|Posted by Paul McCall on December 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM|
DYSLEXIA AND ME
Paul J. McCall
I knew I had a problem when I was very young and that was a very long time ago. When I was in elementary school, dyslexia did not seem to be in the dictionary. At that time (I’m talking in the 1950’s now) my parent’s tried having me fitted with glasses. When that didn't work I was simply labeled as, “stupid” and then placed in a corner of the classroom away from the rest of the children so I would not disturb the other students or try to cheat.
Punishment, it seemed, was the only treatment for a dyslexic child back in those days. Happily, today that is not the case. When I was a kid spell checkers were called, “Dictionaries”, there were no electronic devices to aid a student in those days. I had to look up every word I could not spell and that meant just about all of them. It was extremely time consuming and by the time I found the word I was looking for, my focus on what I was trying to write was lost. Even today one cannot depend on spell checkers alone, dyslexia victims must use the (thesaurus) together with spell checker.
I learned the hard way and even then I require an editor. Dyslexic people who want to write should not despair, I found many successful famous people with dyslexia who have learned ways to function despite this disability. People like, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Orlando Bloom, Tom Cruise, Jay Leno, Keanu Reeves, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, are just a few, all have dyslexia. Each and every one of these people had found their own way to work and function despite dyslexia.
That is what dyslexics must do, find what works for them personally and continuously develop. If you have a child struggling in school, the first things you should do is discuss the problem with your child. In most cases with your help you can work out a plan with your child.
Parents should inform teachers about their child's disability. Most schools today have programs for dyslexic students or at least can assist in finding places to get more help. What it boils down to is finding what works for you or your child personally. Good luck and keep writing. I hope this is of some help to others with this disability. Always remember when you look in the mirror, the person you are looking at is smarter than you may think.