Saturday, October 24, 2015

Chicken by Chicken: A Glitch in the Software.

I'm continuing my Chicken by Chicken series. I am writing about my real challenges in hopes that my story will help you find your way.

This week I will chat about a glitch in the software of my brain. Along with the whole blind-in-one-eye thing, the anxiety thing, the depression thing, daily, I face dyslexia.

What is that like?

I have a hard time distinguishing left from right. I leave articles out of sentences.  I repeat letters in words. I leave letters out of words. I skip words. I don't put words in the right order. I flip bs, ds, ps, and qs. I love lists, but I really hate numbered lists. I thank God that we don't have to look up stuff in dictionaries manually any more! Also, I'm am freaking brilliant with math as long as calculation is not necessary.

I think you get it--glitch in that brain. .

I have hundreds of "work arounds" for this problem. I read my writing backwards. (Ah, yes, reading backwards or forward, right side up or upside down makes little difference to me.) I change fonts. I change the size of fonts. I change the color of fonts.  I only copy edit 5 or 6 words at a time. For math, I'm horrible at calculation but amazing at estimation. I solve every problem until I get the same answer three times.

ADVICE: If you are older, be sure to find some expert on dyslexia to offer you new ideas to deal with your glitches.

Dyslexia makes some easy things very difficult to me.  I have found it is useful to work with the problem and not against it. I am full of stories. Here is a fact. My stories have to be stronger than the average story because I have to get professionals to look past the fact this writing needs "more editing than most." So be it. I'd pit my imagination against, the best grammar any day. I also am one tenacious soul.

In the end, dylexia has brought me some wonderful gifts. The best one is empathy. I love chatting to kids with reading and writing problems. Reading is not about the AR points you can rack up. Writing isn't about the grammar.  Reading is about finding a secret door into new worlds. And writing is about expressing ideas that only you can express.  I can seriously say, "Don't let a string of teachers slapping Fs on your papers stop you from opening secret doors or sharing your ideas."

A deep truth--we are all hopelessly flawed.  Everyone has glitches in their software.  We are having to deal with "work arounds."  If you are full of stories, do your best work and know that is enough regardless of the challenges you face.

For fun check out my Chickens video.  If you would like the book, CHICKENS DO NOT TAKE OVER HALLOWEEN, check it out here.
And now a doodle:

Here is a quote for your pocket.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller


Vijaya said...

I love how you've taken your glitches and used them to help kids. I find it is in being vulnerable that we touch others.

Molly/Cece said...

It is so precious to me when I see the surprise and relief in the eyes of kids when they hear that reading is difficult for some people, that writing is difficult for some people, but learning to read and write is worth the struggle to embrace this world of communication. Writing is an old technology, but it is a powerful one, converting our thinking into something visible, permanent, and transformative.

Deborah Hawkins said...

I sometimes think I have dyslexia. It's really easy for me when handwriting to mix up g's and d's or to totally butcher a name when typing because my fingers are going elsewhere on the keyboard, and sometimes when reading a word will pop up in the middle of the sentence even if I haven't gotten to it yet. I also have no issue reading upside down, but when I'm leading a Zumba class, I ALWAYS have to wrack my brain about left and right when stretching. I don't know if it's a mild form, but I've definitely managed more than people who were diagnosed.

Anyway, lol, it's cool that you are helping kids manage it. Schools like to label kids without actually helping them, imo.