Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Left or Right of Dyslexia

Make sure you take the time to read the rest of my posts on my dyslexic blog.

Yesterday I got lost for five minutes. My directions said turn left at the second light and I got to the first traffic light (it was red) and during that two minutes of sitting there and thinking about storytelling and the world; I discovered that I could not remember witch light I was at – the first one or the second one. So I turned left and after a few minutes realized something was up and drove into a gas station to get directions.

This experience is a classic dyslexic moment. Two lefts – take the 2nd left no problem with left was that? 2nd left? Right? HA. In this case the answer was not that important my 20-year-old daughter had to wait for a few more minutes at the airport. But I can think of a lot of situations where it does matter a great deal to not get confused as to the correct choice. So I slide away from jobs or responsibilities that place too much weight on one decision. EMT or Surgeon come to mind for me.

There are many dyslexic people who hold positions like these and they have developed coping mechanisms that they can trust. Part of what happens is the newness of the choice creates the opportunity for confusion. I would not be confused at the traffic lights in my town of Yellow Springs Ohio. There are five total. This particular set of directions was important and time was a factor. Pressure is the other side of this equation. A little bit of pressure increases the chance a dyslexic person will make a language related mistake not less.

Maybe I should add cross-country taxi driver to my list – but GPS systems make a great compensation method if I can just get over my pride and joy of figuring it out for myself.

To read more about my work as a storyteller please check out my main website click here storytelling.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Labels as Good - Labels as Bad

Eric Wolf writes on Dyslexic on his Blog

On the last blog post a reader of this blog commented - witch is always nice - hint, hint, wink, wink and nudge, nudge. She wrote a nice note suggesting that it was a mistake to embrace the label of dyslexia that we are not served by embracing labels because we are not our labels we are ourselves. I could not agree more... in fact to me the road too freedom for dyslexic children is in the opposite direction from more time spent learning to read, write or do any schooling at all - but towards a lifestyle where they are able to master their confidence, there faith in themselves and grow up with out ever having to be told day after day that they need to learn harder or faster

While I agree with the thrust of my readers comment - I wonder if we make an error in abandoning the label so quickly. I have spent much of my life running from the label and must examine the consequence of all those actions. Judged with out the label I am ineffective, sloppy and a lazy. Judged with the label I am working hard, highly intelligent and driven. In fact only when I embraced the label did I really find some success in any literate or academic endeavors

If I were blind you would not expect me to abandon my label and take driving lessons. If I had no legs you would not want me ot give up my label and crawl up the stairs. Labels for handicapped people are very helpful they allow others to see what limits exist for us and under what circumstances we are likely to succeed or doomed to failure. Of course we are not our labels - but we have to recognize that the label protects handicapped people from being placed in a situation that is precarious to us.

I clearly can write and read. Many dyslexic people cannot. I clearly can spell to a degree that is rare among dyslexic's. In an academic environment when identify as dyslexic and I call upon the help offered by the handicapped accessibility law. I am allowed certain supports. I can be very successful, but only when I embrace my label. To do other wise in that situation is fool hardy and self-destructive.