Not many know this about me, that I have dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia (links on all). They are known as SpLD's, specific learning difficulties. And they affect me differently every day of my life.
With dyslexia there is a myth that people cannot read or write and are basically stupid. Individuals are affected in different ways, I sit somewhere in the middle I think. I have trouble reading from white paper with black print, to explain what its like, the letters, not all but some, move around the page. I can just about read it, slowly concentrating very hard but it drains me so I tend not to read much. I actually have readable hand writing and like to write. But with writing comes problems, I lack the confidence to know if the words I am spelling are right or wrong, even simple everyday words. I often have to think of alternative words just to appear to be writing normally. I also have a problem in actually writing, after about 10 minutes my hand aches and starts to cramp up, which can be very painful. So I tend to type when I can, its easier and much quicker. Another reason why I decided to start this blog was to help with my grammer and spelling. Its basically making me think on the spot what to write about and for me this is very hard to do, it takes a lot of concentration. I keep mentioning about concentration, this is because its terrible! I get easily side tracked and the slightest thing can distract me.
I currently am studying with the Open University doing a BSc Open (Hons) degree. I am getting very good help and guidance from a dyslexic tutor; Kerry Pace, Diverse Learners. I actually enjoy learning new things, the problem is that I am much slower than most! I go at my own pace and achieve good results too. Confidence that I am doing the right thing is a major issue I have, I tend to doubt myself a lot.
With my SpLD's I have many little problems, but I dont see them as problems, I try to look on the bright side and think positive. My dyspraxia creates 'hurdles' for me, but I have devised coping mechanisms that I do now automatically. To other people my coping mechanisms may look rather odd, but they work for me! :)
Having dyscalculia is a major problem for me, it really does affect me on a daily basis. Things we take for granted like, telling the time, measuring ingredients, checking the TV guide for programmes on now and later, waiting 25 minutes for something to cook. And much more. Time itself is a problem, I just have no concept of it, going some where I am either really early or late! Everyday working maths I have to concentrate, in the super market and to work out which product is better value, size and money wise is near impossible. I cannot do mental maths, where you do maths in your head. I need to understand the sequince of doing a sum that I am doing, then understand why I got the answer I did. I am attending extra maths lessons run by my local council, the classes do help and I do think over time my confidence will grow :)
Another thing I tend to do, I actually am not aware that I do this! Is shout. Apparently, it was explained to me that it was thought I had a bad hearing problem as I was having to turn the TV up seriously loud. But after investigations, its a processing issue, the spoken word from people or TV, I have difficulty understand, and interpreting so think I cannot hear it. This also causes me to shout when I am talking, its like I have no volume switch. The information is not being processed quick enough by my brain and this is why I shout, I am constantly being told 'sshhhh'!
This is only a snip it of what goes on in my life on a daily basis! I do try to stay positive and try not to get frustrated, but its hard.