By Rachel Morris
Last night I was told something that made me cry. Not out of offense, or because it upset me but because it was the first time that someone had called out my fault, with a slight understanding of the reason.
“I always feel like you’ve got such interesting things to say and some really good points to share & you start off making sense but then you lose it and I feel sad for you because I can see you trying but you give up”
another person added that I finish every sentence with “do you know what I mean” whenever that happens.
Until that moment I didn’t realize that the inside battle was visible. So the tears came flowing and it was so confusing. Should I be happy that people might have a slight understanding or should I feel worse knowing that I had shown it to the point where people thought they needed to tell me to stop saying ‘do you know what I mean’?
My mind is always ticking. When I am speaking to you, I am listening. But my mind ears and eyes are also thinking, looking and hearing things that are and aren’t going on in our surroundings. I notice when I’m talking to you that the chest of drawers behind you has a wonky drawer, I notice that a girl to the left of you is talking about her art gallery viewing weekend and whilst this is happening I’m also trying to pre-formulate my response and trying to go over it a few times to make it easier for me to speak and make sure I don’t lose the thread as another possible answer pops up. By this time, I can also see you starting to think ” I’m getting bored”.
I start to panic and become very aware of what I sound like so I say “do you know what I mean” in the hopes that just maybe you understood.
I remember telling my year 6 primary teacher, I’m sorry miss but I just can’t do it. I have so many thoughts but my hand can’t write it down fast enough and then I forget what I’m trying to write as another idea pops into my head. I can’t concentrate and my hand really hurts.
Introducing the magical whiteboard. If you have dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD and you kind of relate even a little to any of the above, then, I really urge you to get one. When I’m in that ‘ideas’ mode or ‘working’ mode, I need a whiteboard. And I’ve finally realised why: I struggle a lot to write on paper, my hand begins to feel like it’s starting to seize up as I’m trying to write so fast and it’s also just a common effect of dyspraxia, but this has never happened with a whiteboard. A whiteboard just makes it fluid. I don’t worry about making spelling mistakes, it’s so easy to erase and you’d never even know, it also just feels so much faster to write. It allows me to match the speed of my writing with the speed of my brain better.
If it wasn’t for Pip Jamison from The Dots, I wouldn’t have uploaded this scab. The biggest misconception is that people with Dyslexia are stupid. Whether that be to ourselves or even to you, the outside world. But when I asked her whether this is something we should be sharing with people at the beginning of our careers she answered; “Yes, this is the time because people with different ways of thinking are wanted more than ever right now”. Did you know that there is a strong link between Dyslexia and creativity? So yes, I am dyslexic & dyspraxic with a touch of ADHD – thank god for caffeine (can help you to focus), Grammarly and recorders.
I’m also being open with it because I know there are more people in SCA like me, maybe not the exact same but still dealing with Dyslexia etc. Maybe the more we talk the more we can change things for others. I never thought that I’d be able to or even want to write something like this. But after looking like the typical drunk girl crying at a party (there’s always one), I decided that it’s time I shed some light on the subject and well, me. So that it can be easier for people to understand me. So yeah, I really hope you ‘do know what I mean’.
Delightfully Dyslexic & Dyspraxic with a touch of ADHD.
In case you are interested below, there will be just a few of the symptoms of Dyslexia, Dyspraxia & also ADHD (taken from a few online resources) which I’ve either experienced personally or know people who have.
These characteristics can vary from day-to-day or minute-to-minute. The most consistent thing about dyslexics is their inconsistency.
- Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.
- Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
- Difficulty putting thoughts into words; speaks in halting phrases; leaves sentences incomplete; stutters under stress; mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words, and syllables when speaking.
- Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
- Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection.
- Tendency to be easily frustrated, wanting immediate gratification
- Poor memory, especially short-term memory. May forget and lose things
- Lack of awareness of body position in space and spatial relationships.
- Little sense of time, speed, distance or weight. Leading to difficulties driving, cooking
- May talk continuously and repeat themselves. Some people with dyspraxia have difficulty with organising the content and sequence of their language
- Trouble paying attention (inattention). People with ADHD are easily distracted. They have a hard time focusing on any one task.
- Trouble sitting still for even a short time (hyperactivity). Teens and adults often feel restless and fidgety.
- Acting before thinking (impulsivity). People with ADHD may talk too loud, laugh too loud, or become angrier than the situation calls for.