I am often being asked what is adult dyslexia so in today’s article I will attempt to cover this for our readers. I will begin with a case study and tell you his story. I am currently working with a student who asked that very question of himself. The first time he came to my office he posed the question what is adult dyslexia?
It just didn’t add up?
This gentleman presented himself immaculately and was very articulate. In fact it was difficult to get a word in at times. He had me wandering why on earth at the age of twenty nine he would come to me for tutoring lessons. He proceeded to tell me that he had difficulty with his reading, writing and spelling.
It just didn’t add up. How could somebody who was seemingly so intelligent have such issues.
Tell tale signs of adult dyslexia
This initiated my research on adult dyslexia. It seems that people with dyslexia learn to mask their learning issues from an early age. My student recalls being treated differently as a child. He recalls being called stupid and people not allowing him to speak or to listen to him. This created a situation where he felt different. Not knowing how to handle this he became angry and lashed out at his cousins and friends. Unfortunately this earned him the label of a brat, so he wore it proudly as a way to attract everybody’s attention. He still recalls all of this very vividly. When he talks to his parents about it now they avoid the discussion.
More tell tale signs
As you dig deeper into adult dyslexia you discover how clever and resourceful these people are. My student’s parents explained to him how they tried everything to help him succeed at school. They provided private tutors to help him cope at school. Unfortunately all of the tutors labelled him as unteachable as he had this way of diverting his lessons to a game of soccer instead. He learnt to manipulate situations so he was in control and therefore distracted everybody from realising his inability to process information the same way everybody else could.
Adult dyslexia can be summed up by a simple phrase being frustrated at not being able to show how much you have to offer in the traditional academic way.
This situation begins as a child and lingers on into adulthood if not picked up early and an intervention program is put into place.
It comes in all guises and in varying degrees. It can turn a simple reading out loud situation into a nightmare. It can deprive people of their self esteem and turn them into social outcasts. It can bring about anxiety and depression.
Adult dyslexia should not become baggage for your life!
At the age of 29 my student has decided to turn things around. He is tired of the pity party that he has been on for the last ten years. He has reached out for help. He is now reading ‘think and grow rich” by Dr. Napoleon Hill.
This he was very reluctant to do. He was adamant that he needed to learn to spell. If only he could spell then his life would be better. His frustration took him back to wanting to be at school where he had avoided everything. Maybe he could start all over again ?
I could see he was reliving the nightmare yet my continual steering him to find what he was good at and build up his confidence through that was met with deaf ears.
To the point that I no longer wanted to continue with the sessions. We seemed to be at logger heads and I could not persuade him to move on.
What made him move on?
Well he began to understand what adult dyslexia is and realised that he had learning issues all the way through his schooling. So the brat label actually came from his frustration and not being as smart as everybody else as he puts it. The amazing part is that this programming is so entrenched on his brain that he actually believes he is not as smart as everybody else. So part of the healing process is to undo the negative programming he endured all the way through his life so far.
Often perpetrated by himself. He has been blaming himself for what life has dealt him.
He now opens up about his childhood and all the negative experiences he has faced. Not long ago he finished his first book from cover to cover. Every day he makes new discoveries about himself and his childhood programming. He has begun the journey of realising how his reaction to dyslexia is much worse than dyslexia itself. He is developing strategies for decoding unknown text and is making good progress however he is still reluctant to read out loud.
If you have been making excuses about your ability to read and write. If you find spelling difficult. If your level of intelligence is not reflected in your academic ability. If you recall avoiding many reading and writing activities. Don’t let these hurdles inhibit you from taking the opportunities life presents you with. Nature has a way of levelling out the playing field. You will find you are gifted in other areas such as big picture thinking, feeling empathy for others. Dyslexic people are highly creative, intuitive, and excel at three-dimensional problem solving and hands-on learning.
Once you appreciate these gifts and now that you have read this article, maybe the time is to stop asking what is adult dyselxia? Instead ask, how do I step up and become one of the greatest successes and more proof that those who have it can reach the top in life.
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This post has to be very important to the people looking for answers. Parents must be at wits end trying to help without knowledge and understanding.
I feel this topic needs more attention.
Can you come close to imaging what people going through this issue is feeling like, perhaps, lost, hurt, unwanted, stupid, left out, ignored, centered out, different, and a whole lot more.
Your understanding needs to be shared, no one should have to live in these conditions..
Help for family members of a loved one suffering from this label, needs to be supported, and the person have dyslexia, should have every opportunity to live a normal life, without the stigma that surrounds them.
You are obviously a very caring person we need more of you in this world, keep on sharing, you rewards will be huge. Thank You!
Great insights Judy. As a society we need to learn compassion. In the case of Dyslexic students and adults if
the rest of society showed some tolerance we could truly benefit from their brilliance.