Lysdexics Untie! I’ve always wanted to create a bumper sticker that says that, only every time I try to write it out, it ends up reading properly.
Dyslexia seems to run in my immediate family. There’s even an old family joke about it: My brother will do some transposition while conveying a phone number to our father and our father will transpose it as he writes, canceling out my brother’s errors thereby getting the number correct.
Dyslexia is a disorder that causes the brain to trun, I mean turn, letters or numbers around, upside down or into other symbols. For some with dyslexia, letters and numbers appear to be moving. It’s difficult to explain to those who don’t have it.
The International Dyslexia Association estimates perhaps “15–20% of the population as a whole—have some of the symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing, or mixing up similar words.”
My dyslexia is mild – I often transpose numbers and letters and have always struggled to discern the difference between right and left. Recently, for example, I saw a sign that read, “Applause.” My mildly dyslexic brain, however, initially read it as “Applesauce.”
No joke, though one can’t help but laugh.
Though I haven’t been “officially” diagnosed with dyslexia, it is commonly associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, also known as ADD). But not everyone with ADHD has dyslexia.
Lucky me – I have both.
ADHD is NEUROLOGICAL. It involves parts of the brain and certain hormones that aren’t triggering the way most other people’s do. It is also thought to be genetic.
As far as I know, I’m the first in my family to be medically diagnosed with this neurological wonder. Getting the diagnosis just a few weeks ago has provided clarity to my often disjointed and disorganized life.
People with ADHD can be easily distracted. I, for one, have difficulty staying focused on a conversation if there’s a lot of extraneous noise. I also get frustrated and anxious around frenetic environments with too much sensory input. That’s the primary reason I gave up a design career in theater. I just don’t have the sensory capacity to live in New York or any other big city. My senses just get overstimulated and overwhelmed.
And I am far from alone.
Recent statistics for adult ADHD are hard to come by, but according to the National Institute of Mental Health, up to 8.1 percent of American adults have ADHD. And we all live in an increasingly distracting and hectic world.
But I don’t consider ADHD a disorder. Rather my brain simply functions differently.
I cringe at the idea that ADHD is a disorder because it stigmatizes so many people who have it. Labeled with a learning disorder, being dumb and/or lazy; kids with ADHD often grow up believing those things about themselves. In fact, that is far from the truth.
A brief inventory of some of the world’s most famous scientists, inventors, artists and entrepreneurs is proof that many people with ADHD are not only highly intelligent, but are also extraordinarily creative.
I was going to look some of them up and list them here, but I got distracted. So until next time, I’ll take some applesauce, please …