What is dyslexia? Chances are that if you are reading this — you don’t have it. According to Louise Brazeau-Ward, founder and director of the Canadian Dylsexia Centre in Ottawa “a dyslexic (someone who suffers from dyslexia) is someone, who due to inherited or medical reason, organizes information in a different way. A dyslexic sees the word in a three dimensional, intuitive way that causes them difficulty in anything to do with reading, writing and speaking. Dyslexics have the capacity to see in 3D and visualize at a rapid rate. This extra perceptual ability is a blessing as well as a curse.”
The symptoms of dyslexia vary, because according Gerry Grant, Director of Dyslexia Solutions in Princeton Ontario “it doesn’t just affect reading or writing skills. It can affect the way a person orients their body in space or the way they perceive time. It also extends to how people see numbers…. the mixing up of numbers is called dyscalculia.
However, the main symptom of dyslexia seems to manifest, around the age of nine, as an inability to read or write. I am already wondering if my nine-year-old son has it, as he is so slow at reading.
I am worried as this is problem that can last a lifetime. There are no real statistics about how many people have dyslexia, because it is often confused with other related disorders such as attention deficit disorder and emotional problems. People who have dyslexia often have low self-esteem and feel stupid. The fact is that most dyslexics are of above average intelligence. We have been led to believe that dyslexia is the result of a genetic flaw or nerve damage or that it was caused by a malformation of brain, inner ears or eyes. Dyslexia is actually a product of thought and a special way of reacting to confusion and disorientation. And it is not limited to reversals of letters and words.”
However there is a doctor called Charles Drake who claims: “Dyslexia is the wave of the future.” We practically live the experience of a dyslexic every time we visit a website. The experience is non-verbal and reliant on abstract thought and linking in unorthodox, non-linear ways. Grant comments on the “modern” headset of the dyslexic “dyslexics think in terms of pictures. They already see in 3D. It is an effort for them to see in the print medium, which is two D. They are all about creativity and visualization.” In other words, dyslexics see more like filmmakers than writers.
Most of us suffer a little bit of dyslexia, especially when fatigued, stressed or tired. It is mainly experienced as a reversal of letters and words. However, other symptoms include “reading or writing with additions, omissions, substitutions and repetitions. Dyslexics will also transpose one letter for another or confuse left and right with over and under. Other concrete symptoms include, having difficulty telling or managing time, being on time or breaking down information and tasks. Dyslexics also often mispronounce long words. Does that sound like your kid? Or does it sound like you? It is not a problem that is ever solved. You just have to work with.