Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Basic Abilities that All Dyslexics Share

If you are dyslexic, you have to understand what your mind can do differently than other types of minds. The mental functions that cause dyslexia are special. The basic abilities that dyslexics share include:
  1. The ability to alter and create perceptions 
  2. Acute, 3D awareness of their surroundings
  3. The heightened sense of curiousity
  4. The natural tendency to think in images - not words
  5. The enhanced intuition and insight
  6. Multi-dimensional perception using all senses
  7. The ability to experience thought as reality
  8. Heightened vividness of imagination
Check out these great books:
Gift of Dyslexia
In the Mind's Eye

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Seeing the Way a Dyslexic Might See

This is a series of animations that depict "the dancing letters of dyslexia". They were created at Coventry University by working with dyslexic kids for the purpose of demystifying Visual Dylexia. This is an example of how I see. It's great, actually. I reasoned early that if my mind could do this then I could control it and I used my belly button as a tool - imaging that it was the center of gravity - and I sucked the letters back to a line. Sometimes I created the "line" in my head; sometimes with a ruler or edge of a piece of paper.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunday Morning Lessons

Every Sunday morning my beautiful Grandfather brought lox and bagels to the house. His gifts included a Sunday newspaper and a happy-go-lucky attitude that filled the place. He would sing his way to the kitchen and I followed him there like a puppy. The unpacking of bagels and cream cheese and lox, the hummed renditions of Frank Sinatra songs, the mysterious grown up joking; all a Sunday morning ritual.

When the bagels were sliced, the tomatoes and onions were plated, and 1955 radio played “Nature Boy” by Nat King Cole, Grandpa began to teach.

“How did you use your word this week?” Grandpa would ask.

Every week, he gave us a word that we had to use - and on Sunday mornings the report was due. “Grandpa, the teacher said there was no such word as
Umber.” “And what did you tell her?” he asked. “She said I had it wrong (ignoring his question) she said it was amber.” “And what did you say?” he asked. “I said look it up in the dictionary.”
I was 5 years old and I had the teacher in a headlock. My grandfather’s eyes glistened. “You’re never too old to learn”, he said.

It’s been more than 50 years since that scene occurred, but my love for words and learning continue because of those Sunday morning lessons.

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Andrea's "Alphadancers" Poster: Limited Edition 18x24 Signed Posters of the Dancing Alphabet

Andrea's Art and Sketch Site

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I had a great opportunity today to talk about Dyslexia

DyslexicBrian.com is a web site that supports dyslexic people in overcoming their dylexia. Antonio Farruggia creates the learning and support programmes there based on his 25 years of experience. He has a place on the site called "inspirational stories" and asked me to write a brief story about my own dyslexia. I sent him a poem about "reading" and he liked it so much he asked for the story.

Now you can read it: http://dyslexicbrian.com/category/inspirational-stories/

Dyslexia has helped me understand that there are powerful differences in the ways human minds are wired and I respect others wiring even as I respect my own. There are many ways a mind can be wired – dyslexia is just one – and they are all very fascinating. I embrace this wiring. I know the pitfalls and the glories of it and that there is so much to learn from a person with a 3-D mind.

I hope you enjoy the story. Thanks for all your support.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Writers write so readers must read ...

As writers we rely heavily on the ability of other to read. We actually take it for granted. The statistics are sobering, however.  More than 42 million American adults can't read at all*. The number of adults classified as functially illiterate icreases by about 2.25 million each year. Of our high school graduates, 20% can be classified as functionally illiterate at the time of graduation.

There are lots of pundits pondering the issue. But we seem to have I.Q. log jam on this - unable to formulate a solution. One thing for sure, there will be less writers if there are less readers and a polarization of effective leadership if we don't get this sorted out.

So writers - we need to get involved or we will lose our audiences. And worse than that, we may just atrophy our ability to communicate.

Some Books:

Franz Flesch - Why Johnny Still Can't Read

Literacy: Helping Students Construct Meaning

50 Literacy Strategies

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Dyslexic Anthem: Make the Letters Stop Dancing

Make the Letters Stop Dancing

When my mom first opened books
across my lap for quiet looks
the pictures dazzled at a glance
and every word got up and danced.

The “T” and “H” spun with the “E”
and all for the delight of me
but they would not be still enough
for me to learn to read the stuff.

They would not sit on the line
so I stopped them with my mind
imagining them spatially
I sucked them down with gravity.

They quivered on the sentence shelf
till I could read them all myself -
And when I finished paragraphs
I let them all back up to dance.
Andrea Boff Sutton © 2009