Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Smarty Pants!

There, their, they’re. To some, the spellings of these three words are confusing. By 5th grade, if you don’t know the difference you are considered slow, dumb, stupid, and even special needs. You are automatically a target. You inherit the not-so-nice nicknames: stupid, dumb a**, retard… To most people reading and spelling is a breeze, its second nature to them. So naturally, they don’t understand why some can’t grasp the concept. They don’t understand that maybe some have a learning disability.

I am dyslexic. I see letters, numbers and some words mixed up or backwards. To me, b’s look like d’s as well as p’s. Where I saw the word angel I would say the word angle. Where most see the number 503, at first glance I see 530. In high school it took me twice as long to read a sentence and even longer to read a phone number or math problem. I love words like “together”, to-get-her, this is the only way I can remember how to spell it. I hate words like “read”, one word with two meanings? What the heck english language??? Once I hit 3th grade I hated math, reading and spelling. I was put in special classes. I was tested once a year. And yes, I was bullied… While some kids skip grades. I was held back and had to do 3rd grade twice. In 11th grade I had the approximant reading level as a 4th grader. Once I got to college I was placed in the lowest reading level class. I didn’t pass that class. I quit college after one semester.

Even at age 28 I have a hard time with the difference of there, their and they’re. Reading is a challenge and other then simple adding and subtracting, math is near imposable without a calculator. The first time I read a book all the way through I was 18 and that was for school and I had to ask for extra time. I have only read about 4 books my whole life. Only 2 of them were because I wanted to, and one was The Hobbit and it took me over a month to finish it.

It is "rocket science" when you have a learning disability
As an adult I still see others (whether they know it or not) giving people with learning disabilities a hard time. Some might call this bullying. I know most of them don’t mean anything by what they say (or type) but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother some people. Not everyone gets a 3.5 GPA or higher in school. Not everyone graduates with honors. Not everyone who goes to college successfully passes every class. I know all the people I know never mean to hurt feelings and I would never hold it against them. I didn’t write this to make anyone feel bad. I wrote this so people might take a second look at why, instead of quickly judging. I may not be a smarty pants but I have family and friends who love me, and to me, that’s worth more than spelling correctly.


Rachel Anderon said...

This is great Tiff!

Jon Angell said...

I was in a special reading class and I often wonder if I am in some way dyslexic in some way. I too take forever to read the average book. I rarely read anything unless I HAVE TO... Joshua is having trouble reading as well but is doing better thanks to a reading therapist. I know I don't have to say this but you are not alone. :)

Ray Angell said...

Great article Tiffany! I am always impressed by how well you express yourself.