commenting about how poor my spelling is tend to look like they have been written by a five year old. I’ve had many e-mails in which I’ve asked my wife to look at and she noticed (as did I) many spelling and grammatical errors in the e-mails which were criticising my mistakes.
I can understand people making mistakes but if you are going to comment on other people’s spelling mistakes you would ‘think’ you would take the time to ensure that the e-mail you are sending if free from mistakes itself. I would also like to add that many of these e-mails I get are from people like teachers, solicitors and various other large business owners!
As my day job is online, making sites selling products and such like I’m always on various sites, one of which is Yahoo Answers. I’ve noticed more and more that they are many people from all over the world asking whether or not they are dyslexic based on a few symptoms they describe.
Over time I’ve been answering some of the questions but my answers always boil down to one sentence.
If you think you are dyslexic you are best off getting tested for dyslexia by an educational psychologist
People will ask all the usual questions about how they miss read words or swap letters about (the usual dyslexia symptoms) but if you want to know for sure you need to get tested.
It’s easy for me to look at how people are suffering and think to myself “Yes those are signs of dyslexia perhaps you are dyslexic” but without a real test just knowing/thinking you are dyslexic will not be enough to help you through life. Once you have been confirmed as dyslexic you will find many new door open and plenty of extra help can and will be provided.
As I’m confirmed as dyslexic it means that I will have extra time to complete tests / exams, not just in education but also in things like the driving theory test. These extra time limits and the extra help are the things which are going to make the difference.
I’m currently doing a OU (Open University) course in Science and when I signed up I of course registered as Dyslexic. Since I’ve done this I’ve already had 2 phone calls to talk about my needs and I’ve now had all the course work sent to me on CD in the form of audio books. I have not actually proved to the OU I’m dyslexic yet as this is not a degree but once I start the degree I will have to send over the confirmation in order to keep on getting help.
So if you are not sure whether you are or are not dyslexic remember that although people can offer advice you are best off being tested in order to know for sure.