Friday, November 07, 2008

Dyslexia - glasses, overlays, exercises etc.

It's dyslexia awareness week, so today. A chance for people to think about a condition that is invisible.

For me, the last ten years have been about a personal dyslexia awareness campaign. I have been trying to understand the differences between my basic set of abilities and the basic abilities of the majority non-dyslexic population. I have been trying to figure out methods of doing things that work for me - rather than copying the way non-dyslexics do things. I have been trying to become more aware of and to value what I am.

From time to time I notice people arriving at this blog having searched for information on "Dyslexia Glasses", "Dyslexia Overlays", "Dyslexia Exercises" and the like. And from time to time I get people posting comments here, which are in fact adverts for various systems designed to 'cure' dyslexia.

So on dyslexia awareness week, I'd like a chance to say that in my opinion:
  • Dyslexia is not a disease.
  • Dyslexia is a difference not a disability.
  • Dyslexia gifts advantages that can be enjoyed.
  • Many techniques are available to help dyslexics overcome their areas of disadvantage.
  • Don't believe anyone who claims to have "the answer" because there are many.
  • Please don't end up paying anyone a heap of cash to 'cure' your child.
  • And if anyone posts a comment below, which gives a link to their website offering help with overlays, coloured glasses, exercise programs or any other system or program, please don't take it as a recommendation from me.

I sound SO grumpy today, don't I. :-)

If you want to hear me this afternoon, tune in to BBC Radio Leicester, where I'll be interviewed just after 3pm. I'm not that grumpy. Promise.


Anonymous said...

Heard you on the radio the other day by chance...(very long story attached to that that i wont bore you with) You have found a way to unlock your fantastic imagination and process it to printed word. Finding a way is what it's all about in life, whatever the requirement. You have done something amazing, as i'm sure you will know. I had a boyfriend, who has dislexia....he was a fabulous person, a carpenter, a creative, an amazing quirky person who I loved to be with. He struggled with his 'label' and I was very proud when he said i had taught him a lot in life, because i tried to give him confidence to be himself, something he was struggling with...i'm sure you will understand this. I do miss him terribly because we are not now together, sadly. My friend has a son who is dislexic, and i am going to give him your website details. He only 12, and he goes to an after school dislexic club, which fortunately is helping him greatly as it is giving him self confidence.(I don't imagine such help was available when you were his age). He is a lovely looking lad with so much potential. He has a very creative streak..his pictures that he draws are fab, and i often ask to see what he has been drawing, and encourage him. He loves his football, and is such a kind natured boy, again lovely to be with. Have you ever thought of talking to dislexic clubs for children? I think you would be such an inspiration. I have a small theory of my own....I'm a creative as you may have guessed, and i often wonder if there are many many levels of dislexia. I find it hard to remember people's names and I know i store pictures of places and people far more easily than any 'text' or 'words', I wonder if there is a little dislexia in all creatives? I think having dislexia allows the creative to pour out of people, a little like those whose sight is fading develop sharper hearing. I really admire what you have done, and although i don't know you am really happy for you that you have found a way to develop what you are obviously very good at, your imagination...put into a story that someone else can have the pleasure of reading. I will look forward to reading your books now I have found them. All the best..oh yes, and keep up the certainly have the eye..(i'm just begining my new career in photograph...yet another story!) All the best. S

Rod Duncan said...

Many thanks for the comment, S. I'm down at the radio station from time to time and I'm never sure if anyone is listening out there in the big wide world.

I am sure you are correct, there are many degrees of dyslexia. Also other conditions that may overlap with it - such as attention deficite disorder, dispraxia and discalcula. Not every dyslexic has the same pattern of abilities and problems. The important thing is for people to discover their strengths and to discover patterns of life and work that match.

I have often read "dyslexics tend to be very creative". I have no idea why that should be. But it is true, creativity is something of a compulsion for me. That is all very well - so long as I can find an outlet for it. If there is no outlet, it can be an uncomfortable feeling.

As to your suggestion - yes, I have done a little bit of this, going into a school to talk to the dyslexic students and speaking to people at the dyslexia association. I would like to do more. Perhaps when I have finished my book on dyslexia, if I can get someone to publish it, I will have more chances to do this sort of thing.

Do let me know how you get on with my novels.

Thanks again for the encouragement.