I am dyslexic. Many people suffer from dyslexia but very few, not even those who do have it, understand it. There are all sort of misconceptions about it, and because of that it goes unoticed in many people.
Most recently, I've been feeling the pressure from people who are not dyslexic and do not understand it. I have been going to Japanese lessons with 2 of the people who live in my town and one of them in particular makes it sound as if I'm not trying hard enough because they are advancing much faster than me, and I've been in Japan for 3 years.
It's very hurtful because, althought they know I have it, they don't care to understand it. My disability is not in people's faces. I don't 'look' dyslexic because there is no such thing, so people, and this one in particular, think it is not a big issue.
It's a massive issue! It plays in every part of my life. I'm frustrated with this people so I don't feel like learning anymore, anything. I feel stupid and incapable. I feel less deserving of respect because maybe this is my fault.
I went through all these feelings before when I was in school, when my mother would get angry at me for not studying enough, for not remembering lessons, for forgetting about homework, for not spelling right, for reading a whole book and then not being able to tell what it was about. She thought I was lazy, but I wasn't, I just couldn't focus and because I didn't understand I wouldn't do it.
It feels the same right now. 20 years have passed and still people look down on dyslexics for a disability they were born with because no one can see it in your physical appearance.
I know many people watching me don't read all journals, but still I wanted to share this.
Contrary to popular misconception, Dyslexia is not only about literacy, although weaknesses in literacy are often the most visible sign. Dyslexia affects the way information is processed, stored and retrieved, with problems of memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing.
1. Do dyslexic difficulties of the developmental kind persist into adulthood?
Yes, the underlying cognitive profile associated with dyslexic difficulties persists more or less unchanged throughout life.
2. What is the cognitive profile associated with these difficulties?
On the one hand good verbal (including reasoning) abilities and, on the other hand, significant weaknesses in any or all of the following: auditory short-term memory, visual tracking, visual short-term memory, phonological skills.
3. Is dyslexia not a reading difficulty?
Whereas in the medical world, the word dyslexia has kept its original meaning (difficulty with reading), in the educational world the definition has been gradually broadened out to include not only other literacy difficulties (spelling, writing) but also the cognitive weaknesses. In other words, in the educational world, the term dyslexia is used as 'shorthand' for a syndrome of cognitive and associated literacy difficulties. And whereas difficulty with reading is the problem that is most obvious in childhood dyslexia, in adult dyslexia (in cases where verbal ability is good) other difficulties, such as weak short-term memory, poor organisational skills or general slowness in working, may be the ones that are most apparent.
4. What proportion of the population is thought to be dyslexic?
It is usually reckoned to be about 10% (about 4% severely affected and a further 6% with some areas of difficulty) and by the nature of things the majority of this group will be adults. Given that it is only in the last couple of decades that the persistence of dyslexia into adulthood has been widely recognised, it follows that most of this group will be ignorant of the true nature of their difficulties.