All through my life I have suffered from dyslexia. Dyslexia is a disability dealing with how a person sees letters. It affects their ability to read and spell but it has nothing to do with their level of intelligence. Dyslexia occurs at all levels of intelligence: highly gifted, above average, average, sub-average. Experts agree that this disability is caused by a neurological wiring difference. But all too often, society sees it as sub-average intelligence.
Most dyslexics can learn to compensate with specially trained professionals helping them. That was not the case for me. Forty-seven years ago when I was in Elementary School, my disability was classified on the same level as mental retardation and I was placed in the special education class.
Even as a child, those around me treated me different. My life was a world of negativity. In school, if I got a good grade on an assignment or test, I was accused of cheating or coping others work. I was treated as if my intelligence was lacking, but I did not feel I was any different than my peers.
It was not until High School that I was actually diagnosed with Dyslexia but by time I had lost so many opportunities to learn. Plus, even with the diagnosis, I was still treated as if it was an intellectual problem and no proper help was given. I had learned to compensate on my own but my English grades had suffered greatly through the years.
As I grew older, I worked hard to rise above this disability but every time I wanted to try something new I would have received a negative response from those around me. Most of my life has been filled will failures bought on by self-doubt which was affected by the negativity of others and my own insecurities.
Here is one example, I decided to go to college and get a nursing degree. In the application process the counselor reviewed my high school records and discovered my disability, she informed me that she only saw failure in my future as a nurse due to the possibility of reversing numbers on important medications and harming a patient. I convinced her that I did not have a problem with reversing numbers and to let me try one semester of school. She agreed, reluctantly, to the one semester trial.
I tape recorded the lectures, reviewed them every night and had multiple people proof read my papers for errors. The knowledge that I gained was immense, but the difficulty of putting that knowledge on paper was a struggle.
At one point during my schooling we were working with Nursing Home patients. The nursing supervisor assigned me the toughest patient with the most problems. It was not just my imagination either, because when I succeeded, she was surprised and admitted that she had set me up to fail. She did not think I could operate successfully in a nurse's capacity with Dyslexia. She was impressed, but not convinced and the negativity continued.
I finished three semesters with a 3.5gpa, but the ever present, ongoing, negativity of the nursing department as well as the counselor drve me to quit college. It was hard enough to constantly compensate for my disability let alone continuing trying to convince my supervisors that I was capable of the work. It was easier to just give up.
Over the years, I stopped believing in myself. Then three months ago, my brother and sister in-law introduced me to a do-it-yourself website building company. They explained how the process worked and they helped guide me through the steps. They shared their own site building knowledge and skills, which helped me, unlock my own site building creative potential.
Now, three months later, my site is in the top one percent of all websites in the world. I have carefully followed all of the instruction that the website program offers and I'm no longer surrounded by pessimistic people that only see me as a failure, lacking in intelligence. Instead, I'm around positive people who believe in me. I still need someone to proof read my work for errors associated with my dyslexia. Spell check is amazing but not entirely reliable as most of you already know.
If you have Dyslexia, do not let other people's ignorance hold you back from succeeding.
I truly believe that with the right amount of determination and a little help anyone with Dyslexia can succeed in life.