Square peg, round hole; Dyslexia is a gift!

Someone asked me a question the other day on a subject I actually had quite a lot to say about but being put on the spot causes my brain to cease up completely. Could I access those ideas I’d spent years developing? No, nothing came through and I ended up mumbling some poor excuse for an answer and went away feeling frustrated with myself and rather foolish.
Of course, a minute or so later all those brilliant ideas for answers I could have said came flooding through. Part of me wanted to go back over and raise the subject again so I could express my opinion but the moment had passed. This is my dyslexia and since being diagnosed with it a few years ago I’ve really started to observe how its played havoc with my life.

I never really enjoyed school and now that I’m older I’m understanding why.
I love learning new stuff, it brings a great sense of pleasure, satisfaction and achievement.
But I learn best on my own taking my time. I much prefer to make up my own designs and formulas for solving problems then learning solutions created by others.

One reason I didn’t do so great at school is because I don’t learn well by just being told something. Other kids seemed to be able to do this with ease, whether it was rules of grammar or maths equations, they just seemed to be able to take it in and recall it quickly.

I remember when I was a teenager being told I had a reading age of a 7 year old and being put into the bottom classes for English and Maths where they lumped those with learning difficulties in with the rest of the losers. Of course, they claimed these classes were for my benefit! Lower class numbers and more of teacher’s attention but in reality most lessons were a riot and little, if any, learning ever took place. But being in that environment, the lowest of the low, can give you a unique outlook though it was probably extremely harmful at the time. There was I, on the education scrap heap while most of the other kids were getting pats of encouragement about just how great they were.
For me though, it just cemented the fact that I knew I was different and while the system didn’t believe in me, I at least did. Well, most of the time anyway.

Of course there are many types of dyslexia but I’ve found it to be a gift rather than a hindrance. Yes, my spelling is still shit and my maths is dire but so what! I can use a spell checker and express myself well enough to write this. And using a calculator I can work out VAT rates and profit percentages for my business. What’s the problem? We give people who can’t walk wheel chairs, what’s the difference?
I’m driven and have a unique enough view of things to see me through, yet the education system wrote me off and never bothered to notice that I was reasonably intelligent, had talents and something to contribute to the world.

Nothing has changed though. Yes, dyslexia in now recognised a bit in some places but If you’re not academic and don’t have the ability to be able to take in information and recall it in an exam you’ll be classed as a failure. That’s not intelligence, that’s great memory!

So, i’m writing this for all those kids who haven’t been noticed yet and were removed from their regular classes in school and now sit in the scrap heap of the modern education system. Keep thinking, keep coming up with all those amazing ideas that no one yet knows you have. Try your best to get through school and take what you can from it but don’t stop believing in yourself. Dyslexia can be a gift, your ticket to seeing things in ways that the academics will never ever notice. Being different isn’t the easy route, its full of frustration and slow progress but many of the best minds have been dyslexic. Maybe one day the education system will recognise that not everybody fits through their round holes. Some of  us are a different shape.