Blogs » Digital Babble » October: Dyslexia Awareness Month

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Last year the International Dyslexia Association officially proclaimed October Dyslexia Awareness Month.

Dyslexia, is often a disorder that is misunderstood. I was reading an article that gave an excellent description:

"Not that dyslexia is limited to reading problems. Reading specialist Sharon McMichael, president of the Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, said since dyslexia is a language-based disorder, it also has to do with how the brain processes sound."

Imagine reading a line of text, or hearing a sentence from a friend or coworker. You know all the letters, sounds, syllables, but the meaning of those words take a little longer to get to that part of the brain that registers their meaning.

The way I describe it, dyslexia is like the last person in a group to get a joke. You know that person: the one who bursts out laughing 10 minutes after the joke has been told and the conversation has moved on.

How do I know? I'm that person who always gets the joke last. The one who has to read a sentence or a paragraph one, two, maybe three times before fully understanding the meaning. The one who constantly gets "left" and "right" confused. The last student in class still working on an exam, long after class is over. The one who is wondering if people will look at me in a different way once they find out I'm dyslexic, snicker, make jokes behind my back or call me JC. The one who isn't going to let a little thing like a learning disorder stop me from doing what I love: write. I am dyslexic.

You know when I was tested for a learning disorder, I was relieved to find out the cause of so many frustrations and headaches over misunderstood math problems and other types of homework over the years. Usually when you go in for an exam to find out what is wrong with you, it is with fear and trepidation that one awaits the results. Not me. Finally I would have the answer and vindication of sorts. "See I wasn't being lazy and slow. My brain just works a different way."

For more information on dyslexia go to the International Dyslexia Association.