Thursday, July 17, 2008

An Explanation- Dyslexia

When most people think of dyslexia they think it is reading numbers and letters backwards or scrambled. And that is part of it. But it is much more than that too.

When I went looking on the internet for a definition of dyslexia that I thought summed it up I really couldn't find one. They were all very vague. The closest I got to a good definition was this:

A learning disorder marked by impairment of the ability to recognize and comprehend written words. -American Heritage Dictionary

But I really felt drawn to this description:

Dyslexic people are visual, multi-dimensional thinkers. We are intuitive and highly creative, and excel at hands-on learning. Because we think in pictures, it is sometimes hard for us to understand letters, numbers, symbols, and written words. - Ron Davis of The Davis Dyslexia Association International

No, it is not all the positives I'm drawn to in that definition but the last sentence that says it is hard for us to understand letters, numbers, symbols and words. So many definitions make it sound like it is just about reading and it is not. Not for me, anyway. I'll switch whole words around making the sentence mean something completely different than what was actually written. I'll cut other words in half making the sentence confusing. Other times I just won't understand the meaning of the sentence until I slow down and read it two or three times.

Growing up I never believed I had dyslexia. My mom (who also has dyslexia) had told me a few times (very nonchalant-like) that I had it and she worked with me on slowing down my reading and writing so that I didn't have as many problems as another dyslexic might. I got all B's and C's (a few A's in art/English/gym) in school and my dyslexia pretty much went unnoticed. The only classes I really struggled in were Chemistry and Geometry (well, and probably History as well). I knew what I was doing, but with all of the written steps somewhere along the way I would switch some numbers around and always get the answers wrong. I think I just barely passed both of those classes.

Against my pleading my mom had told my Geometry teacher that I had dyslexia and he was wonderful and supportive. He told me I could take all the tests after school so that they wouldn't be timed, and that I could have all the extra tutelage I needed. I refused. My silly pride not only didn't believe I actually had dyslexia but also did not wanted special treatment.

The first time I knew I had dyslexia came when I was 19 years old. I was looking for a full time job to keep me busy until the waiting list was over for the nursing program I wanted to get into. I applied at a bank and they informed me that I was hired. All I had to do was take a dyslexia test and then I could start on the following Monday.

I went in to the bank to take the test the next morning. I sat down at the desk and was told the test was being timed. I was handed a sheet of paper with two very long columns on. It looked like this,
9i3lse 9i3esl same or different
jd5w6 jd5w6 same or different
nvdx4 nxvd4 same or different

but all the way down the page. I was to take a glance at the numbers and then circle the corresponding same or different appropriately.

I looked at it and thought, "Easy!" I matched my fingers up and read each column carefully as I went down the paper. I didn't quite make it all the way through the columns when my time was up. I handed the paper over and went home satisfied. That was so easy!

The next day I got a call from the human resources director. He nervously told me that they had scored my test and I failed. Miserably. I could tell he was having a very hard time telling me just how poorly I had done. He probably thought that he was giving me brand new life changing information. I remember feeling badly for him having to "break" the news to me. He kept saying he was sorry, but the results weren't even close to what they should be. They couldn't hire me.

I hung up the phone and let out a stunned chuckle. I guess I had always thought my mom was being dramatic. How is it possible that someone with dyslexia could make it through school as well as I did? Why didn't any of my teachers ever notice? What other jobs would I be turned away from because of this? Should I even consider going in to nursing now? I just didn't know what to do next. I knew nothing had really changed but I still felt a little differently. Clearly there are levels of dyslexia and I was not on the completely debilitating end nor was I on the barely recognizable end. I was somewhere in the middle.

The following week I had another interview. This one was at a credit union. I went, and this time I was nervous. I was really scared that they would give me a dyslexia test and that I would be turned away from this job as well.

As it turned out they did not give me the test and I was hired as a teller. I worked there for one year as a teller and my cash drawer was never off despite working more drives than everyone else. I worked my way over to the loan department as a processor and then a loan officer. I then moved on to a larger banking company as a mortgage loan processor/underwriter. After Todd and I got married I wanted a job in the city where we lived so I found a job as a personal banker. When my current job heard that I was leaving they begged me to stay and bent over backwards to find me a position at one of the branches where I lived. They made me a supervisor and assistant branch manager. To this day they still ask me if I would consider coming back as branch manager.

Needless to say, I thrived. And after working flawlessly with numbers for 8 years I got my confidence back. I knew that I could do anything I wanted to, just in a different way than everyone else. The feeling of being "less than" had finally faded.

Having dyslexia really doesn't affect me in a big way. There are things here and there that need some attention, but nothing drastic. Some examples of my amusing little quips with dyslexia:

- When I was in 1st grade the teacher was helping us learn our left hand from our right hand. She told us to make a fist with our hands and then stick out our thumbs and index fingers. The hand that makes an L is your left hand. I remember thinking she was nuts. They were both L's! To this day they still both look like L's. To know my left from my right I always told myself that I write with my right. That helped.

- For some goofy reason my mom and dad always had cutesy word play games with each other. A whole bunch of words or phrases that they said mixed up or backwards. I don't know if they did this to "make fun" of my mom's dyslexia but they always enjoyed themselves with it. For instance, they used to call a cup of coffee a coff a cuppee. To this day I still have to think really hard about which way is the correct way. Even writing that down just now was difficult.

- There are times when I get really mad at a commercial that has a logo or catchphrase that doesn't make any sense. I'll go on and on about how stupid the commercial is until Todd stops me and says, "Um. That's not what it said." And then I'll realize I read it completely wrong. Dur.

- Sometimes when someone tells me to go left I'll go right and vice versa. It can be really annoying when I'm driving.

- There are times when I forget how to spell the easiest words like, "can" or "use".  It is crazy.  In my mind I KNOW that it is an easy word and that I know it, but I just can't think of how to spell it.

- Same thing with actually writing a word out.  Sometimes I will write or type a word out and it will just look so wrong to me.  Is "kind" really spelled "k-i-n-d"?  It just doesn't look right.  And yet when I spell check or ask someone else, sure enough, it is right. 

- If I come across a word that I am unfamiliar with it takes me a fair amount of time to figure out what the word is and what it means.  I really have to stop, sound it out slowly in my head, and then put it all together.  I think this is why I've always had a difficult time reading proper English like Shakespeare and Jane Austin.  It is exhausting.

- When reading I'll chop words in half and make it a totally different word in my mind. For instance, just recently the word was romantic and I read Roman. Yep. Capitalized and everything. Very strange. Sometimes I'll even chop a sentence in half and combine it with another sentence further down the page.  It almost feels like the words are jumping or moving around the page.  I do this all the time when I am trying to read too fast or if I've been reading for a long time. It almost seems as though my eyes aren't working together and are not coordinating.  I really need to concentrate when I'm reading.

- That said, I'm not that slow of a reader. Probably just a bit slower than average. However, I am married to a super speed reader. When we went in for our premarriage counseling we were given a 200 question compatibility test to take to see if there were any areas we needed to work on. Todd was done in about 25 minutes. It took me well over an hour.

- Many people who have dyslexia have a difficult time memorizing facts or information that has not been experienced. Dates can be a problem. Memorizing a large volume of text can be near impossible for some with dyslexia. I don't seem to have this problem as I never had any trouble memorizing my lines for plays or musicals, and memorizing music has always come naturally to me. However, do not ask me to sight read. My lack of ability to sight read is one of the reasons I knew I would never pursue a career in singing. It is near impossible for me to watch the notes and the words and put them together to make sense. However, if you play the song for me once or twice I am able to pick it up very quickly.

- I recently found out that some of my verbal "stutters" are from dyslexia as well. I just thought I was talking too fast.  But there are so many times when I am talking and I get stuck on a word and have to stop, clear my mouth out (bluh, bluh, bluh), and then keep going.  It isn't stuttering, per say, but more like jumbling my words.   I noticed that Jay Leno did it quite often in his monologues (he has dyslexia too) and I looked into it.  Apparently, it is very common for people with dyslexia.  I had always laughed it off before as me being a bit too excited, but it all makes sense now.

- Dyslexia, to me, almost feels like my brain is trying to work too fast and then skips a beat or two and scrambles up. Almost like when you would play a cassette tape and the tape player would eat the tape making that werrble-werrble-whoop sound. If dyslexia had a sound that would just about sum it up to me. Werrble-werrble-whoop!

So. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, in the past few weeks I have made some errors while reading blogs and I made some comments that didn't really make sense. I think it gave off the impression that I wasn't really reading the blogs or paying attention. I tried to clear it up and say, oops, and move on but it has been bothering me. I don't want anyone thinking I am being flippant about any of their posts and I don't want anyone to think I'm a complete idiot either. I'm kind of embarrassed about it. This isn't an excuse. Just an explanation, I guess. Probably more for me than anything else.
It is really strange that I am pouring all of this out in a post, actually. I have mentioned it in prior memes before and was unnerved even doing that. I have gone back and forth about whether to even post this. You see, most of my family and friends have no idea I am dyslexic. I just don't talk about it. When I have told people about it I have never gone in to detail. It is usually just a "I have dyslexia" and that is the end of the story. Even Todd has not gotten much detail.

So anyway. More than you really ever cared to know about me or dyslexia, but I just wanted to clear that up. Blogging has been so much fun for me, but it is also very challenging. I want to get to everyone's posts and in order to do so I try to read a bit faster than I normally would. Unfortunately, when I do that I make more errors. But I am reading, and I am concentrating! I promise!


CC said...

Thank you so much for this. I felt like I just learned a ton!!! From what I understand, true "dyslexia" (and not generic title of reading disability) is quite rare. Is that true?

Hilary said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Kathryn. Your communication skills are just fine. I'd have never guessed that there was even a hint of a struggle. You explained and expressed yourself beautifully. I hope Google brings those want to understand more about dyslexia to your blog.

Anonymous said...

You are awesome, Kathryn, and I'm so glad that you shared all of this information and even more your own personal experience with dyslexia, even though it's not something you always feel comfortable talking about in detail. I feel like I have much better understanding, and I would never have known that you were dyslexic because your writing always comes across perfectly. I'm so glad that you got your confidence back after that miserable test at the bank and didn't let it hold you back from what you are capable of doing. It takes courage to go forward after being kind of shot down like that. Awesome post. Awesome.

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

I never would've known, your writing is perfect. I'm sorry that you struggle but I think you are overcoming very well!

Karen Coutu said...

First of all, I don't think you should be embarrassed. I think you do remarkably well despite the extra challenges.

I've never noticed anything with your comments. I think it is great that you decided to post this. It really shows the world how confident you are. I'm sure your friends and family who had no idea will feel very proud of you when they do read this post.

Mom24 said...

Wow! Thank you! I had no idea. I have never 'heard' such a complete description of what dyslexia is. That was so informative, and helpful. For the record, I've never noticed anything in the comments either, and it is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed by. You are wonderful. I've always thought that, but now? Thinking about your grit and determination and positive attitude? You are AWESOME.

To the best of my knowledge I do not have dyslexia, yet I struggle with some of the same things you have. Geometry was definitely my nemesis. The L R hands thing? If you turn your right hand over, it makes a perfect L, so that's kind of a worthless trick anyway. If someone tells me too fast to go left, I have to stop and think for a minute what that means. I read things wrong too sometimes, and have to backtrack and think about what it says. I'm not trying to minimize the things you have struggled with, not at all. I just wonder how many people without dyslexia do some of the same types of things from time to time.

BTW--the dyslexia test? Unnerving. I could do it, but I sure would hate to be doing it in a timed setting with a job hanging in the balance.

Great post. Again, thank you.

Kelly said...

That was a very imformative post. It was neat to learn more about you and also good to learn more about dyslexia. I've always said my hubby has it. He transposes numbers all the time and can't spell AT ALL!! He is a math and science genius (literally!) but can't spell to save his life. After reading that, it makes me more curious. Thanks for sharing that!

Stephanie said...

You know, in all of your writing and comments, I never would have thought you had dyslexia. Ever. You are simply wonderful, Kathryn! I feel like I know you so much better. Kudos to you girl!

Brittany said...

Oh Kathryn! This was such a neat post. It was so informative and I feel like this really going to help out another person, who is in the same position, or someone who might have a child with dyslexia.

Thank you for being so open and so honest. :)

Kat said...

Aww. Thanks y'all. I was just sweating thinking about posting this, but I'm glad I did. You are all awesome! Thanks for all the support. :)


One more thing I should have included in the post is my effort to get everyone to take off their word verifications on the comments section. Those things are horrific for me. They take me forever!!! Let's ban them! ;)

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Thanks so much for that explanation...not about you, but just in general. I had no idea how difficult it really was!

That's amazing at your success. It almost sounds like you pushed through it and made it go away!

Kat said...

Oh, I forgot some more.

CC- They say that dyslexia is the most common "learning disorder" but I don't know. I suppose when you factor in all the degrees of it it probably is. But certain types might be more rare.

Mom24 & Kelly- I think many more people have dyslexia but never really realize it. Like I said there are degrees. And yes, the test has to be timed. That is an important part of it.
My sis and a few of my friends never believed I had it. They thought I was being silly. It seems odd that a person can do well in school and work and have dyslexia. And you rationalize it and think that everyone has the same struggles as you do.
All the credit really should go to my mom, not me. She worked with me when I was really small so that I barely even noticed it until I was older. She really knew how to help me because she has it too.

dawn klinge said...

That was so interesting. Thank you so much for sharing this information about Dyslexia. Your writing is always so wonderful and it amazes how you've not let Dyslexia get in the way of anything you want to do. That bank test would be very hard for me as well.

Maddy said...

Very interesting, certainly food for thought [one of mine has visual therapy]......and uplifting too.

CFC Flames '04 said...

Hi there,
I saw you on Kelly's blog and decided to check yours out.

How interesting - My middle son and I both have dyslexia! Very neat to see it on your blog.

Kelly W.

Unknown said...

Oh dear, sweet Kathryn! I NEVER would have known that you live with dyslexia! Your posts are always wonderful, as are your comments.

Thanks for sharing this with us though, it makes me feel like I "know" you even more!

I think I have it just a little bit, especially when it comes to numbers. But, I have never been tested or anything. Maybe someday I will take one...

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this kathryn!! i feel so much more educated now.

and the whole left and right thing... i get the whole look at your hands and the left makes an l, no problems there. but anytime i need to know left or right i have to use that trick!!

RiverPoet said...

Wow, what a great explanation of dyslexia! I had no idea that was how it really was!

Given that you've made no recent comments on my blog, no worries. You didn't screw up :-) But this was certainly an interesting read!

Peace - D
(formerly "Momma")

Mary Beth said...

I have to be careful around numbers which is funny since I work with them constantly. But I can reverse the order if I'm not careful. So I check and double check.

BTW, the look on your youngest "Charlie's Angel" just sends me. I came back today to get another dose:) Don't you wish you could just bottle him as he is now?

Tonya said...

I've always thought I had numbers dyslexia because I consistently switch them around in my check book or reading them off to people. Almost like my brain works faster then my mouth. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Spot on description with examples, and I was once trained as a dyslexia tutor! Also, I have a lot of the right hand/left hand issues, so those tips are much appreciated.

I am moved by your transparency. Thanks for baring yourself.

lime said...

i really appreciate that you took the time to share this about yourself. not because of any misunderstanding about a blog comment but it's just so helpful for all of us to expand our understanding. i have a degree in special ed and so i have had to learn about this and other learning disorders but something like this straight from you, so well said and explained does more for my own understanding that lots of textbooks and study.

the "werble werble whoop" is such a great illustration.

also you may well be a great encouragement to a parent who has a child struggling with this. your success can really give a lot of hope.

Anonymous said...

I never would have guessed. You always write so well. Any mistakes I have every seen, I always chalk up to a typo. I make them ALL THE TIME. So I guess I just assume everyone else does too! HUGS!

Anonymous said...

I have never read a POV piece on dyslexia and found this to be really fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

Georgina said...

Hi, I arrived via Hilary, via David. I too am dyslexic and have had a fear of the written word for many years. I have bloomed in other areas and in blogging I have met many who do NOT judge me for my writing skills, but for the content. I loved your post and bon courage. Debs x


I think A should read this post,
and see that she may overcome some
of her math and reading problems,
in the future. She gets good grades and tries very hard to get those grades. I see she's very much like you & D in her learning style, etc.
She hopes to be in Nursing also....
Because of the visual learning thingie, do you have a tip for remembering song lyrics you can pass on to her? Great Post, and I will show A, she is much more aware
of her learning problems and it
might help her to know that she is
not alone! :)

Kristen said...

So here I am commenting, even though I said I would not! :)

You are one of my favorites Kathryn. Period. You are just the sweetest of people out there, and did I mention normal? That's a pretty big criteria for me, you know.

Alas, thanks for sharing this little part of you with us. And if you ever do make mistakes, (which I have never noticed by the way) it is alright. :)

Now go kiss those cute boys of yours, and I'll get back to organizing for this trip!


Kelley said...

I appreciate every one of your comments. I'd never have thought you struggled with dyslexia.

I am glad you posted this, not just because it helps me to know you better, but also because it gives me hope for my son. He doesn't have dyslexia, but he does have high-functioning autism, and I would love to help him learn how to have as normal a life as possible as you have.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

WOW, I had no idea you suffered with that. This was a real eye opener Kat. I, too, thought it was just reading reverse and such. Thank you for sharing!

Rima said...

My husband swears that people who have dyslexia are highly intelligent and I believe him - he's a neurologist!

Thank you for sharing this, it was so sincere and informative.

Molly's Mom said...

I'm with the rest of these guys...I never, ever would've known! Keep doing what you're doing...and thanks for being a faithful reader of my stuff :)

BTW, we booked our tickets for the Muskegon-Milwaukee ferry - hopefully we don't get one of those crazy thunderstorms while we're on the boat!

Momisodes said...

Seriously, I hate to sound like a broken record. I know you mentioned it in meme's in the past, but I never see it in your posts. I would have never guessed.

That was an amazing, honest post. Very well written :)

Robyn said...

That was a great post. Very interesting, really made me wonder about certain things I do. I don't care if you write something crazy in a comment I'm just happy someone did:)

Karen Deborah said...

Me too!!! Exactly, if you talk backwards to me I get it. So funny, it is so EASY to loose confidence with this. I did go to nursing school. I placed a newborn in a different bassinet while bathing a bunch of them. Thank God for wrist bands. But I totally freaked out and almost quit. Talk about worry! I did finish and am a very careful, compassionate nurse. I have never lost a baby. I can't do math well, your definition is exactly right. I read whop for whoop. You know whop whop like a flat tire. I can sooo relate. It's kind of like going through life feeling a bit like a second class citizen. The plus, is the sensitivity for the less than perfect, which everybody is anyway.

Karen Coutu said...

Just saw your note about the word verification. I'll remove mine right away.

Anonymous said...

I'm not dyslexic, but geez I hate word verification, too, Kat. And, my mother has it, too, so I certainly understand it can be limiting. We do what your parents did, and have always made fun of her silly words. I love getting a comment from you no matter what it says. And, I find your honesty even more endearing. You never mince your words.

imbeingheldhostage said...

wow, you have no idea how loved you are out here, do you? I can't imagine anyone was passing judgements on your comments, I'm just thrilled you make them! I really enjoyed your amusing quips-- our 2nd son's mind worked faster than his tongue. He would talk backwards, beginning with the part of the word he heard last and working his way back through it (puck for cup, puh for up, ah-peep for pizza).
From now on, people riding with you should say "my way" "your way", it works so much better than "left" and "right".
Great post, Kat!

Kat said...

Karen- Yay!!! Thank you! Another word verification gone! :)

Anonymous said...

Having an autistic daughter I have learnt myself how intense and complex dyslexia is. I won't pretend to know about it but I do know that it requires support for those children who are struggling through school. I think years ago, when it wasn't recognised as such, children slipped through the net and teachers got away without knowing too much about their difficulties. It is a very positive thing that dyslexia has been made more commonly known in order to give help and support to those people who need it most. I have no doubt that you read and understand blogs. Some blogs I read are difficult to concentrate on especially if you have many others to read also. You can only do your best. And what's more, just to have you (or anyone) visit blogs should be good enough for the author. Take care.

CJ xx

Anonymous said...

THank you for this. Mr. T was diagnosed with dyslexia this spring and your post was so helpful and reassuring to read.

krissy said...

Actually, I was talking about the picture of the 4th of July with your children watching the beauty of fireworks and seeing the beauty of family. Sexiness: Beauty in family.

Or the Packer Picture of your hubby cuz let's just face it....sexiness is being a packer fan. Nuff said.

My husband is dyslexic. I have always said that it is what makes him so damn good at his job though, b/c he is working with numbers. I also said it makes him a smartass but that's just him being a man......

Think about the pictures and let me know if I can use one or the other. Are you surprised I picked those pictures?

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Hi Kathryn, I just found you and I want to thank you for such an honest and informative post. Rarely do those with difficulties share them openly. I have no personal experience with dyslexia, but know many who battle it (mostly silently). Having an autistic son brings forth a bit more open discussion from people. Thank you again for "opening my eyes" wider to the dyslexic dilemma(s).

p.s. If you come to see me I apologize for the jumbly verification torture (I am still figuring all this techo-stuff out). You aren't the first to beg for mercy. Just know, I am working on it. : )

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that your open about it. I didn't know that my husbands sister was dyslexic until she did a reading for me at our wedding, she confided in me and told me how difficult it was for her, but that she wanted to do it.

I sometimes worry about Meggers as she switches letters around and sometimes reads a word backwards. I know it can also be an age thing so just keeping an eye on it.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Ashley said...

I am SO glad you posted this! It helps me to understand what true dyslexia is...beyond a textbook definition. Thanks for putting it so I can wrap my head around it.

And by the way, I sometimes read stuff Or see different words than what is really there, too!

Cyndi said...

My husband has dyslexia and he cuts off words a lot. I always thought he was just not really paying attention because he would only read the beginning of the word. Thank you for this post. It clears up a lot for me.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that there isn't more information out there about dyslexia. I am sure your post will help and validate what many others out there feel. Thank you for sharing this K, I know how hard it can be to open up about something so personal, blogging or out loud with people you are close with.

I remember a while back you saying the verification codes were cruel to a woman with dyslexia! I was silently hoping you would post about it so I could understand it a little more myself. So, no, it's not more than I cared to know...thank you.

I have always loved your writing. In this post I especially loved the line:

"The feeling of being "less than" had finally faded."

What a great connection after talking about banking. I TOTALLY picked up on it.

Also (and as if this comment isn't long enough), it's still weird to not see your HF post on Mr. Linky. I totally understand your motives though.

Roxy Wishum said...

Wow! You are so gifted! When I leave here, I am going online to search for tests for myself. Actually, I think first I will write that post on "CAPTCHA"--the word for those word verification tortures. "Visual thinkers" is a great description and probably helps explain why you can write so vividly in a way that we all "see" exactly what you are describing. And probably why I felt an immediate affinity as soon as I read one of your posts. Doog boj!

Tam said...

Great post......great post!!!!!

HOPE you are having a great day!!

Lisa said...

You are a gem, Kathryn.

You know, I have a masters degree in reading education, and you just explained dyslexia better than I've ever had it explained. You are a smart, smart lady & I applaud that you've never let this little hiccup stop you!!!

PS - I did take off my letter typing deal on my postings just for you ;)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I understand! Now I really feel like I know what dyslexia is. Thank you! And thank you for sharing your story. You should feel so great about yourself. You are something else!

Anonymous said...

Reading your writing and comments, I would never, never have guessed you had dyslexia.

Thank you for the deeper understanding of what it means.

Chaotic Joy said...

Wow! I thought this was so interesting. And I don't think you should ever be embarrassed about it. I would never even have guessed if you hadn't confessed. It just helps people to see that it doesn't really have to be that big of deal.

Life in the Crazy Lane said...

My husband's got dyslexia. I learned about it in my elem ed classes in college. Most people are surprised to learn that it is actually a physical problem, not a mental one; the information gets mixed up as it is being transferred from the eye to the brain. And dyslexics test at higher than average intelligence.

ewe are here said...

Fascinating. Really. I always just pictured dyslexia like you said up front, mixing up letters and numbers.... but it's so much more!

Tiffany said...

I love your honesty - always - that is why I read your blog and am always so excited when you have a new post. I have so many friends with various learning disabilities and they have all overcome and are doing the most amazing things with their lives.

As a nurse who ABSOLUTELY LOVES being a nurse, I hope that you do pursue it one of these days - we so need great nurses and I have no doubt that you would be amazing!

Keep being real - thats how we love you!

4funboys said...

great post!!!

ps- How do you turn it off??? I HATE those darn things

david mcmahon said...

God bless you for that amazing post and for your amazing writing talent.

Anonymous said...

at my blog, there is so much nonsense barely even have to pay attention when you read!!! so, stop by when you need a break ;)

Indy said...

This is my second visit to your site and I am impressed by the support and frienship of all of your readers. Thank you for explaining dyslexia and making it easy to understand.

Beth said...

Yeah.. I thought the comment you left on my blog was JACKED UP! ;) Oh, wait, you've never been to my blog! *grin!*

Seriously, I have a reason for commenting. In the back of my mind, I suspect my 9 yearest for it? old girl has a form of this. How do they t

Beth said...

uuuh.. I did NOT do that on purpose! *so laughing though!*

That was supposed to finish reading "test for this?"

Bren said...

Ok, you've got me. I'm turning off word verification right now!

I agree that more people probably have it and don't realize it. As a reading teacher, I was certain some of my kids had it but their parents refused to listen. Sad.

Thanks so much for sharing. Even though I've attended teacher trainings on it, this post taught me a few things.

Rose said...

Although I've never been diagnosed, I'm pretty sure I have a mild form of dyslexia. I exhibit a lot of the same traits as you mention.

And left and right...forget about it! The husband always goes with which way I'm pointing (because I always point in the correct direction, even if my words are coming out opposite!)

Slower than normal reader, that's me. Oh the things I come up with in my brain! Again, husband often gets a good chuckle (with not at me) over things that I have read incorrectly. It's amazing how I can read over the same word three times and still see the WRONG word until the fourth time!

Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathryn - beautiful blog! I am a learning disabilities teacher at the high school level and have many students diagnosed with dyslexia. I was moved by your honest depiction of life with dyslexia. I am hoping to use your blog entry this fall when I encourage students to use self-advocacy and learn about their disability. I especially liked your comment about the denial you had during your teen years. Many of my students are also in denial and I feel that your blog will help them understand that this does not mean they are not smart and their future is an open book. Thanks again.


Sandi McBride said...

My sister Nicole was diagnosed as dyslexic when she was 12...she had many problems in school but that didn't phase her. She struggled on through High School and College, finally becoming a teacher after five years of college (she teaches Special Needs Children) She is a genius at any art project she attempts so the Highly Visual part is very true...she picked up cross stitch and rug hooking in like, oh five minutes? So, we don't consider her handicapped at all, in fact we consider her the smartest of all of us because of how hard she has to work to overcome the difficulties. I believe that can be said of you, as well. You have to be super smart to do what you do!
David sent me, so glad he did!

Karen MEG said...

Thanks for sharing that Kathryn. Your honesty and description of dyslexia really educated me today; I had no idea of all those complexities. I'm sure this post will help many.

And the fact that you thrived regardless, and did so well through school and in your career in banking... I am just blown away!

OHmommy said...

This was a great post.

I feel that we should be able to write anything w/o worrying if people will think we are complaining. That was a lot of what I discussed at BlogHer.

We should do what we want and readers should be sympathetic.

Great post. BRAVO!

Burgh Baby said...

Great post!

I'm a little disconcerted that someone failed to hire you because of a dyslexia test. Maybe then it was legal, but not now. It's sad actually, but I'm glad to know it all worked out for you in the end anyway.

Kat said...

BB's Mom- Ya know, I've thought about that before too. But the truth is that dyslexia could seriously inhibit your ability to do a job working with nothing but numbers. I really don't think they are wrong for testing. I can't say I blame them. Still, in this day and age (okay, that was 13 years ago) it is strange to hear, isn't it?

Cath said...

Absolutely THE best post I have read in a long long time.
Thank you.

Lew said...

An excellent post on the issue of learning disabilities. One of my sons had similar problems, though it was not diagnosed as dyslexia. Around 2-nd grade he was struggling and we had noticed some symtoms at home. When I was reading to him and his younger sister, she was beginning to recognize words that he did not. He had no problems with numbers on his homework, but really struggled with word problems, but if I read the problem to him, he immediately responded with the correct answer. It took a while to get through the school system's bureaucracy and testing, but he got some excellent teachers in a class for kids with similar problems. When he was tested verbably, he knew the information, but the reading part of test had him stumped. Eventually, he returned to regular classes, graduated from high school and worked his way through college. Thanks for telling us your story and thanks to david for telling us about your blog.

Jill said...

I've seen "you" on mom24's blog for the last few months and just came over as a recommendation to check out your post.

Wow - I learned so much here. Thank you for being so honest.

Nice to finally meet you!

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

super interesting. thanks so much for sharing.

Nissa said...

You are such a sweetie. Thanks for opening up & sharing your story.

And we all make stupid comments on blogs. You don't know how many times I wish I could go back & erase what I've said, because reading it back, it sounded dumb or snippy, or completely random.


Anita said...

Hi Kat, It's almost 6 years since you wrote this post. Today, I saw your link to it on Tabor's post and came over to hear your explanation. Too much to explain here, but one of my children does not like to read. And it took her a little longer to recognize all the letters of the alphabet than the typical preschool age of 4 or 5. The b and p was a problem, and a few other letters. I can never put my finger on it because she is successful in school - though she has to work hard for good grades - but my instinct tells me that she sees things slightly differently.
So, thank you for sharing this information. Of course, I wish you continued success in dealing with it.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson