How to live with Dyslexia

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Since I was a kid, I was very shy, reluctant to meet new people and make new acquaintances. I was always terrified of what I will do if I have to speak with people I just met. In school, I was very quiet as well. During class I hardly spoke, my class participation was exceptionally low and I was not very confident. I didn’t know I had something that was not normal.

Since it was not a well-informed era I guess, my parents didn’t know what was wrong with me as I was continuously performing badly in my school grades. My teachers were focusing more on the brighter students and I was suffering a lot from lesser attention and was labeled as a poor student. Nobody, not even I did know I had dyslexia.

It is not a disease

Most people think that dyslexia causes people to reverse letters and numbers and see words backward. But reversals happen as a normal part of the development and are seen in many kids until first or second grade. Dyslexia is a learning disability and disorder in reading and is a lifelong condition that makes it difficult for people to read. If it goes undiagnosed and untreated, childhood reading difficulties continue into adulthood. It is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding).

People with dyslexia have normal intelligence and usually have normal vision. Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role. Though there’s no cure for dyslexia, early assessment and intervention result in the best outcome. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn’t recognized until adulthood, but it’s never too late to seek help.

It started after my second grade

It started in my second grade when I had a red marked result card. My parents had their own priorities. I don’t blame them since they taught me all the good things and positivity since I was a child. But my grades were declining constantly. It made my mother realize that there’s something wrong with me and at one PTM (parent’s teacher’s meeting) my class teacher told my mother that I can’t even read in the class. I don’t think my mother knew it by then that I was suffering from dyslexia.

Dyslexia! Yes, I was suffering from it without anybody knowing it. Whenever I use to read, I could not read properly. It is the most common learning issue. Dyslexia is mainly a problem with reading accurately and fluently. Kids with dyslexia may have trouble remembering what they read. But when it’s read to them, they may have no difficulty at all. Dyslexia can create difficulties in many skills throughout one’s life but these are most common in early age i.e. reading, spelling, writing and math.

Dyslexia can go undetected in the early grades of schooling. Children can become frustrated by the difficulty in learning to read, as it happened to me. Because I felt I had a problem and that I got bullied because of being different. I had signs of depression as well as low self esteem. I was a kid in pain that ab-reacted on my surroundings and had behavior problems at home, was unmotivated and developed a dislike for school.

In 4th grade my mother hired me a teacher

So that she can look into what was going on with me. She was an amazing teacher. Along with her husband, who was a banker, they helped me a lot in focusing on how to control my fear over this ugly condition. I use to spend 2-3 hours daily after school at their home. They helped me in understand things I didn’t understand before. They also helped me with my homework and I must say they had good nature of making it easy for me even when I didn’t perform well in class tests. It made me working even harder to strive for good grades.

Years passed and I was still ignorant of having this learning disorder. I knew deep down inside me that there was something wrong with me. In 2007 I saw this movie Taare zameen per (Like Stars on Earth) which is about an 8 year old boy that didn’t like school. Since he was a trouble maker and behaved poorly, his parents send him to a boarding school. His fine art teacher figures out he has dyslexia and decides to help him.

After watching the movie all the pieces fell into place. I started to do more research and got some help from friends that were studying medical science. By understanding I had a learning disorder I started to heal. I got more confidence and was less shy.

I think I have an introvert personality

Because of my childhood, dyslexia and the bullying I think I developed an introvert personality. I have some friends and I enjoy their company and they enjoy mine. But I strongly feel I like spending time alone and I am keen to focus more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation i.e. I enjoy solitude and have only a small group of close friends. Being around lots of people drains out my energy, too much stimulation leaves me feeling distracted and unfocused, I am very self-aware and I like to learn more by watching than reading.

Having dyslexia is a big secret of mine, which no one knows that I still suffer from it. But those who have seen me read out loud will now surely know why I stumble while reading and why I was not able to catch the ball in first attempt while playing cricket, since I can’t judge the angle of the ball coming towards me and to calculate where to place my hands to catch it.

It is hilarious thinking what they will think while reading this on the blog now. Some might think they could have helped if they knew it earlier, some will sympathize and some might make fun of me as they are habitual of mocking. But I am not writing to gain any of the sympathies.

Why writing now

My sole purpose is to create awareness. How actions from childhood can affect you when you are an adult. Now they have tests in the schools and most people know what dyslexia is. But growing up in an area where it was unknown was really tough. Parents are often the last person to know their kids have a learning disability and can’t get blamed for not knowing what was wrong with me.

I am a father of two beautiful fairies and as I know how it feels to have dyslexia I often ask them some tough questions. I know they might not be able to answer them but it does give me clues if they are having anything as I had. It is my duty to provide them with the ambiance that is healthy enough that they feel free to ask anything disturbing them.

 


 

 

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Muhammed

Born: Aug 1985 in a city named Lahore Pakistan. Currently living in Lahore. Grew up in a moderate Islamic family from birth. I will try to tell you the ups and downs I faced in my religious and social life. I will try to unearth some bitter realities that people do in the name of religion and tradition.

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