There are boring moments in our lives where we adults have to fill in forms. I hate forms and exams? Ugh they were a nightmare, my version of Hell would be sitting at a desk trying to understand one of those stupidly long English or Science questions you get in GSCE papers and by the time I finally understand what it means the time is up. But there is a question that comes up in some forms that I never really know what to say. In comes in various forms so let me answer all of them in the way my head tells me to put down.
Do you have a learning difficulty?
Well, Helen, that's a tricky one. I mean you get on with life just fine. There are some people out there with severe learning difficulties compared to dyslexia so should you really say yes? Seems selfish to do that when others need more help then you do.
Do you have any form of disability?
Does this mean physical only? Is dyslexia a disability (note: it took me 4 tries to spell disability right and only got it because autocorrect finally understood what I was trying to write) of any kind? No it probably just means physical and yeah you do have a back problem but surely they want to know about people who are actually disabled, like in a wheelchair or deaf or something like that, no you're fine just say no.
Do you suffer from any of the following? (Various answers include learning and physical issues, dyslexia isn't there but Other is)
Well Dyslexia is well known so surely if they meant it to be on the list they'd put it there. Nah just leave it blank. I mean look at the choices, Helen. These are pretty serious things compared to you unable to get numbers in the right place or being able to read a book. Nah you're way down the scale.
Now firstly let me tell you a bit about my dyslexia because often I get odd looks or questioned on how can I be dyslexic and yet also write a blog. Firstly autocorrect, whilst it can be a bitch at times, is the Holy Grail (note: Grail took me several tries and because I failed I got words like trial and gale autocorrected in place of Grail for me) to my Dyslexia and I. But actually my biggest problem is with numbers and reading rather than actually writing. Hand me a novel like any book of the Game of Thrones series or Harry Potter. I can probably get halfway through a chapter before I give up and usually wallow in self pity for the rest of the day. As for numbers, I can't read large numbers. For example if you handed me the houses for sales page of a newspaper and asked me to say the prices out loud what will happen is whilst I see the numbers that are there I jumble them up. Okay so say a car is for sale for £23,995. I will then say £32,599. See the numbers are there but not in the right order, get what I'm trying to explain? Also sometimes with double numbers like £32,995 I may see it has £32,555 or something along those lines. I don't realise what I've said until someone says “that's not right, Helen” to which ends with me feeling pretty stupid and wanting the world to eat me up.
So have I lied about my dyslexia? Is it something I should be shouting about and telling people “yes I do have a problem!” Y'know maybe less like a crazy person. I mean not in the middle of a busy market place or at the checkout. For I want to defeat my dyslexia, I want to be able to pick up a book and read the whole thing without the desire to burn it and send it to Hell. If I had a Room 101 it would be filled with books, car trader/sales magazines and estate agents if I keep this up. I want to read like everyone else can. So the question is… Where do I begin?
Thanks for reading. Do you have a learning difficulty or have someone in the family with one? Do you have any advice for me? Please feel free to comment below!