Exam Season

June 11, 2009

Is this a Club or or Exam Hall?

"Is this a Club or or Exam Hall?" by davidhc (yes with two ors)

Well… for me, the exam season is up which means enough time to get back to some writing. And the end of stress for atleast 14 days – yeah okay I know that it’s probably a million times less stressful than some peoples jobs but i guess it’s all relative, and this is as stressed as I’ve been so far (so far this lifetime that is).

Anyway, whilst I’ve been away I’ve been really amazed by the number of emails I’ve had from people in simular situations as me. Some have been positive, some have been constructive and some have been depressing. But there is one thing common between all of them, they have stunned me… Everone is unique but it’s great to know that some people are simular to you. Maybe I’m not making any sence…

Someone (who I will not reveal) told me a story about mathematics – keep reading it gets better… think back to your time in school, were you any good at maths? I guess it probably doesn’t matter if you are or not. Anyway, surely at some point a friend must have asked, “take a look at this, what am I doing wrong”, so you take a look, you could do it alone five minutes ago. But suddenly you’re overloaded, stunned – you just can’t think (or read for that matter).

When I was diagnosed with dyslexia, the educational phycologist described it to me as a bottle neck; cognative functioning may be above normal but the information passes slightly slower into the brain in certain cituations. But I wonder, how much of this ‘overloading’ is caused by the so-called bottle neck and how much is caused by us expecting it to happen once we have been diagnosed?

Ice Cold Receptions

April 22, 2009

Chilly Reception. By: MoToMo (flickr)

Chilly Reception. By: MoToMo (Flickr)

I was given the prognosis almost 2 years ago, now. I’ve always thought I’ve coped with stress pretty well – people generally perceive me as a calming influence (that, or “too bloody laid back!”), although it’s probably more accurate to say that I have a repressive personality.

In other words, I seem to possess the ability to simply put problems out of my mind relatively easily. A characteristic which definitely came in handy on that sweaty July afternoon when I was given my diagnosis. Although, at least I had my diagnosis from a proper all-bells-and-whistles educational psychologist (which I am assured charges the government a hefty sum for each assessment), not some excuse-needing school teacher.

The assessment itself contained several different types of IQ tests along with an analysis of my past learning techniques. IQ tests come in many different forms but usually give quite consistent results across the range of tests for a ‘normal’ person. Ms. Psychologist gave me tests from the ‘Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale’ (in case anyone wants to look it up), she explained that the basic requirement for a diagnosis was a strong difference between scores in different types of tests – for example, a dyslexic will often score better in perceptual organisation tests than, maybe, verbal comprehension.

Anyway, the result in my case was bad – as everyone else see’s it. Like I said, luckily I’m able to forget about problems quite easily because it was pretty overwhelming. Everyone I told gave me the slanted head and pitty. Everyone, except for my father, he proceeded with “what?! But you’ve done it till now fine? Oh well, better not tell anyone – you don’t want people thinking… you’re a bit… well, you know… weird,” and it generally went downhill from there. Anyone who get’s diagnosed will soon find out that 90% of people think dyslexic = retarded…

Back to School

April 19, 2009

All through school I would definitely have been part of the inbetweeners – I wasn’t in the popular group, the rugby group, the Goth group or the Indy group – although I don’t want you to think I was a complete loner, introverted as I may have been.

I had a number (which is more than a few but less than a lot) of friends. I guess this could be put down to my complete lack of ball skills, coupled with a memory shorter than Lin YĆ¼-chih (should that comment be considered heightism?) and a horrible inability to construct a sentence in less than five minutes.

Anyway, it did not occur to anyone that I could have been dyslexic. I mean, apart from my social inability which probably had almost little to do with that particular leaning disability, I achieved marks above mediocre (with the exception of P.E.). So for my entire career in compulsory education nothing of dyslexia was ever mentioned – that was just a problem for bottom set kids.

The Problem with Dyslexia

“This video is exactly the sort of thing that makes children with dyslexia believe ‘the end has cometh’, ‘the only thing left to do now is curl up and die’ and ‘why can’t I just be intelligent like all the other kids'” – Mr. Abel

And unfortunately if a child wasn’t in the bottom set originally, you can bet with people like them in the video above the children will end up there soon. Without sounding painfully bitter on this point, having survived school without knowing that I was secretly bearing the label of the dyslexic, probably the worst thing you can do to a child is tell them, “you have a learning disability”.

Although having said that, for me, my father reacted worse… (To Be Continued)