When I hear that someone has lost a limb or lost their health to cancer I aim for empathy but sometimes fall short at sympathy. But those of us who were born with disabilities haven't lost anything. We'd rather have your understanding.
You've probably been told that dyslexia is a reading problem that some children face, but reading difficulties can persist into adulthood. I'm an adult with dyslexia.
I have difficulties with...
(problem spelling challenging words as well as everyone, ordinary words. I had to ask my husband how to write challenge, for example.)
-understanding what I've read
-pronouncing words when reading aloud
-learning a foreign language
-comprehending when reading quickly
-"sounding out" words in my head
I think this list is long enough
You may think, okay, so if dyslexia is a problem with reading I'll just communicate verbally. This strategy could work for some, but not for me. I can get lost in verbal communication. Instead of focusing on your words, I try to read you. Are you losing patience with me? What's your body language saying? Are you stiff? Am I frustrating you? Are you shifting your weight from one foot to another? Am I making you uncomfortable? What are you think?
Much like people with physical, visual, hearing, and other challenges, dyslexics are individuals who face unique challenges. You need to get to know us before you can figure out how to help.
updated March 8, 2021
For more information...
What is Dyslexia
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