Having and being dyslexic can be very stressful at times and it’s hard for me not to get a little annoyed. Although I never mean to be nasty it becomes quite frustrating when trying to spell or read and that in turn leads to anger, not at others (although I will take it out on my wife) but more at myself.
I know I’m intelligent and able to read and write but even reading out loud for my son causes me to become agitated as I struggle with reading for him. It may just be me but I would guess many people with dyslexia will come across this more often than they would like to admit.
I’m starting a science degree (OU) and I’ve already came across problems which is none too surprising. Although I’ve been able to read the work thus far I’ve already managed to misread a question. The question which was a maths based one was I thought, easy to read. I did all the working out which was fine, asked my wife to check it and she came to the same answers to but then when she read the question she pointed out I had completely misread it and although the answer was correct based on my assumptions the answer was wrong for the question.
It’s sometimes the little things that lead me to snap at the people trying to help. I often have to ask the wife for help in spelling something. She will start to spell the word but at a ‘normal’ speed but it’s at a speed that I cannot keep up with. This means I always snap at her for going too fast.
I snap mainly as it’s frustrating to me that I can’t keep up when I believe I should be able to. Luckily she does understand and will spell the word again after which I normally say sorry!
It’s not just the people close to you who you will snap at as I’ve managed to do it to the professional trying to help me as well. I would say that in a way I felt justified to questioning their teaching methods but of course I did go over the top.
For an example I remember when doing my HND in Computing I was offered some extra help which I decided to take (not a easy choice as I don’t like admitting I have a problem). On our first meeting I sat down with a middle aged lady and we started to discuss my needs / problem areas after which she produced 26 blocks with the letters of the alphabet wrote on them.
You have to remember at this point I did not feel comfortable even talking about being dyslexic!
So she continued on talking and picked up a block with the letter A on it and proceeded to say
This is the letter A – it’s the first letter of the alphabet and is pronounced ‘a’
Needless to say this really annoyed me and I let her know my feelings on this. I started to explain that I was not thick and after studying a BTEC first diploma in IT, BTEC National Diploma in IT and that I was on the second year of my HND how on earth did she think I had managed to get this far without knowing what the first letter of the alphabet was and how to pronounce this.
At the time I guess the whole idea of being dyslexic had not really sunk in as it were and she basically made me feel really dumb which is why I started ‘having a go’. It was of course wrong the way I went on and I have no real excuse for it but she should of also approached things in a different way. She could of started by asking if I know the alphabet! This would of still started to get my temperature up but I don’t think I would of went off on one.. as much anyway!
It’s always been hard to accept help or to take criticism (no doubt the same for 90% of people) but I guess growing up with dyslexia, being told you were thick for all of your school life it does put you on edge.
As time has gone on though I started to just accept it, at 33 years old I can now just talk about it openly but it’s taken a long time to get to this point for me. Having a 2 year old son helps as he will of course keep on wanting stories read to him and of course help with school work. This and a understanding wife has helped me on my own personal journey to just ‘get over it’ and accept help if/when I need it.