Writing with Dyslexia

It’s almost ironic, isn’t it, that I can’t spell dyslexia…

Someone recently asked me on a forum about being a dyslexic writer and I think it is an interesting topic to discuss in depth. I’ve covered this topic briefly in the About Me tab which can be found at the top of the page but I want to talk about it in more detail here.

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects reading, writing and spelling. It affects one in every twenty people and there isn’t a cure. Scientists don’t know what causes dyslexia and it affects everyone differently and in different measures. For me it affects my spelling and writing.

I was first diagnosed as dyslexic when I was around ten but the issue was not fully addressed until I went to secondary school. I spent a lesson a week in the Dyslexia Centre learning skills to adapt. My main issue was my spelling. Even now my spelling is appalling. I used to take a pocket speller into school with me when a computer wasn’t available. Today I ask Siri on my Iphone how to spell a certain word and if that fails I Google a phrase with the word in it. My handwriting is awful which is why you’ll find me writing on my laptop most of the time. In my GCSE’s and A Levels I was allowed twenty five percent extra time and a computer to use.

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Can you read my handwriting?

Dyslexic people tend to be more creative than non dyslexics. We can grasp new and abstract concepts quicker than others and we have stronger reasoning skills. We’re more persistent, we see patterns and links where others can not and (forgive the cliché) we can think outside the box for most situations.

There are numerous dyslexic successful people including several notable writers. Agatha Christie,  F Scott Fitzgerald and George Bernard Shaw to name a few. Other notable names include Richard Branson, Keira Knightly, Albert Einstein and Steven Spielberg. Apparently Da Vinci and Edgar Allen Poe were dyslexic but this can’t be proved.

This is a good time to explain that I’m also dyspraxic. Dyslexia and dyspraxia come hand in hand. It’s a lack of hand eye coordination and lack of balance, generally clumsiness. Think  of Neville Longbottom from the first few Harry Potter films.

Interestingly enough Daniel Radcliff has dyspraxia which you can read about from the linked article below. When you re-watch the first two Harry Potter films pay close attention to Daniel’s eyes. When he blinks, his eyes are not in sync with each other. This is a sign of dyspraxia.

Another dyspraxia sign can be found in the police drink driving test. I want you to walk in a straight line across the room to your computer screen. Keep your arms out straight either side of you and your feet must always be touching. If you wobble as though drunk you may be dyspraxic. When I did this test I tripped over a doorstop and fell flat on my face. I believe that lots of people who consider themselves clumsy are undiagnosed dyspraxics.

I hope you click away from this post with a more informed view of dyslexic and dyspraxia. If you want more information I suggest visiting the British Dyslexia Association’s website and the Dyspraxia Foundation’s website or leave a comment down below.

Until next time.

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