I was in 7th grade. It was Mrs. D's English class... though in 7th grade we had 2 and one was technically Engl and was was Litturature, but for the life of me I cannot remember which was wich.
Each week in Mrs. D's class we had to have a writing to turn in on Friday that was at least 100 words and was at times on a topic and at times not. Each Friday we would then spend the whole period reading other papers from kids in the class, making corrections, suggestions, and comments on each. In a class I may get through 3 or 4 while most kids in the class got through 8 or 9. I'm sure if a teacher did thid now, they would all ahve to be typed, but back then we followed all these quirky rules because they were all hand written. After the half way point in the year, we had to start writing in cursive instead of printing. I was already really slow at writing, for ever redoing what I had written, forever unsure of my printed word, but loving the creativity and stories I was producing. Writing in cursive made it that much worse and I was often up till midnight finishing my writing on Thursday nights, though I had always started these writings on Mondays, and sometimes even on the weekends.
This day I could not make any sesnse out of the essay I was trying to read and spent 20 minutes trying to decode a word I should have known because we were only in 7th grade and none of us had a huge vocabulary. After I realized I couldn't figure it out on my own, I stood in the line to talk to Mrs. D about something - which I rarely did because it wouldWhen I finally draw attention to my struggles. When I finally gpt up there, she asked me to decode the word. My brain could not even make out the letters correctly, and my struggle proved to be laugh worthy to other children, as always. It turns out the work I could not decode was simple, and the letters just looked all backwards and sideways.
2 days later was open house, and Mrs. D. was happy to see my parents and talk to them about my struggles. Lucky for me we lived next to Clarion University of Pennsylvania which has to this day a dyslexia testing center. We were able to finally know what was wrong with me, and my father's whole family - for they had all struggled with this thing that made things all wired and caused the whole lot of them to struggle with reading and writing. And my qust began.....
I could not understand a an early age why - but I started researching. Dylexia is actually a common issue, but one that was not prominent until agter students started learning how to write when starting with print - prior to the print types prevelance, through the commonality of the printing press and print type words, cursive was the primary writing type because all documents were hand written and hand copies. In taught this way, there is also a reduuction in carple tunnel and other hand related problems. .... anyway...
Dyslexia did exist before this, but these people were labled as unable to be taught how to read and write. and I assure you it is a struggle, so I get it. It is a difficulting in processing. There are several steps in learning read and write. Read: first is recognizing the mars so that a meaning can be made out of individual marks as letters, then there is putting sounds to these letters, then there is making groups of sounds as partial or whole words, then there is putting meanings to these groups of sounds, then there is combining these groups of sounds into sentences, and adding meaning through punctuation..... etc... Complex, right? and is one step is blocked in some way by recall struggles, reading becomes difficult. In dyslexia many of these recall processes can be blocked causing reading to be almost impossible.
But then how do you help these individulas? In my parents case - I was labeled as slow long before I got to 7th grade. in 3rd grade, when independant reading becomes a crutial part of learning and making meaning out of the texts you have read becomes testable matterials. This is when I went from a kid who struggled some to an udder disapointment. My parents were told that the bestthing I could do for me to help me get ahead of other kids would be to put me in special education classes. me, who is a typical individual with high thinking ability and no physical dyformities. I will let it up to your imagination the conglomerate of individuals that were in a special edcation classroom in a public school in those early days.
I was lucky because I got out, got a diagnosis we never shared with the school so I stayed out of those special education classes and began looking for my own answers.
I am now 34 with a Bachlors as an English Educator, a minor in earth sciences, and a Masters in Education with a eading specialist certification and a focus in learning disabilities, and sice a state licensed behavior specialist. I have a 6th grade reading level which has maxed out there and continue to struggle to read and write at times. I got through college by asking for books early and reading as much as possible in my times not in class to stay caught up with the class including buying books on tape and renting copies of play productions instaed of reading them when I could.
Computers have helped so much because I can type and it can at least guess the messed up spellings I make and can look up pronunciation keys for words I continue to struggle with. I also have a husband that understands. He had his own things growing up and we share stories of public schools misunderstanding of how to assist children in those early days of special education.
Make the best of it. This diagnosis is not a death sentance and is not reason to keep from being sucessful. You just have to have the drive to push through the struggles and be honest with yourself about your own struggles in order to develop ways to overcome.
The best advice I can give to anyone with Dyslexia is to be honest with others - professors, teachers, employers. This way they can develop some understanding as to why you struggle at certain times and you can work with them to develop how to help you be sucessful. The other thing is to become your own advocate. Do your own research. look into ways that might work for you and what type of Dyslexia you have. It is far more common than you may feel.
You are not alone.