Dyslexia, a reading disorder

Kindergarten? (this is a German word, meaning that when broken down in its father language, means: kinder - children, and Garten - garden).

I started kindergarten at 6 because the cutoff date was Jan. 01 and I didn’t turn 5 until 20 Jan . So I waited a year to start school. In the long run, I liked the kids I was with more than those a year ahead of me.

Unfortunately, my brother and I were both dyslexic. And no one diagnosed it. In him, it was almost crippling and he struggled with reading during his entire life. At the time, they didn’t use the term dyslexia, kids who couldn’t read were “slow”.

I watched him struggle and knew I didn’t read any better than him and neither of us knew why. Bob stood it as long as he could and, finally, defeated, quit school at 16. My secret was in developing a great memory. If I heard it, I remembered it. I graduated with a solid ‘B’.

Higher education was a beast. I still wasn’t a great reader. The professors gave us the usual lectures and I remembered as always, remembered word for word. Then, they gave us reading enrichment. Yikes! I was in deep :poop:! I muddled along carrying a solid ‘C’. Which bothered me a lot. I was better than that!

Then I suffered from the 3 major 'D’s, Dyslexia, disillusionment, and divorce.
I’d lost 180 lbs. of ugly fat and was single again (Yea, me!).

I moved home and thank God, my mom was an angel. She found me crying and it all came out. Apparently, the schools never addressed my poor reading, and just labeled me as 'not applying myself". I got this ‘try harder’ lecture after every PTA meeting. I was trying my heart out, I just couldn’t bloody read!

Anyway, Mom and I both learned microbiology that year and we worked through my issue with numbers. I earned a B+!

By the time I sat for my nursing boards, I had learned to overcome most of my dyslexia.
Numbers were still a problem, but if I said them out loud, I remembered them. Remember, if I heard it, I remembered it?

I am not a perfect reader, I sometimes skip entire words because I just don’t 'see them.
I overcame this by recognizing that the sentence made no sense and went back. Read the sentence aloud and got my AH HA! moment and went on.
My son has ADHD and believe it or not we ignored the mandate to punish him for his behavior. I informed the principal that I wasn’t about to beat my boy for any reason.
We both survived his childhood sane and well-adjusted.

And that’s the sad song story of my education.
You know what?
I survived, there are no scars on my psyche and I’m happy.

Never give up.
You are stronger than you think.
Nothing can stop you except you.
Love ya
Garnet

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I love the moral of your story! I was diagnosed with ADHD at 41 when I switched my psychiatrist. As we were doing the new patient interrogation (that is what it always feels like to me), within 5 minutes, she asked if I had ever been diagnosed with it. I was shocked. I would get in trouble in school for talking too much on every report card. While things came easy for my younger sister, I had to work hard to earn my A-average. I had learned coping mechanisms by this point, such as toe tapping or finger tapping to keep my focus on the teacher (this was way before fidget toys). I figured out I learned better by doing so. I took meticulous notes during lectures to keep my hands busy and my mind engaged.

Then college came. Boy, was that a struggle for me. I no longer had a teacher that would remind me when things were due - it was all on me to keep up with things. I also moved in with my now husband. I quickly learned to become super organized with my schoolwork. I had a day planner that I checked multiple times a day. I would give myself soft deadlines for things like papers (I would say things like I have to have the introduction done by X, point A done by Y, etc.), giving myself a little wiggle room.

Fast-forward to my diagnosis last year. She said that she was surprised at how successful I have been (AS, BS, and MS in the sciences, have had a successful career). Then she told me something that made me angry. She said the reason I was likely not diagnosed earlier, was because I was not struggling. So while I was learning coping mechanisms to get through life, everyone ignored the ADHD symptoms.

Now I am on a combo of pills for my ADHD, which comes with anxiety and depression for me, and I have not been more focused, and success is easier. I still have moments where my brain locks up from decision paralysis, but in general, I have never been happier.

Thank you for sharing, Garnet! Your words of wisdom are always a blessing.

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This is exactly where I’m sitting right now. My psychiatrist told me that I hit every “marker” for ADHD but he’s hesitant to give me the diagnosis because I did so well in school. But the thing is? School was my special interest, so of course I did well! I loved school! I go back to see him in January for a med check. He put me on an SSRI first to treat my anxiety and depression – he said we can handle the ADHD symptoms if they’re still there at my next appointment. He was convinced that my lack of focus, attention, concentration, etc. are all symptoms of my GAD and MDD, not ADHD :woman_shrugging: so now it’s just a waiting game :laughing:


Thank you for sharing this post @Garnet :heart: I don’t personally have dyslexia but I love a few people who do!

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My partner had a very tough time in school likely due to dyslexia, but they just don’t seem to diagnose those things at all here in Poland. Depression? Anxiety? Therapists? No help- nada. It’s just like you said- kids either have to find ways to cope and get around it, or drop out of school :worried:

I’m not involved with the school system in the US much anymore, but from afar, it seems like things are changing slowly but positively towards helping kids with different learning needs. I can only hope things change and more help is offered to kids here in Poland too! :pray:

Standing applause to this- beautifully said, Garnet! :heart::raised_hands:

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I have dyslexia…thank you spell check :laughing:
But i congratulate you on sharing your story. It’s not easy admitting your issues. Well, it was hard for me! I have it worse speaking. Id take 2 words and switch the 1st letter and make up my own language :laughing:

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I was diagnosed with ADHD 5 weeks ago. I have struggled all my life with it and making lists was a daily thing. The lists were the same thing over and over again, but I had to have them. It has gotten worse with age. I talked to my psychiatrist about it and the test showed I was high on the ADHD scale. She couldn’t put me on a stimulate drug because I have high blood pressure. She prescribed Strattera and after I started taking it (maybe 3 days) my mind wasn’t going a million miles an hour anymore. I don’t need 10 hours sleep a night anymore, and when 3 O’'clock in the afternoon rolls around I’m not exhausted and unable to think.

I would rather not take drugs, but sometimes you just need to. So, here I am at 55 learning to live life and not rushing through it. And I am happy!

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I’m glad for you.
When I went to grade school, we didn’t have ADHD, we had naughty children who were punished. No one then knew or wanted to know that dyslexia was real. Some of us were strong enough to overcome these things. Those who didn’t end up quitting school and working menial jobs, or more tragically running against the law and going to jail.
Society had no idea how they were damaging their own children.
I applauded you for seeking and getting the help you needed.
Much Love
As always
Garnet

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We didn’t have ADHD or Dyslexia in the 70s either. My mom used to tell me to stop daydreaming all the time. I did manage to make good grades but it took a lot of effort. My attention span was zero. I also suffered from depression, but if I cried my mom would tell me to stop crying or she would give me something to cry about. She apologized for that when I was grown. I’m sure she meant well, but it makes a child feel terrible.

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I know it doesn’t help you now, but… this is my life’s work. I have 3 Dyslexic babies and I have closely been following the science of Reading and the new “reading war” that is brewing. We have the neuroscience that explains how we learn to read and how to help struggling readers andbInise it every day in my classroom. My colleagues are listening and making the switch as well. I am in an endorsement program for Dyslexia right now and plan to get my Orton Gillingham certification this year. Next year, my doctorate is on the horizon. I won’t let any more children in my stead not learn to read ornateuggle for no reason.

If you’re interested… the podcast Sold a Story explains the neuroscience, research, and problem with reading instruction.

If you’re really moved… I have some petitions you can sign as well.

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@AileyGrey
Dear, Sweet girl,
How to raise a Dyslexic child/children?

  1. Unconditional love and support.
  2. Remind them that there is nothing wrong with them. They are neither slow nor stupid, they just have a little harder time learning to read. And that can be overcome. Whether by hiring a tutor, or perhaps homeschooling.

I sort of wish I had been. There was so much going on at school in the classrooms. Mom would have been harder in many ways, but I always know she loved me.

  1. Don’t allow anyone to criticize or verbally abuse them. This is when you bring in the children’s advocate.

I’m So proud of you!!!
Should you need a supportive ear? We’re here for you.

I’m finding the longer I’m here and meet new and seasoned brothers and sisters in the practice, more and more of us had or are having the same issues.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Love you to pieces.
Garnet

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@Garnet thanks love! It is quite a journey, but one I feel is SO important! One of my Dyslexic children is in college, he’s undiagnosed, but we know he is Dyslexic now. He is a brilliant mathematician. He, after years of me begging him to try audio books, has become quite an avid reader and my heart is so happy because he texts me all the time to talk about books now! We all know how I feel about reading!

My middle school Dyslexic is homeschooled. They love the freedom of being able to work at their own pace and in their own way. They are also a brilliant thinker and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

My 8 year old is at brick and mortar school with me. He is the reason many of the policies and methods at school started changing. This mama don’t play. I may work with you, but I know the system inside and out and I am not afraid to use that knowledge for myself or my students.

One of my goals for the year was to become a more active member of the Dyslexia community. I gave an interview for Decoding Dyslexia that was sent to all super independents in Georgia and the Governor. I have done professional learning at my school, and I have completely revamped how our first grade team teaches reading. Enough is enough. It’s time to break the cycle.

All that to say, I see all of you who struggled and I am going to make right! Y’all just remind me how passionate about this I am when Im writing a dissertation…. :heart:

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Miss Ailey
You are a rock
Garnet

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Not dyslexic, but I learned to read through a trial phonetic program at my elementary school. I cannot spell to save my life. My class was the only one to do it. While we learned to read faster, we couldn’t spell and would mispronounce words that do not sound like they are spelled. I still have trouble with pronunciation to this day.

Welcome to the late-life diagnosis club! I am on a combo of Celexa and Wellbutrin since I have GAD and MDD in addition to ADHD. Strattera was the next option.

I’ll sign them! My cousin’s daughter is dyslexic, and she struggles in school. She had a great teacher last year but has a teacher again this year that she struggled with previously (I think it was two grades ago, and the teacher has moved to higher levels).

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Bless her sweet heart! It is so hard when you get stuck with a teacher you didn’t love more than once! I wish her the best! Here is a recent response that is circulating. It is in response to a group of reading “experts” who are refuting the Science of Reading and the reporting done by Emily Handford that she presented in her podcast series “Sold a Story”. It’s pretty profound. You can find it on any major podcast platform. Give it a glance over, but I’d be delighted and grateful for your signature! Thank you!

Dyslexia Response

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