Tag Archives: dyslexia

Dyslexia awareness, it should be a thing.

20 Oct

it’s been a little while since I’ve been able to post something, so while i was sitting here procrastinating instead of doing home work i though i may as well put my procrastination to good use. Time for a rant post!

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The Saturday just gone, I was lucky enough to be asked to be a panelist for an organisation called Square Pegs, an organisation that is trying to spread awareness about dyslexia across my home state of Tasmania. As anyone who had read my blog before knows, i have dyslexia. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times not so much. So it’s a subject I feel strongly about.

As a writer I cop a lot of criticism when I make a mistake, either in a post or in a draft or a report and while I work hard not to, it still happens. So to say I have a passion for speaking out about dyslexia is an understatement. I’ve had many an argument over the subject and frankly I’ll have many more. So when square pegs approached me and asked me to join their panel I was happy to. Because hey, that’s the kind of person I am. I love to talk, and I love to talk about things I know a lot about, so it was really a win-win for me.

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What I was surprised to find out, well actually not really all that surprised as I kinda already guessed this, but Tasmania has practically nothing to help support people, children in particular with dyslexia. Children with learning disabilities, not just dyslexia, but all of them fun things, in Tasmania, have no support, while every other state in Australia dose.

Growing up, i figured that out first hand, and I was one of the many kids that had to struggle through school, being called stupid, all because my brain decided it doesn’t want to work the way other peoples do. It’s estimated that 10-15% of the population suffer from Dyslexia. 10% you say, well that’s doesn’t sound like a lot, actually, it is. Think of it this way there is a estimated 513,400 that live in Tasmania, so if my maths is correct and i think it is, i’m amazing at math, potentially 51,340 in Tasmania alone have dyslexia. Fifty-one thousand people, who grew up thinking they were stupid, because they had trouble reading and writing. Fifty-one thousand people who stared at the pages of books and wondered why, why was it so easy for the kid next to me when I’m sitting here trying to decode this gibberish they call English. Fifty-one thousand people who had no support, no guidance, nothing to help them through it. That’s a lot, but to bring it down to a small scale 1-10 children suffer from dyslexia. In a class of thirty children, three of them will be dyslexic. The sad thing about that is those three children won’t get the help they need. They won’t love school like their friends, and maybe, just maybe they’ll start to believe all those people calling them stupid.

Dyslexia won’t kill someone, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Children with dyslexia often feel, alone, different, frustrated, and angry, because of it in school. As much as our bad spelling and grammar annoys you, it annoys us even more. We know how to talk, we just have trouble getting that on a page. Have you ever been called dumb, even when you know your not? Have you had it happen so many times that you start to believe it? I have, and so have so many other kids out there have as well. In the school, i was written off as stupid and lazy. The only reason I learnt anything at all was because I refused to believe that, well most days anyways. I knew I wasn’t stupid, and here I am, 23, science student at university and a published author. Was it easy? hell no!  had to work my butt off to get here. Will it ever be easy? definitely not, but having support, having the resources to learn, giving these kids a chance, will make it easier for them. having help, having people who understand how we learn, and how we work is going to make a huge difference.

So if any of you out there actually made it to this point please Check out Square Pegs (links below!). It doesn’t matter if you are a native tasweigan, Australian, or form anywhere else in the world, please share because awareness and support is the only way this amazing organisation is going to be able to do the good i know it can.

website: http://dyslexiatas.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarepegstas

dyslexic

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Okay guys, I get it! but bullying is not okay!

16 Mar

dyslexic

This is going to be a little rant post, because I’m just a little bit over having to say it.

As anyone who reads my blog regularly will know, I’m dyslexic, a uni student, and I love to write!

I mention those three things quite a bit.

But I want to make it clear that I’m not perfect. I don’t have perfect grammar, I generally suck at spelling and I am really bad at self-editing. I know this, and I do everything I can to try and improve. I have so much, but no matter what I do, I will never be perfect.

I have a best friend who screens all my posts before I post them. Now, she’s a vet nurse, not an English major, a writer, or an editor. So she’s not perfect either.

I hate that at the beginning of the post’s I have to say,’ look, I’m dyslexic, sorry if I stuff up.’ yes, I know mistakes are distracting. Yes, they seem unprofessional, but the thing is I’m no professional. I don’t get a million views a day, and I don’t ever expect to really. So yeah, I’m sorry I suck, I’m sorry I make mistakes, and you know what?  If I could change it, I would, trust me.

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Being Dyslexic is not easy, it’s not fun and unless you have it yourself you can’t possibly understand how frustrating it can be. When I was in school, I tried four time harder than any kid my age did. I couldn’t understand why, reading, writing, spelling and grammar all come so easily to my classmates and I struggled to keep up. I worked so hard at it that it wasn’t until I reached year 11 that I even knew I was dyslexic. I thought I was stupid, I believed that I was just bad at English. I was and A to B student, in maths, chemistry, biology, psychology, physical science, so even then I couldn’t work out why it was so damned hard. Even, in those classes I had difficulties, but I had just gotten so used to it. It was my biology teacher, who originally suggested I had a learning disability and booked me an appointment with the school councilor to be tested.

I was out raged; I couldn’t believe that anyone could possibly think I had a learning disability. I worked hard damn it! I got good grades, but still, deep down I knew it shouldn’t be that hard, I knew I wasn’t dumb. So I went along and I done the test. I was so sure it was a waste of my time, until I got there. I felt like a child sounding out words, reading cards, matching letters to pictures and at first it was easy, until it wasn’t. It was during this test, I realised just how bad it was, it was a wake-up call. My entire life, no matter what I had done, people had always written me off as stupid and I wasn’t. I was also given an intelligence test, but I received no response on the day. A bit over two weeks later I was called back to the councilors office, sat down and told that I was dyslexic. That I had always been Dyslexic and that it should have been caught at a much younger age. She explained it all to me, what it was, how it affected some people differently, and that it was just a matter of working out what works best for me. My reading and writing was at a level much younger than I was, and I felt like an idiot. the councilor  told me that I wasn’t stupid, a fact I had always firmly believed, but in fact I had a IQ of 116 which was above average. Not extremely high, but still, it made me feel better.

I was upset at first, finding this out, but in a way, it was a relief. I learnt new ways to teach myself new things, and I decided then and there that I wanted to write.

I had always loved to read and write, I read slower and my writing was full of mistakes, but I have hundreds of note books filled with stories I wrote when I was younger. I decided I wasn’t going to let dyslexia stop me from doing something I loved. So I did, and I still do. It’s what made me write this blog. Sharing knowledge is the best way to learn.

So that’s what I do, and apparently a few people out there can’t accept that. I don’t want to stoop to their level, because having to deal with it myself is bad enough but, if you was a true writer, you would understand the passion us writer feel. The joy it brings just to write and share our stories with the world! But in reality this is my space. I post because I like to do it, and because I want to share advice with other writers.

Now I shouldn’t grumble too much, I have some awesome readers, which are super nice. But others? Not so much.

Remember guys, leaving nasty comments is a form of bullying. It’s not fair to me, and saying it doesn’t make your life better in anyway. I won’t approve them, so if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t bother, because I don’t want to read it.

I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but each time I post somewhere, either here, on other blogs, or guest posts, there is always that one person. The one who could have corrected me nicely, but didn’t, instead they poke fun at me, and at a piece I have worked so very hard on. And it hurts guys. So yeah, I could stop posting if I don’t like it, but you know what? You could also stop reading. I didn’t force you here; I’m not making you read, if it bothers you that much, stop. It’s that simple.

So next time you run someone down because they are dyslexic, think about it for a second. Remember how hard that person works, have some consideration for what it feels like to be in their shoes. This is good advice in general. Bullying is never okay, it hurts, and it’s not nice. Take a second to think before you post nasty things to people’s blogs, walls, photo’s, anything. Because I guarantee that if the roles were reversed, you wouldn’t like it either.

Anti_Bullying

shan