What is dyslexia?


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The problem with giving a definition is that there must be some common point of reference.

For instance, pretend for a moment that you are asked to describe the color blue to a person that has been blind all their life. How would you do it? Saying that blue is the color of the sky is useless, because the hypothetical person has never seen the sky. So, how do you describe the color blue?

Dyslexia is a very complex problem with many variables. Trying to give a simple answer describing Dyslexia, is a little like describing an Ocean as a big body of water with fish in it. While a technically accurate statement, it does not describe what an ocean really is.

Adding confusion to the matter, most people 'dump' anyone with dyslexia into one category. In reality there are many types/levels of dyslexia, not just one.

In my case, numbers, letters and words, tend to 'shift' on a page that I am reading. For instance, if I am speaking or copying the Sentence, "The Cat is Black." I may speak it or write it as:

"Cat Black is The." The first time I look at it.
"The Black Cat is." The next time.
"is The black Cat." The next.

I say interpret, because, obviously, the words on the page did not physically move. However, what I interpret is not always what is on the page. {see: what I see }

With a friend of mine, at least as best as I could interpret, each letter seemed to be jumbled. Example: the letter "A" might be interpreted as an "&" (for lack of a better printable example).

Yet another friend of mine says nothing 'moves', although, he can read better if he turns the book upside down.

These are three very different type/levels of dyslexia. However, there are many more levels/types. While everyone will physically see the same thing, on this page, how each of our minds interpret the information, is very different.

I can give you, examples of what I write, as examples of dyslexia looks like, but I have no way to show you the frustration, or the anger, or the insight and the advantages of having dyslexia.

Yes, there are advantages to having dyslexia, the most obvious and probably most documented is that many dyslexics have above average IQ's, although written tests will probably not indicate it.

We generally are more aware of body language and voices changes. Many times we will 'just know' when someone is lying to us or holding back information; even though everyone else is agreeing with the person of questionable integrity.

We are also generally very good at problem solving. However, our problem solving methods are usually unconventional; following documentation and 'the normal rule' is not one the things we do best.

There are many Definitions of Dyslexia,

"A permanent condition of varying severity that makes interpreting and expressing, words, numbers, and symbols difficult for some individuals.",
is probably the one I like best.
(However, I am open to better suggestions.)



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