Words all jumbled on a wall with "dyslexia" in the middle

ADHD daily blog: Dyslexia

The Severe ramblings of an incoherent ADHDer, or better known as an introduction to Kennyland.

(Note: this was written by guest blogger Kenny Hill. The post has not been changed from the original and any typos, spelling or other errors have been left exactly as it was written.)

Okay, here we go. Since it is Halloween, something a little scarier than masking.

Dyslexia.

Where to begin? Well, for some of us it’s on the right. I just found out there are 6 types of dyslexia. 

  1. Phonological or Dysphonetic or Auditory
  2. Orthographic or Dyseidetic or Visual or Surface
  3. Attentional
  4. Developmental Neglect
  5. Rapid Naming Deficit or Rapid Auto Naming
  6. Double Deficit

Great googly googly, did you read the names of some of those? I can’t. Well, okay I can, but not easily. It takes many re-reads, going really slowly, and sounding it out loud, only to immediately forget it. Which baffles me. 

“Hi sir, the reason you have such a hard time reading is because your wires are crossed. We call it sndfacnanaskncaiuhfu disorder.” 

dictionary definition of dyslexia

Even the word dyslexia is hard to spell. There is zero reason to use that lovely “Y” in place of a perfectly good “i”. Why are we throwing the alphabet at the name of the disorder for people who struggle with language processing? When they went to name it, did they use a set of D&D dice to know how many letters and names they get to use? 

“I rolled a…. 20, and a….5. Good luck everybody!”

Latin! I am lamenting the lack of latin here. If they had used latin I could have pretended it was a Harry Potter spell. 

Animadverto Retrorsum!

is so much cooler than “observed backwards”. (I think I’m going to have to include that in my wands somehow). I also noticed they left out colors, shapes, symbols, and numbers. The easy things to remember. Is that because the diabetes naming committee got to use numbers? They only took a couple of them. So, are they planning on using the rest later? We just need 6.

If everything got numbered it would be easier. 

“I have type 11, that’s a herniated disc.”

“Lucky, I got type 325. Spontaneous explosive diarrhea.” 

Except then we would be numbering AND naming everything. Plus, we would be messing with all the dyscalculias at that point. Not sure if that would really be multiplying the problem since they don’t count anyway.

OH MY GOSH! Count! You know, from Sesame Street, he should be their poster child. There should be funny dyscalculia memes out there, but there’s not. I wonder if people are just divided on what’s funny, or does it subtract from the seriousness of the issue. Okay.. I’ll stop now.

“I am… count Dyscalculia. I vant to suck your blood.” 

“Oh yeah? Let’s say you drain 2 of us now, and 2 tomorrow, how many do you have left?”

“Oh, uh… vell I… let’s see… if you, um…” 

by that point you have escaped and made him cry at the same time. I wonder if that’s why they came up with the term overmorrow, because it’s two-morrows. 

Some forms of dyslexia, like auditory (notice which name I picked to write), occur during development, and with the right practices can be overcome. If you want to hear more click on the link. 

It does nothing, it’s not even a real link. I was just wondering if you would click it. 

The rest of us are genetic lottery winners. It can be worked on but won’t go away. That’s probably how my wife feels since our first date, 

“go fetch the stick Kenny, it’s somewhere in Mongolia” 

when I was kid I was a lot like Red Dog from Funny Farm. Even though my patronus is a dolphin. 

I found out a couple of years ago that ADHD and dyslexia share the same genes. Like the traveling pants of the sisterhood whatever. So, a double dose? ADHD and double deficit. It’s like a  quadruple whammy. Oops, Sorry dyscounters. 

I didn’t find out that I have dyslexia until I was a senior in High school. A little late, but better late than never, right? In this case it’s both, since I “never” went to school anyway.

  • I was constantly disturbing the peace of preschool
  • Started ditching school in Kindergarten. I would just leave school, and tell my mom I felt sick so they sent me home. It was a total Frodo journey everyday. There and back again. (Look fellow nerds I know it was Bilbo that wrote it, but Frodo phonetically fit the flippin’ phrase)
  • 1st grade brought on the bullies (they do start young)
  • I got sick for real this time, and missed the 2nd – 5th grades. ALF and Mr. Belvedere were my tutors. With all the gummy bears it was a small wonder I made it through, but those were the Days of our lives. I often had to go to the General Hospital for check ups. You get the point, right? I watched A LOT of TV.
  • Was a loner all through Jr High {dark times my friends. Dark times indeed}
  • Ditched at least one period/day (sometimes all of them) throughout all of high school
  • Never read a book for school, or at all. Not even comics, I would look at the pictures and wonder what was happening. 

I only mention these events because it was impossible for anyone to catch my dyslexia. Because I had all my shots. If I was in class long enough to turn in schoolwork, it was high marks with spelling errors. But I only did homework if it was an art project, and even then, only sometimes. I read my fir –

Wait! Why the heck is READ = red and READ = reed spelled the same? It is not a polysyllabic profundity such as ghoti = fish. It’s idiotic. Naming all your kids George is smarter than this. Unless you pronounce George = Helen. In that case you should have just named him Sue, cause he is going to come and find you one day and punch you in the head.

I READ = red my first book in the ninth grade. It took all of ninth grade too, but I finally finished the Doctrine & Covenants for seminary because it was intentionally spread out into doable pieces. Theres no way I could have done the whole thing at once, but I could do a little bit at a time. (There’s a lesson in here). I had a progress chart I could colorfully mark up, and I desperately wanted to feel I had accomplished something.

I didn’t read another book until I was 20 years old and on my mission, The Book of Mormon. Now if these were the only 2 books someone had ever ingested, you could reasonably conclude they were a good person. Haha, now YOU’RE observing things backwards. Animadi.. retro…. shoot. (I forgot how to spell it. Well, back to charms class.) Years later it was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the last 2 decades (that’s 20ish years for those who didn’t leave yet) I have completed 6 books. (Like dragons they did fight is one of them.) I READ = listen as much as I can, but physically turning pages… not so much.

It was in my senior year with only a couple of months left, that it happened. It was a night just like this, only it was the middle of the day and I was pretty drugged up. While exiting the dentist office my mother told me to endorse my  paycheck. She would then cash it for me on the way home. I grabbed a pen and signed it backwards, with ease. That’s when we found out I read and write in mirror. Not just on the mirror with lipstick like every other Normy.

Dyslexia forward and upside down

But I can write from right to left. If you hold said writing to a mirror you can read it In neurotypical fashion, but you won’t be able to see Count Dyscalculia weeping in the background. Pretty great party trick. Another skill set I can add to my Carnie resumé. Actually, funny you should mention that. I worked for an “ad agency” and they had developed their own software for doing teleprompter work. The only problem was that it was backwards for the person running it. They couldn’t use it because they couldn’t read it… Until I came along with a built in solution. Chalk one up for developmental neglect. 

Animadverto retrorsum! (thank you copy and paste)

Why Reading sucks (more accurately – a short list of struggles related to the difficulty of reading as a result of dyslexia):

  • It is physically painful. Headaches, eye strain, even nausea from prolonged reading
  • It is mentally exhausting
  • Waste of time! No, sorry, not the actual reading. I truly love the concept of reading, what one may gain from it, and that others do it. But for me, all the countless (your welcome) hours of looking at papers or books and pretending to read them, but not. For so many ridiculous reasons. Just wasted time.
  • I have to read everything 3-5 times. Just to make sure I don’t miss stuff. But I still miss stuff 
  • I still don’t know my right from my left. I guess correctly 30% of the time. Which is so terrible when I am driving people around. I have to preface each ride with “I don’t know my right from my left, so please point in the direction you want me to go.” If I can’t see the screen for google maps It’s dead to me. I also memorize landmarks and avoid reading signs. If I drive somewhere once, I can usually get back there several years later.
  • I took a test and found out that I read at 100 words/min. My 8 yr old reads faster than me. (Mostly because my wife has always read to, and worked with, our kids. They all have a love for reading thanks to her.) I refuse to tell them my side of things cause I don’t want to dissuade them from it.
  • If there are “i”s, “t”s, or “l”s together like “little” it’s a pile of sticks (and I do love a pile of sticks) same with  “m”s, “n”s, and “u”s. Once you put most anything together in duplicate, the word is a mess.
  • The letters dance and move around. If I have to count multiple lines in a row for any reason, I’m screwed.  As often as, and as long as, this has been happening to me I always thought it was just a trick of the mind. Like I thought I wasn’t paying good enough attention the first time, then when I look closely it is fine. But it is more literal. I was looking at a sign from a reasonable distance and sounded out each letter 3 times to make sure I was reading it correctly. The word was FREESOK. I thought “that’s weird, but ‘whatevs’ man, I’m cool.” When we got to it. I re-read the sign and now, just as plain as it was before, it said FREEOSK. Such a subtle difference, but the fact that the letter moved during sober cognition with intentional focus freaks me out. This also causes me to repeat the same line in a book multiple times by accident. This is particularly annoying because reading the 1st time was a chore. I don’t like getting tricked into doing that same chore over and over again, needlessly.
  • My spelling, capitalization, grammar, and punctuation is always off
  • Emails are hard enough, but manuals are overwhelming. I like IKEA instructions. 
  • I struggle to find the right words during normal conversations. With a poor working memory from ADHD, and transposing letters and words from dyslexia. I’d rather shut up and punch things when I’m angry. 
  • The English language has so many different contradictory rules. “I” before “E” except after “C” I know there are provisions to that, like unless it’s raining or something, it doesn’t make sense, why are we changing the rules. Sorry all Keeths. This is the spelling of your name from now on. I absolutely love Polysyllabic profundities. It levels the playing field so everyone is confused.
  • Silent letters? COME ON! I loves me a good “K” because it makes scents in my name. Not on my nees or my nives. Those naked words are off putting, aren’t they? Your eyes don’t recognize what your ears now. Welcome to my world.

I actually applied for a proofreading job once. Very recently in fact, like a couple of months ago. I actually thought I would just Gattaca my way through it. Sometimes my ADHD mixed with anything else is a molotov cocktail for stupid. 

Right after High school, I discovered I was still alive and didn’t know what to do with my life. Without any forethought, I found myself in an air force recruiting office one day. There I took the ASVAB, and scored a 72. The airman in the office was like 

“Wow, you can be an officer with a score of 40. You’re going to do gre-… wait, It shows you were only 75% complete. Why didn’t you finish the test?”

“Oh, cause I am dyslexic. I read slower, but I have a 100% retention.” I was then politely told that the military couldn’t use people like me. They did not want someone like me pulling up in a tank to a stop sign and not being able to read it. My only thought was 

“I didn’t realize tanks obeyed street signs, and how the heck do you get one up in the air? I want a tank.”

These may seem like small things but it never lets up. The obvious feelings are: dumb, slow, uninformed, left out, sad, longing, afraid, angry (all satanic lies that feed the imposter syndrome)

The ones we keep secret are: self doubt, if I tell anyone they won’t like me, and I must be crazy 

Dyslexia is a struggle on many levels. But it has one very awesome upside. It could even be honed into a superpower ( not like those ADHD lies) The way the brain works to process the same information 5 ways instead of the neuronormal 1 actually allows us to not just think outside of the box, we live there. It fosters creativity. Not to say you need to be dyslexic to be creative. I am saying if you have dyslexia feed that creative mind. Many of your solutions to life’s problems will be wack, but most will work, some will blow other’s minds, and a few will be exactly what the world needs. 

Get tested as early as possible. The piece of mind that you’re not crazy nor stupid is priceless. Your mistakes can be very funny, so laugh at them. When others ask you “are you done reading yet?”, it can be a loving, beautiful, and inclusive phrase, not a tear down.

Signs you might have dyslexia:
  1. Someone else is reading this for/about you
  2. If you are reading this and it’s already the next day
  3. You relate to any part of this. If so seek help cause depending on which parts, you might have ADHD

And before you go judging anyone harshly just remember, lysdexics are people poo.

Revision: I got to thinking about it and feel I should include a description of the different types of dyslexia.

Phonological or Dysphonetic or Auditory
  • Difficulty in processing sounds
  • Could be a result from many ear aches when young, if so this can be corrected 
  • Very common
Orthographic or Dyseiditic or Visual or Surface
  • Difficult with picturing words in their minds
  • Difficulty with working memory
  • Difficulty with visual processing
  • Difficulty associating words with mental pictures
  • Can be improved upon with visual cognitive micro skills (<— real links) like visual memory, visual closure, visual tracking, and other spatial developmental techniques. 
Attentional
  • Letters jump around in words as well as from word to word (freesok)
  • Visual tracking can help
Developmental Neglect
  • Means neglecting to honor the sequence of letters
  • Reversal of letters, or reading right to left, letters out of sequence
  • Words may move or jump around on the page. (This happens to me. I thought I just couldn’t keep my focus on the page, but the sentences vibrate, or they shift a slight angle. This causes me to re-read everything multiple times.  Partially why I am so slow at reading,  and partially why my retention is so high. When I tread, it is so hard, it has to count.)
  • Visual tracking can help here too. 
Rapid Naming Deficit or Rapid Auto Naming
  • Difficulty with quickly naming things. 
  • Often say the wrong word when reading.
  • Often it is comorbid with phonological dyslexia
  • Can be helped by working all the cognitive micro skills together. 
Double Deficit
  • A combination of two or more types of dyslexia
  • You can have a couple of types and a symptom of other types too. 
  • Most common type

Ironically,  this was difficult to write but I learned a lot of new words.  If you would like to contact me about any of this please feel free to email me (Kenny Hill) at 

kennethshill09@gmail.com 

Or you can text me at 801-706-6848 I may not have all the answers but I am happy to help wherever I can. 

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