National Dyslexia Month…What It Means to Me

“Hey Alexa, spell the word Dyslexia,” I requested my Amazon Echo Alexa. “Sorry, I don’t know that one,” Alexa response. Once again, I request the spelling. D-Y-S-l-E-X-I-A… Dyslexia was the diagnosis I received when I was in the second grade. Back then my mother and teachers could not figure out why I was struggling to read and spell. Testing showed that I have a learning disability called Dyslexia.

According to the International Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.”

What this means is people who have this learning disability have brains that function differently when it comes to learning these specific skills.

Because I was struggling with reading, writing and spelling I went through the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Dyslexia Training Program while I was in elementary school. With the program’s help I was taught to decode words by using phonetics. This taught me how to read better. The class taught me how to write and spell and use resources like the dictionary when I got stuck with my spelling. With this new-found confidence my grades improved.

I have seen several documentaries about Dyslexia, and one thing I hear that makes me so sad, besides the normal myths and stereotypes, is how parents worry about their child’s future. Many people think that people with this disability cannot have a good career and they will struggle. I can tell you from my own personal experience that just because someone has Dyslexia does not mean they cannot have a good career. We may have to use assistive technology to help us cope, however that is okay. I have a great budding career. I love writing despite having this disability. I have a journalism degree and I want to run my own business.

This month is National Dyslexia month, and it means a lot to me because it helps educate the public about the disability and that people can have success.