How has dyslexia affected my life?
I have severe Dyslexia but none of the schools I attended recognised the existence of Dyslexia and therefore did not provide any specialist help or teaching. I tried very hard, but without success, to acquire literacy skills because I wanted to read and write like my peers; I did not want to be different (i.e. illiterate). I left secondary school barely literate. Like so many others I was catastrophically failed by the educational establishment. I was in my thirties before I could read and write sufficiently well to attend university to do a degree and PhD. These days many children do receive help for their Dyslexia conversely there are still many who receive little or no help.
I am very poor at remembering verbal instructions. As a child and teenager I often had no memory of what I had been doing in the previous few hours and generally had very little, or no idea, what time of day it was. During my childhood my memory was so bad, in so much as I had no recall of certain things (e.g. what I had just been doing), that I believed that I had an brilliant memory!
- Scotopic sensitivity Syndrome:
Like some people with Dyslexia I also have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome which affects my vision. I physically cannot see text properly; for more details see simulations of my vision.
I have enormous difficulty distinguishing the difference between symmetrical objects or symbols/letters. I do not really know left from right and easily mix up letters such as 'b' and 'd'. During 2016 I was sitting in an advanced mathematics lecture wondering, "Why has nobody told the lecturer not to extensively use the symbols 'p' and 'q'?!" Without the ability to distinguish 'p' from 'q' it was impossible for me to follow that part of the lecture; I easily figured it out sometime later by reading some webpages that used alternative symbols.
It was clear from a young age that I was never going to be any good at sporting activities; my coordination was poor. I could not hit a ball with a bat, could not run fast and could not dance! I tried very hard to get better but all my efforts resulted in very little improvement.