What Dyslexia Really is!
By Martin Camp
In this article I would like to make it as true as possible to my personal experience with Dyslexia. I have left the article the way it looks to me as a Dyslexic the spelling the grammar all where to me looks and feels correct. The only assistance being that of the corrections word offers me. If it is a struggle for you to read then you can understand how I felt writing it.
According to the British Dyslexia Association Dyslexia is about information processing: dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear. This can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills. Dyslexia is one of a family of Specific Learning Difficulties. It often co-occurs with related conditions, such as dyspraxia, dyscalculia and attention deficit disorder. On the plus side, dyslexic people often have strong visual, creative and problem solving skills and are prominent among entrepreneurs, inventors, architects, engineers and in the arts and entertainment world. Many famous and successful people are dyslexic.
Dyslexia to most people means you can’t spell you doesn’t know how to use grammar and you don’t read very well. To some people it is a frustration; it is a desperate need to correct us. But what is it really? Let me tell you: Dyslexia is the biggest pain in the arse, it is hard work and it is one of the biggest life effecting problems I have. How does it affect me? I cant sit and read a book because I will read the first line then I will read the first line again and then I will read the first line again and then I will be in the middle of the page somewhere wondering what the hell just happened. The words I read in a book they don’t sink in they don’t go anywhere and there for have no use to me witch is hard. The next problem is spelling, I have no understanding of some words I cant see or hear the difference between to and too or their and there and witch and which, I post on social media and rather than a response to what I am discussing you get the “Grammar Nazi’s” correcting my spelling. I will sit trying to work out how to spell a word and no matter how I do it I cant make it look rite, I go on Google to find the correct spelling but even that thinks my spelling is so bad it cant even identify the word I am looking for.
So that was spelling and reading. The 2 bits you expect o hear about when people discuss dyslexia or hear about dyslexia, But now lets get on to the next part.
Dyslexia makes understanding hard if you tell me something there is a high chance I will not remember it, if I am asked to do something I will not remember to do it. Even my mind is hard to understand. If you question me about something I have a huge amount of knowledge about but expect me to be able to tell you any of that when you ask me then you are out of luck. Translating my thoughts to vocal language is next to impossible. This doesn’t seem to bad but try being in a situation where you need to talk about yourself you need to think of a discussion to keep things going smooth you need to justify yourself to someone who is doubting something you have done or said, you need to stand up for your beliefs in a debate, how do I do this? My response or the words that come out of my mouth are uh eh um hhmmm with a couple of big words I heard on TV to make it sound a bit better.
How has this lead to affect me? This is the area that fellow dyslexics I hope can relate to in some ay shape or form, and this is the area you none dyslexic people will learn what it is really like to have dyslexia.
I put up with years and years of bullying, my school life set in the “special” class for stupid people! School was the worst experience in my life. I hear so many people say how they wish they could go back and do it again. I just think I wish I could go back and make it never happen. I had “friends” at school but even they played a part in what I would experience. Suffering from the symptoms I have mentioned previously it lead to me being treated like I was a idiot who never said the rite things never said anything funny. Never being able to justify myself meant I got beaten up on many occasions for stuff I had no involvement in. Being asked if I did something and me trying to explain how I didn’t do something makes me appear the same way someone does when they are lying the stuttering, the thinking and the sounds between words. Being incapable of these things have a chain of events all these chain of events start at the beginning of education where you are tested on the dyslexic symptoms. You start reading writing spelling understanding grammar and you begin to feel inadequate.
My story starts with the above, I struggled my way through school years. I have a copy of every school report from every year at school and it upsets me when I look back at it. I had always had extra support things didn’t seem to bad but come year 9 of school when you begin getting tests ready for the last 2 exam years. Having a set amount of time even though I was given extra time to read the questions and come up with a good answer is so hard because you spend most of the time reading the same question over and over again trying to make it sink in and make sense to you. Then you need a answer. How does someone come up with a answer when they struggle to translate their thoughts how do you read a question and remember it when even the slightest sniff will distract you. Every time I had to do something at school I felt inadequate I felt useless I felt stupid. When other pupils catch on to this they begin treating you like you are stupid. I knew other people who had dyslexia and they could stand there own they would get bullied for being “stupid” but they would defend themselves. They would still get bullied after but they had some defence. How does a pacifist like myself do this? So being “stupid” lead to bullying, bullying lead to more bullying because I became a easy target. I would and don’t defend myself and I most definitely have never and will never fight back I became a punch bag for damaged people used to relieve there frustration. At the end of my time at school a group used this power over me and it lead to me having a group of 20 people taking it in turns punching me running away was not a option after my first attempt. How does it feel having someone hold round your neck whilst he punches you in the stomach whilst another threatens to put a cigarette out in your eye then having the rest of the group take turns hitting you until the last guy asks you to kiss his shoe with the intention of kicking you in the face, Witch no one around to help no one to stop it not one to make it go away. I walked away from that event laughing to myself the only emotion I could express was laughter. Covered in blood and bruises thinking about how being “stupid” being unable to express myself properly has lead to me living like this. I used to go home wishing I was dead. I used to go of for the day instead of going to school until my parents thought the best way to teach me that lesson was to take me to the police station and have a officer scare me. But even then after what I had experienced after friends and strangers both bullying me in some way shape or form it came to me that I had been alone for some years I had aquantenses friends didn’t exist in my life because even the “friends” I had treated me life dirt.
I know bullying isn’t a symptom of dyslexia but it’s a example of how dyslexia can effect your life. After school I hid away I went to college far from home so I didn’t need to spend time in the area but even at college dyslexia had the upper hand it made it hard for me to progress so I dropped out since then I have made 3 more attempts at education and all end with me dropping out. The pressure of learning is too much for me to handle it agitates me. I spent a few years wasting my time and wasting my life I would steal money from my parents I would steal from acquaintances I would steal from work I became someone I hated. I hated eating I used cannabis to calm me and make me feel separated from the problems in my life. I became a mess of a person absent to the world, UN sociable and unable to function like a normal human being. In the end a visit from the police being arrested and interviewed about some theft I had been up to was a bit of a eye opener for me. 2009 I took a trip to a rehab in South Africa. I worked on my problems around food but mostly what I got out of it what I wanted to change was I hated myself and I needed to learn how not to be a dick. I learned to accept my problems and I learnt how to handle life when it is hard.
For any years I blamed how I was and who I was on the people that bullied me but I learnt that it wasn’t them they did it because they have there own problems like any other human does. What caused me to be a target what caused me to be the person they came to was my dyslexia. Dyslexia made me feel useless, lonely, inadequate, stupid and worthless. So the next time you think its just poor spelling think again because it is a hell of a lot more than that. It is shit!!! It is a lifetime of hell!! It is something that can grab you and never let you go unless you learn ways to deal with it.
What do it do now? How do I manage my dyslexia? I do what I can to avoid conflict with my dyslexia sometimes that is unavoidable. Even writing this it is near impossible and a hard job. I have my daughter screaming and I have my partner talking I have lights flashing and every time something happens I loose where I am and I am then faced with dyslexia making me read what I have written over and over again until I remember or work out what the hell I was talking about.
I am a creative person a trait that is common in dyslexics I play guitar, drums, sing, piano, any instrument really give it to me and I will have the basics down in a day or 2, I like to produce music, I like photography, drawing, animating, writing music, filming, designing, and Skateboarding. As a dyslexic if I struggle I start the feeling useless and feeling rubbish stuff again so I am lucky enough to have a love for so many things that if I am writing a song and think this sounds great we are all good but then it starts to sound rubbish in the past I would get angry take it out on myself or any objects around me but now I can go away from it and just do something else. If I have idea it must be done there and then. I have got out of bed at 2 in the morning and been up writing a song all night because I had to get the idea out of my brain. This article I thought about writing it and I have to do it now or it will never happen. If I need to write anything and I get stuck with a word at the point I would generally get angry I re word it all in a way I can get close to spelling. A high majority of my dyslexia I manage to avoid. My memory I manage until it becomes a problem in the household then I don’t know how to explain myself. The almighty “grammar Nazi’s” are unavoidable and they continue to upset me. The smallest correction can send me on a downer for the day. I don’t like getting help because the thought of being corrected pains me. But most of all, the thing that helps me the most is acceptance. Dyslexia isn’t curable people think they can help you with it but it will always be there. By accepting I can’t spell accepting I cant read accepting I can’t translate my thoughts accepting I cant read a book that everyone is raving about. I handle this if the book is worth reading then they will most probably bring out a movie, if you don’t like my spelling then that is not my problem you can get the gist of what I am saying and you understand what I am saying. I don’t need to justify myself I can avoid conflict with people by not arguing my beliefs. They are my beliefs no one else has a requirement to agree with them or know them. Dyslexia is a constant struggle even today and recovering from it is not an option but learning how to avoid it effecting you is possible. I struggle to work I cant hold down a job because dyslexia holds me back somewhere down the line and either ends with me getting fired for some rubbish reason to justify not being good enough to fill the roll. The current issue with that is I have a family to think about, a soon to be wife, a daughter and a stepson all in witch I have a duty to supply for. Dyslexia has help me back from progressing in a career I have skills but they are all in a area that is very hard to earn a living from. I feel destined to be stuck in low paid work destined to work in retail. I do not want this as it will not help me become the man I dream of being. Dyslexia makes my dream hard. A lot of very well known people have the same issues as me some are capable of putting full focus in to success other in the rite place at the rite time some mild some extreme. I like to see my dyslexia as quite a extreme case and I hate it I hate having it I hate being help back because I know I could be something great I could be a icon a hero to my family but I know it is incredibly hard to get out of the place I am currently.
Writing this article has forced me to face everything I hate about dyslexia and I have tested my temper a few times in the process. But in the end has it been worth it? Some will relate some will judge some may go through and correct every error in my writings, but as long as 1 person gets something from it then it has served its purpose. I want people to know what dyslexia involves what we need to struggle through and even when things are great it still causes problems for us. There is a lot of negativity in this but the focus for me is relating what it causes. I would have liked it to be like most things the person writing it has fixed the problem and writing about the up rise of how good things are now but I would be lying dyslexia was shit it is shit and it will always be shit and it will always be there to get me. Dyslexia is like its own form of depression but with dyslexia it will never go.
For my next Article titled Dear Teacher, Love From Dyslexia please CLICK HERE
RR on April 06, 2019:
I totally connect with what you say but struggled to read to the end. the way to success & happiness is to accept quickly the things we struggle with, concentrate on our strengths and accept help where ever needed. Remember a TEAM is always made up of people with different strengths & abilities. Maybe the role of someone with dyslexia is best suited to being a leader? Maybe because we don’t get lost in the detail that means we see the bigger picture?
Bill Tromblay on April 06, 2019:
I have the same problem and life experience. Nice to know, im not alone as weird as that may sound. Thanks for sharing your story to the world, it might help normal people to understand. Bill
Joy on January 07, 2019:
Your story touched my heart. It helped me understand the rantings and frustration of my dyslexic husband. He has had some very similar experiences but until i ready your story, i didn't realize how interconnected these struggles are. Thank you for sharing this.
Wendy on January 06, 2019:
Wow - what an utterly awesome human being you are. Thank you for this insight. We should all listen to understand never to judge
Sam on January 05, 2019:
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on January 05, 2019:
Still so many people finding my article and finding it helpful it blows me away. I have been writing a book since this article very slowly mind so watch this space :)
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on January 05, 2019:
Im haply you can relate
Louise on January 05, 2019:
Thank you this is so accurate to how I feel as a dyslexic.
Sue b on January 05, 2019:
Just read your post. My 12 year old son is dyslexic and i can see a lot of similarities to your experience. You have been able to put into words what he cannot yet. Hopefully with us (his parents) now more aware of how it may be afffecting him we can support him in more ways. Thank You for taking the time and effort to write this.
Sarah on November 01, 2018:
You write beautifully, raw and real. Thanks for the glimpse into life with dyslexia.
Katrina on October 31, 2018:
Thank you for sharing your journey my Granddaughter has severe DYSLEXIA too.More people need to know the truth by people who have Dyslexia. There so much different types.
Liz C. on October 31, 2018:
Powerful and well written story. Thank you for sharing your experience. We are so much more than our ability to read/write, but unfortunately these two skills are key to ‘fitting in’. Your strength is impressive and I loved hearing about your conviction to prevail and care for your family. #YouGotThis
Michaela on October 30, 2018:
Thank you for this honest account of living with dyslexia.
As a sister and mother of males with dyslexia this rings so true.
You are strong and courageous.
Bunny on April 02, 2016:
You spell really well, all things considered. You're writing isn't too bad either. I have various family members with LDs. Some unable to read/write some it is just painful for them to do. Was told I had them, but was main streamed in middle school. The memory stuff is interesting, because I don't think I've ever been told that it was part of dyslexia, but totally understand it. Anyway, keep writing. Oh, my Mom bought us some books when I was young. The author she said was dyslex. She said he would start writing and then when he was through would but a period. The publisher had to correct the spelling and grammar. So.... don't stop writing, and don't worry about getting help. If you need help just think of them as your editor.
Chanda on February 05, 2016:
Thank you so much for writing this article. My son is 10 years old and has dyslexia. I try very hard to understand what he is going through but it is hard for a child to clearly express their struggles. School is pure hell for him. I spend two hours every night helping him with his homework. Thanks to your article, I now have some insight into what he is going through.
Patty S. on February 04, 2016:
Wow! Thanks so much for writing this! It is raw and honest. My son was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, ADHD, among other things. School for him and us (his parents) have been hell. It pisses me off that the educational system doesn't help these kids better. They have a lot of talent to offer, but simply slipped through the cracks. Most people think dyslexia is just reversing letters! As you stated, that couldn't be further from the truth! My son is in his senior year and will graduate high school soon. He plans ongoing to college in the fall, but it certainly hasn't been easy that never will be.
Soli Lazarus on December 22, 2015:
This is really painful to read. As a teacher I take some responsibility for a life that has been turned on its head due to your feelings of low self-worth caused by dyslexia.A child should never feel this way in our education system. It is our job to find a way to reach out and make school accessible for all. I wish you a bright future dong the creative things you love.
Marie PS on December 22, 2015:
My daughter is 14 and just started high school. She is highly intelligent, plays several instruments, and is a gifted theatre performer. I knew there was something not quite typical when she had difficulty learning to read fluently and remembering things. I requested that she be evaluated at school in fourth grade and they found that she had a "processing disorder" but she was not eligible for any services because there was no education impact ( her grades were good due to her ability to compensate .) Her entire school career she has dealt with teasing and comments from other students such as "I thought you were smart" when she is forced to read aloud in class or write things down in a group project. Some teachers think she is trying to get a laugh when she is really struggling. During theatre auditions she lives in fear of the "cold read" and has devised all kinds of elaborate strategies to gain an extra few moments with the script before her turn. The only accommodation she receives at school is additional time and unfortunately some teachers have not read the document and refused this to her until I notified the administration. I am thinking that she needs further testing and a firmer diagnosis now that she is in high school. The thought of college entrance exams is already causing stress and she is just a freshman.
albert camus on December 17, 2015:
I tried to write my own story much like yours however still can't get past the quality control process but I'll keep trying
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 17, 2015:
jgshorebird I think Dyslexi's behaviour side does have some aspects of Autism and asperger's. that is what i would relate it to any ways like mild symptoms.
jgshorebird on December 16, 2015:
Good piece. I am always combing these types of hubs for clues and connections related to Asperger's Sydrome. It seems that all of these conditions have a common denominator...
JP on December 14, 2015:
My son is Dyslexic. He struggled through school and suffered from a pretty bad period of depression. He was not bullied too much as he was involved in scouts and a few other activities and church. We did take him to two separate programs for reading/spelling/grammar help. He still struggles but is doing well as an electrician. I would say pursue something you are interested in. There are many things out there since it was mentioned dyslexic people are usually smart and talented and creative. Maybe for those who have young one look into music and the arts/ animals something you are good at or passionate about. Maybe start as a hobby/2nd job. I do photography on the side and love it. I have never been tested for dyslexia but would not be surprised if I have it in some capacity. I have struggled with depression and have been off meds since doing photos. I sell them now at local events and shows and love meeting new people! Never stop trying. And look outside the normal job range to use your gifts you were given! Best of luck Martin and everyone else with this disability.
Fe on December 13, 2015:
Thank you so much I am a bad dyslexic and find it very hard to right and understand but thank god for the iPhone and pricteder text sometimes it doesn't work but most of the time it does. My little girl is 7 and I know she is dyslexic but the school will not test her till they do a massive one where they test all the children. So I am stuck as I do not have £450 pound to get her tested its so frustrating. I was 23 when I got tested and found out school was crap and I did not get the help I need. I jump from job to job as so as they find out they treat me like I can not do the job I have been do for say 3 months and they tell me I am no good as I can not do the job when I have been doing it all along. People I not nice I try to be but some times I just lose my temper people do not get it and get upset when I can not explain why. So thank you for right this
Francesca on December 13, 2015:
Hi martin, thanks fir wtitting this iv always accepted the fact that im dyslexic and i have difficulties in what i do but other people seem to ignorant to accept my capabilities andbring me down daily due to some of my diffects they think they will help me improve or im not trying enough and i fell like every time i told a person im dyslexic they see it as an excusse and look down on me diffirently like my opinon no longer vounts like i am invaluble . Dyslexia has basicly made me not belive in my self as im scared of the judgment i find daily facing me. People dont get that theres certain diffecrs i cant change and the more i try to change them the worst i feel ..
Fran S. on December 12, 2015:
OMG you are in my head. Thank you !!!
HOlly on December 12, 2015:
Thanks, Martin! I'm a teacher and do my best to love & find the gifts in my students. Both of my children are dylexic too; a 21 year old boy & a 15 year old girl. I was never formally diagnosed with dylexia, but have self dianosed myself. The struggles I have in addition to those you mentioned are left & right confusion. I can determine north, south, east and west; so strange. Also I stuggle with rapid recall of names which makes me appear impersonal and uncaring. The REAl story!
Aprilsuzi on December 12, 2015:
Great conversation you started Martin. I commented earlier and want to say to anyone that has a dyslexic child, accept him/her. Don't blame yourself or the child for dyslexia. I have seen parents ignore dyslexia because that would mean to them admitting a fault. Dyslexia is not a fault. It is a fact. Love the child. Praise the child. Don't try to change the child. Find how your child learns. Every child is different. Every child with dyslexia is different. Find what works and stop beating your head against the wall for what doesn't work. In some cases home school is an option. I have learned so much in 6 years home schooling my two dyslexic sons. I have tried many curricula that are supposed to work wonders for dyslexia and I have been accused of not trying hard enough or using them incorrectly by the companies that put them out. I found that for my son that is mid range dyslexic those curricula work for the most part. But none of them work for my profoundly dyslexic son. I have discovered how he learns and how to teach him on my own. What is more important to me is that we have joy in education again. We had lost that trying to conform to the opinion of others. It is important to teach them to love learning and not make them hate it by trying to conform them to something that does not work.
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 12, 2015:
Thank you Tansy. One thing i learnet after leaving school was that when you are in school you are limited to who you mix with, the people in your class are who you are stuck being "friends" with. If you are limited then you will experience problems. I learnet that once you leave school you are open to who ever you want to be friends with i ended up being this person that couldnt for attatchment well i could but seperation was very easy for me so i would join a group of friends and if one thing nudged me towards what i had at school then i would disappear, then i would find another group and then rince and repeat. now im not really part of a group i have 1 or 2 people from each group who i talk to from time to time. im not part of a group but i have friends that all have there own things that seperate them and make them suited to me as a friend. Trust is still a big issue i do struggle to trust most people except a very limited number. What i didnt realise at school is that the time i am there is very short compared to my entire life, and you are unaware when at school that once you leave school you dont need to see anyone there again you can go of find people that like you and want to spent time with you rather than people that do it because there isnt anyone else or you are to young to go out and find people. school feels like forever but once its gone its gone. Its sad that i have had to do it the way i did because i see all the people i went to school with still hang out all gone to university got nice houses when i separated myself from anything to do with school moved out the area. yes i now have my lovely family but we are still stuck both of us uneducated, in a 1 bedroom flat with 4 of us living in it and just enough money to pay the bills and eat. but im over that. if money is meant to come it will come when its ready too. if a nice life where i can take my kids out and have fun with them comes then it will come when it wants to come but for now i need to accept where i am and be comfortable here because if i try to change it fast then its only going to get worse.
Tansy on December 12, 2015:
I was in tears Martin. Thankyou for writing this article. Although I was not physically bullyed, I was mobbed heavily. I was accused by one of my 'friends' of being autistic. With modern technology my dyslexia has become easier but my social skills remain diabolical. I've just finished two years of therapy for depression at 48 years old where we often discussed that I will never be able to trust peopke. My son is dyslex and attention deficit and I see my role as making sure his social life is good and to defend him to teachers as vehermently as I can, as many still cannot grasp how damned painful it is to be sitting in that chair in that classroom it is for him.
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 12, 2015:
Thank you all again. All the responses and feedback i have gained through this article is amazing i am very happy with how it has been received by so many people. The messages and comments are slowing down alot now so its easier for me to read through everything and reply. :)
Rachel on December 12, 2015:
Your article reminds me of a video I watched about a girl living with Autism and what every day life is like for her. It breaks my heart.
My 11 yo son was recently diagnosed with dyslexia which explains so many of his quirks and his hurdles he constantly has to overcome. I will tell you one thing that I have not seen on the list of qualities that dyslexics share- PERSEVERANCE. My son does not easily give up and comes back time after time to try harder, work harder, and do better. I love that about him.
I have to admit that I have been a secret grammar nazi on forums and social media- never once considering that perhaps the individual is up against dyslexia. You have given me so much insight to how my little guy feels much of the time, but he too cannot express it. The stuttering, the frustration, the inability to write it out is so daunting for him.
I am of the school of thought that much can be done to at least help alleviate some symptoms of dyslexia. I have to believe that and work on brain training with him because it gives me hope for him when he grows up.
My prayer for him is that he will use this different way God has wired him to develop incredible talents and character that will bless him and all those around him.
I hope this writing was cathartic for you as it has been a real eye opener for me.
Thank you for your time and your effort- I know it wasn't easy!!
Ace on December 11, 2015:
Dyslexia is a gift! Here is a quote from the book "The Gift of Dyslexia - Ronald D.Davis":
"Dyslexic don't all develop the same gifts, but they do have certain mental functions in common. Here are the basic abilities all dyslexics share:
1. They can utilize the brain's ability to alter and create perception (the primary ability).
2. They are highly aware of the environment.
3. They are more curious than average.
4. They think mainly in pictures instead of words.
5. They are highly intuitive and insightful.
6. They think and pervious multidimensionally (using all senses).
7 . They can experience thought as reality.
8. They have vivid imaginations.
These eight basic abilities, if not suppressed, invalidated or destroyed by parents or the educational process, will result in two characteristics: higher-than-normal intelligence and extraordinary creative abilities. From these the true gift of dyslexia can emerge - the gift of mastery. "
I feel for your struggle as it touches many nerves on some of my own battles in life however I would not take my dyslexia away for a second and I outright do not agree with your conclusion, not to say that you are not entitled to have it. I've recently discovered the practice of meditation which in essence is learning and cultivating the skill of being "mindful" in day to day living. It is a lifestyle choice but something I would highly recommend to fellow dyslexics and human beings for that matter as a way of uncluttering, chilling out and also utilising the mind to become more focused on what ever it is you are trying to achieve. I believe a dyslexic mind has a strong advantage of one of the status-quo... =D
Best of Luck with it All!!
Thurston on December 11, 2015:
As others have said, thank you for the article. My wife and I have four children (13, 11, 9, 7): our middle two have dyslexia (1 severely and 1 moderately) and two don't have dyslexia. Before our oldest child started school we outlined some goals we had for their education, one of the goals was that after their graduation they would still love learning. When our second child got 8 weeks into kindergarten, he had changed from loving to learn to HATING anything to do with learning. We feel one of the best decisions we ever had for him was to pull him out of school and teach him at home. We now homeschool all of our children. It has been a struggle because it is very hard for us to understand the impact of dyslexia on life of our two sons. And therefore how to change the way we teach them. Your article has given us some insight into the challenges our two dyslexics face. They are smart kids with tremendous vocabularies, a love of science, and a love for listening to audiobooks. However, hardly anyone sees it because they have difficulty expressing what they know. They get extremely frustrated if they have to explain themselves. And making friends is extremely challenging. I have always wondered why they didn't respond when other kids their age say, "Hi" or "Bye" to them. They would rather do math in their head than write it down even though it is very hard for them to keep track of multiple steps in their head. And their personalities lead them to be very impulsive and the dyslexia makes it incredibly difficult for them to justify their actions. I know they are still young but we worry about their future - finding a good job, finding a kind and accepting wife, finding good friends, avoiding depression, avoiding prison, etc. Thanks again.
Sean V on December 11, 2015:
Dyslexia for me was something that made me hate myself for a long time, but unknown to me it also made me strive to achieve, I have done things in myself that I think I would never have done if I did not have the "Dyslexia Monkey" on my back. The key was computers, at 21 after a Rolls Royce Prentice-ship I went off to uni and got my BA, I could only have done that with a PC, then after using computers to make VR then CG then VFX for TV shows Walking with Dinosaurs and Harry Potter films. I went to do my post grad at UCL and there they checked my IQ along with my Dyslexia test. It was high, much higher than I thought. After working in film for 15 years 5 years ago I went to China and there did IT project management, a big change from CGI and 3d stuff but fun and I liked China. This summer came back to the UK and doing 2 new projects VR Content production company in London and a new Top Secret It project that I hope be very cool once I can tell others about it. I have had a great 50 years, I found one thing, that what ever was taken away with Dyslexia also gave, it gave me drive and a Keen mind. I own my Dyslexia it is part of who I am and I will not let it go, because without it my life wound not have been as much fun.
Karen on December 11, 2015:
Thank, you, Martin, for your article. Our son is quite severely dyslexic. Both my husband and myself consider ourselves mild. I have grown frustrated with the dyslexic cheerleaders. Yes, a lot of dyslexics are successful, but that doesn't make it a good thing. We have a deaf daughter and there are those in the Deaf community who believe hearing is a deficit. It is kind of like that....dyslexia has good aspects to it. But also disadvantages, some of which are deep-seated and so obscure that they can't even be expressed. We see our son, who is so bright and nice and kind and caring, being overlooked and feeling inadequate in more ways than we can even understand. And on top of this, he has become so anxious, for about a year he only left the house 5 or 6 times. He is slightly better now, but it has been a terrible struggle. I am sorry that so many things were, and still are, so hard for you. Our son is 18 so he has many things yet to experience in life. We pray that he will keep going, as you have done. Thank you for your honesty. Now I am going to go and bawl my eyes out for a while....
Sheri V on December 11, 2015:
Being the mother of sons with dyslexia and dyscalculia, I can attest that everything in this article is SO true! The struggle is real. The dyslexic brain process information at almost subconscious speeds ("normal" brain process at 24 images per second, subconscious at 36 images per second, dyslexic at 34 images per second). They can see the solution before they are aware of the problem. They learn differently, process differently, and communicate differently. and you know what? it is BEAUTIFUL how they do all of this! And yet they are called stupid or slow or not ambitious or lazy. ARRGGHHH.
Rachel on December 11, 2015:
Thank you for being so honest about this! These are the same things I think about my daughters future and how I can prepare her now .
Shelly on December 11, 2015:
I'm honored that you responded to me! I will share what you said about your skateboarding with my son. His sport is springboard and platform diving. His coach, and his dad and I have watched him compete and as we compare it to his practices we have often wondered if he sabatoges himself or not. But he has come to a point where he is open to the idea of sports phsychology whereas before he thought it was just a stupid idea. We keep trying to stress the idea that the benefit isn't just for sports, there will come a time when diving doesn't matter or he won't be able to do it, but the benefit of learning to practice a positive mindset can help in every area of life! Even still, sometimes circumstances just suck and have to be acknowledged as extremely difficult at best.
Thank you again for your response, I'm excited to share your insight with my family.
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 11, 2015:
Hi Shelly, thank you for writing to me. i have a understanding of what you son experienced with the sporting event I skateboard i have done since i was very small and it is a huge part of my life i am at a high level and mix with some of the top skateboarders in the UK but when i was younger competitions used to be a big thing for everyone i would enter but when it came to it i would always sub contiously sabotage myself so i fail. These days i stick to the other side of the sport and rather than competing i focus on beiing on camera and being filmed instead, as i am not trying to be better than anyone and i dont want to let of that i am better than anyone so i just do it because i love it. if i compete now then it is only friendly competitions where different areas are selected and if you do something impressive then someone gives you something there is no 1st 2nd or 3rd. just friends having a bit of fun. i know it is different in some sports but i do understand what he went through.
Shelly on December 11, 2015:
Thank you for writing this. I'm not dyslexic. Reading, spelling, and grammar always came easily to me and I hate to admit that I used to be one of those people who honestly thought dyslexia was a fake diagnosis for lazy people, or poor teaching methods. But God, in His infinite wisdom gave me 5 beautiful kids and 4 of them are dyslexic. It took me a while to accept that's what they were dealing with, but as someone who started homeschooling for reasons that had nothing to do with dyslexia, I couldn't avoid being smacked in the face with it.
All of my dyslexic kids have different struggles and strengths, though my identical twins are most alike in their struggles. My middle child though has struggled the most with his dyslexia, he's 15 and even his younger dyslexic siblings read more easily than he does and I know it makes him mad. He's the only one who responded by practically shouting "I'm NOT stupid!" when I first told him that the reason the book looked like a 3-D movie to him (his description) was because he is dyslexic.
He is an amazing athlete, and just came home from his first international competition in his chosen sport! I think that's amazing that he can even compete at that level, I mean how many people get to travel internationally to compete at a competition where the requirement is that you be good enough!? But he came in last place in all 3 events. I saw video footage of his performance and he didn't perform nearly at the level we've all seen him practice at. I've started reading books on sports phsychology and I recognize now that he has a negative mindset for competition, and now I wonder how much of it is related to his dyslexia. :( The chaperone on the trip conveyed to me her concerns about what she called "little things." Like she filled out his paperwork at customs for him because she already knew dyslexia was a struggle and I had warned her that he tries to avoid reading and writing at all costs... But she was concerned that at age 15 he couldn't remember the zip code part of his address when she asked him as she was filling out his paperwork for him. I know that he knows it, he has worked so hard to try and memorize things others take for granted! But I imagine he just couldn't access the information in his brain while under the stress of knowing he had to have someone else fill out a form for him. I'm afraid he was humiliated, and then went on to compete in a still humiliated manner. :( He has not had to struggle with bullies at school since he's homeschooled, but he has dealt with them in other environments.
I'm sorry this is so long. I wanted to let you know that your article gave me some insight that I had not wanted to believe, yet I see evidence of it with this one son in particular. I would describe him as my most severely affected dyslexic child. (And my other 3 aren't mildly affected!) I'm going to read this to him before I read it to my other kids. I think it will help him especially. It will also help my oldest child, my one non-dyslexic. She's like me, so much comes easily to her, but she has learned to have compassion at a younger age than I did. Thank you for your raw honesty.
Lee on December 11, 2015:
martin--thank you, thank you, thank you for pushing thru and writing this article. My 12 year old son HATES his dyslexia and it makes him hate himself. It breaks my heart. I am very thankful to you for writing this.
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 11, 2015:
Hi Aston i am a metal head so i like the low open tuning grumpy sound and Phoenix i have given you a like and will take a look :)
Aston on December 11, 2015:
What kind of music do you like to play Martin?
Lucy on December 10, 2015:
Thanks so much for writing this! My 6 year old son has dyspraxia and more than likely dyslexia. We are bracing ourselves for the struggles he faces now and will continue to do so. We are fortunate to have a diagnosis and to get support from his school. We are aware though that life will always be hard for him. Currently he loves school but we know this could change. He has good friends at the moment. We also know that children become more aware about differences as they get older. A symptom of his dyspraxia is he dribbles. Today he told me that one of his friends doesn't like his dribbling. My son told me this in quite a matter of fact way. He is unaffected at the moment but as more and more of his friends pick up on my son's 'differences' they will probably target him. It's hard being a parent knowing you can't be there for your children all the time. My heart goes out to you, my son and everyone affected by dyslexia and dyspraxia. Though I do have to say my high achieving daughter said the other day she wished she could be as funny as her brother :-)
Trudy on December 10, 2015:
Thank you for sharing, I somehow managed to dodge the difficulties my siblings & wider family have had to suffer with and not did fault or back track any of your article. I did not notice the grammar or spelling errors I just laughed and cried at your wonderful insight and confirms how amazing my family is!
Ibtisam from Malaysia on December 10, 2015:
Hi Martin ! This is an amazing article i love reading it.. Thanks for the writing. I suffer from Dyslexia and ADHD as well. Your conditions just like mine more or less. I have no problem with writing and spelling. But learning new language is the hardest thing ever for me. I also lack of social skills and low of self-esteem, this makes me feel awkward, feeling worthless and depressed all the time. I always struggle to put my thoughts into words. I know lots of things but i just cant say it. Eventhough suffer from these two yet i managed to graduate from the University with Bachelor in Multimedia. Cheers Martin ! :)
Jane on December 10, 2015:
Peace and love to you brother. I laughed and cried reading your story. I only recently pinpointed why I found it so hard to learn and Im 47yrs old. My dad always told me I was the 'bright' one, but I never believed that as I found understanding shit so bloody hard. I always knew I wasnt dumb but from the time I was 8yrs old, I always struggled with comprehension. I spent years banging my head against the wall crying out to God even for help, asking why I just didnt get anything. However, if you visually showed me how to do something, it was a breeze. Anything hands-on is a breeze, I can cook, play an instrument, hate looking at artwork but prefer to be creating the artwork etc but you try and teach me verbally - then you can forget it! I can feel your struggle and support you on your jouney. xox
Susan Dyer on December 10, 2015:
It is the truth. I have had it all my life but tell no one. But when went back to college (for the second time late in life) I had to once again be signed up with this as a disability with student ADA services in order to get more time for exams. I have to have an additional hour for all because i read the questions over and over and over again about ten times struggling to get it to sink in. I also have to study doubt time because i cannot retain or remember what i heard, wrote down in class, or read in books. It truly sucks. Been this way my entire life.
Jennifer on December 10, 2015:
Our family adopted 2 foster children with the boy, who is now 9, diagnosed with dyslexia in the 2nd grade. I had homeschooled my 3 older biological kids but never really understood dyslexia. It took him until the end of 1st grade to recognize all the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. He was feeling "stupid" in school and being bulled and constantly being pulled into the tutoring room, thus making him feel even more dumb. As soon as the adoption became final, we brought him and his older sister home to homeschool. It has changed his life. We go at his pace, we do lots of hands on learning and reading out loud his material. We began at the beginning again for reading, using a program called All About Reading, and All About Spelling. He is making great progress and he doesn't feel dumb. He has a real gift for building things and seeing things that can be created. I do worry about the dyscalculia as those math facts are still difficult for him to learn and retain. But we will keep trying and working at our own pace.
I am sorry that you had to suffer so much. I hope that you can find a great job... maybe public speaking regarding dyslexia????
Thank you for sharing your struggles.
Brianna on December 10, 2015:
This is just amazing I couldn't have explained it any better than you just did! Thank you! I am 20
Christy on December 10, 2015:
I commend you for writing about your struggles with dyslexia. My 10 year old daughter has dyslexia. We homeschool and it is a struggle some days, not only academics, but emotional stuff. And she gets distracted very easily. I thank you for this article. It gave me some ideas of what she deals with on the inside. I just wanted to say thanks!
Jane on December 10, 2015:
What a fabulous article. I was diagnosed when I was 8 in the UK, I'm now 47 & I have a 4 year old daughter. (terrified that she might be as well) My dyslexia is relatively minor compared to yours, however I so relate to most of what you have said. I was extremely lucky to have been found out so early (though in itself that has marked me as different in my mind if not in others) & was even luckier with my art teacher at school who saw my skill and pointed me down that road, so bypassing A-levels & most exam orientated career paths. (I revert to my 8 year old self when stressed, so exams were hell) I was/am also lucky that I am incredibly strong willed & fought my way through school, refusing to be seen as being dim & I will stand up for myself in most situations, though as you say it is extremely hard when you can't find the words or the exact information to back you up. Life is a constant frustration & non-dyslexics have no idea what it is like, plus we are all so very different in what we find hard. I would so love to be able to help others, but my dyslexia prevents that in so many ways. You must be so proud of yourself to have come so far & for the amazing journey you are on with your future wife & child. Thank you so much for sharing your story..
Tamara B on December 10, 2015:
Hey, thank you for writing this. I finally got diagnosed this year at 26, there is so much to relate to in your writing. Ive been quiet most of my life, never really spoke up about anything, cause everytime I tried it came out wrong. I dropped out of high school at 16. Having teachers laugh at you leaves an impression. Also lost my job last year, which made me try education again, luckily now i'm in a supportive enviroment so I'm hoping i'll be able to finish a degree. Again thank you for sharing, It reminds me that i'm not the only one, all we can do is solider on. Cheers
sarina on December 10, 2015:
I really appreciated reading your article. My 9 year old was just recently assessed as having dyslexia. So much of what you wrote has helped me understand her better. She's an amazing wee person and my heart breaks for all the things I can't protect her from. Luckily she attends a different model of schooling than you had to endure.
Best wishes to you, I look forward to reading your next piece, you have so much of value to say, and thanks again
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 10, 2015:
thank you all again :) The stories you have all shared have touched me :) And i am over the moon that i have touched all of you as well. It really means the world to me. The success of this story is beyond my expectations and for that i owe you my deepest thanks :)
JGub on December 10, 2015:
Martin, I'm so sorry for you pain - and the pain and frustration of others commenting here. I have my own story but it's sometimes too overwhelming and emotionally exhausting to say it all again - but it is much like the stories shared here. Bless you all. Stay strong.
cassey holdbrook on December 10, 2015:
Hi Martin thank you for this it was so sad to read im sitting her with tears and hoping that things have changed in schools noing they havent. You may have just given me an insight on why my severly dyslexic son acts the way he does. I hope you reach your dreams.
naomi allen on December 10, 2015:
Thank you for writing this. Its so hard to write down or talk about how i felt growing up with this and how it still affects me but u have got it down to a T! I still struggle with Dyslexia most days. My son I'm sure has it too. They have diagnosed him with ADHD but i feel it is not just that. I don't want the same for him. I feel if he understands that others feel the same it will help. Thanx again
J.P. Kallio on December 10, 2015:
Thank you Martin. This post is simply brilliant in its honesty. I can relate to so many things in it. I hated school, got into trouble all the time, even when I was considered to be passive kid as well. I was always behind in schoolwork, even the simplest of homework turned into a mountain... But I had some life changing experiences early on in my life, which forced me to rethink everything. As a result I just concentrated on my passion, which is music, and did not listen to anybody who was telling me I can't do it. I was lucky enough to see rewards for my stubbornness and have been a full-time musician for the past 18 years. Now later I have learned to use that stubbornness to my advantage, and figured out "work arounds" for many of my stumbling blocks. But yeah, it can still be frustrating when everything starts with a process of analysing in my head, what are going to be my shortcomings in a particular task. I even wrote a song about my experience of growing up with dyslexia ;-) The thing is in my experience, most dyslexic people have desperate need to communicate, and once we find away to do that, we actually can become very good at it. For example your post here. You had the bravery to write it down even when you knew it would not be perfect grammar, and as these comments prove, your ability to share your story had very little to do with "perfect language" and everything to do with putting your heart out there and sharing it.
As to the grammar nazies, I have my fair share of dealing with them being a dyslexic blogger as well. In my experience, it is some kind of need to feel superior, or smarter. I had a friend correct my spelling few times in the past in a nice way, which I appreciated. But you can smell the need for superiority in their comments. Once you see it as that, I for one stopped caring so much about what they write. But yeah once in a while you get that one that just hurts...
Anyway, something tells me your story is only just about to begin Martin, look at these comments and you see what happens when you share from your heart :-)
Cerrie on December 10, 2015:
Thank you for sharing your story. I feel I can relate to you in many ways. I didn't find out that I was dyslexic until I got a place on an Art degree. The university I went to was worried that I wouldn't be able to cope with the written work, due to my poor exam results at school. As I write this to you now, I am having to re- read it and make corrections constantly, writing is always a very slow process for me! I myself have also always found it difficult to express myself in words. You always hear about how dyslexia affects written work and reading all the time, but not about how it affects verbal communication. I have always found it extremely awkward in situations where you are put on the spot, so I can totally relate to you there. I don't know about you, but it took me 4 years to pass my driving test! Things like this all really impacted on my self esteem over the years. Like yourself, I have always had a good ear for music. When learning to play the keyboard for example, I got through a song book in 6 weeks, my music teacher said it normally takes up to 6 months. Recently I have found out that my 9 year old son is dyslexic and I have noticed how his self esteem has plummeted as he's struggled to keep up with the other children in his class at school. I am determined however, that he will get the help he needs to be successful in life. I didn't know that I was dyslexic at school, I just assumed I was a below average child. I am happy things are changing and dyslexia is now becoming much more commonly recognized!
Kirsten on December 10, 2015:
I'm 33 years old and have dyslexia. Its no picnic! I'm a successful family nurse practitioner now after many struggles I faced in school. A lot of hard work and tears. All I can say is test your child and get them the proper accommodations that every school has to provide by law! Hang in there!!
Sam on December 10, 2015:
I read your article as I thought it would be interesting to read as I think my son my be dyslexic and a lot of what you said about him not being able to express his thoughts and ideas etc properly is defiantly starting to show the older he gets and even tho he's only 9 he gets agitated whenother kids in school call him names and iv had incidences when he refuses to go to school cause of it.
and another thing your grammar in your writing wasn't that bad so well done for writing such an informative article
rich on December 10, 2015:
thx man good story I have the same thing I would write more but you would understand why I cant
Catherine on December 10, 2015:
Thank you for this article, I found out I was dyslexic when I was 17. i returned to University a few semesters ago for the most part I'm doing good but science classes are getting me. The memorizing is painful. Thanks again.
Jennifer on December 10, 2015:
Great article Martin, thank you for sharing! My husband has dyslexia and I see people judge him for poor grammer, speech and spelling. He has done well from himself and our family with a stable career as a truck driver, but he shares his dreams often of business ownership and your article made me realize that it is likely his dyslexia that holds him back, in his mind it is all a swirl of how to even go about it. Our boys exhibit some of the same traits, both have been evaluated for dyslexia, ultimately determined to not have it, but they continue to struggle in school, get extra help, you know beacause they will read the same sentence 3 times, end up in the middle of the page doodling, not knowing how they arrived there.... Thanks again for sharing your story. You are correct, acceptance and love is only what makes this infliction bearable.
delucia on December 10, 2015:
Thank. You. This is so important for people to read and understand. I am a special educator and you just gave such tremendous insight into the hell dyslexia is. I have always known my students were brave for coming to school but this was mind-blowing. I plan to share this with my students and I know more than a few who will find this article to be a life-changer. Your right, it isn't all happy endings and untapped genius waiting to be released. School can really suck. It isn't any fun being on the other end of the torture either. I try not to be a "Nazi" as it's the flow of expression that matters. I care about what you have to say, not how you say it. Thankfully the tech is out there and voice to text is pretty easy to come by. I applaud your courage and wish you nothing but success. Keep writing!
DebbieCorbin on December 10, 2015:
Perfectly put. Im dyslexic as well as my 3 kids. Im extremely intelligent and articulate but you would never know it by my writtjng or spelling. It has absolutely held me back from getting a higher education thier for affects/effects (i never get those right) my families income. My biggest fear is currently for my 9 yr old son who knows hes smart beacuse he understands everything but cant friggin read it or write it. He gets bullied by his teachers and im to the pojnt i may pull him from school. How do you protect yourself from the teacher yelling at you to " try harder, work faster ,your to slow, your not paying attention , i already told the class maybe next time youll pay attention " ect. Hes 9 in 3rd grade and tells me I JUST CANT DO IT ANYMORE THIER WAY....so far hes had 2 experiences where bullies are kids but the rest have been teachers. I advocate like hell for him but its just not enough. People who dont live it wont understand it. I REFUSE to allow someone else's ignorance and the schoolsystem to mess up my kids. Well put
Aprilsuzi on December 10, 2015:
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is encouraging to read about the reality for another dyslexic, it affirms what I see in my two dyslexic sons. I have had to come to the place where I don't care whether anyone believes me or not about the realities of dyslexia. I shared your article to my Facebook and asked anyone that interacts with my sons to read it. I promise you they will not be raised to feel stupid. They have been taught that dyslexia is real. It is the why for all the questions of why can't I do this, remember this, write this, spell this, read this. It is the why to why I couldn't teach them the alphabet, the days of the week, the months of the year, their own birthdays or how to tie their shoes. I read a book you might like to read. It is called Brilliant Idiot by Abraham Schmitt and was the first thing I read that shared the reality of dyslexia. It is no longer in print and hard to find. But his story is much like yours, just set back 30 years or more in time.
Connie on December 10, 2015:
Thank you, Martin!
My daughter, Zoey, age 10, is dyslexic/ADHD as is my husband. We face huge struggles in school and she constantly feels stupid. She is now "failing enough" to get special Ed. She excells in music, art and sports.
I never understood dyslexia until my daughter was diagnosed, even with my husband having it. I have utmost respect for them, you and all dyslexics.
Thank you for sharing your story and best of luck with your family.
Danita Caperton on December 10, 2015:
Hi Martin, as a concerned parent of a 10-year old child, I am asking what I should do for him. I see some of the darkness and depression in him and I don't know how to help him. Should I homeschool him? Should I allow him to continue his interests in dark music and movies? I'm so worried about him and I don't know how to make him understand that I am here for him and that I support him in whatever he wants to do. I'm his biggest advocate.
Thank you for sharing your story. It was very enlightening and tremendously brave of you.
Amy on December 10, 2015:
Your article is so truthful and honest. I am dyslexic, and had a horrible time in school. I hated school, and to this day you will never see me reading a book just for the hell of it. My son, who is 9 also has learning disabilities, but has not been given the dyslexic diagnosis, and I am not sure that he is, but he does have learning issues, especially in reading, and spelling. He is in the 3rd grade, and reading at a 1st grade level. He tries really hard, and to my suprise, he does love school, I hope that does not change for him, as he is a very sweet, and loving boy, who loves all his peers. Thank you for this article.
Lauri on December 10, 2015:
Thank you Martin, your story is inspiring...as well as sad. I happen to be a "spelling nazi", who grew up with a dyslexic sister, and now I am homeschooling a dyslexic son! How's that for poetic justice?! I say God has a sense of humor! It is hard for "typical learners" to understand dyslexia, because it comes easy to us. It's easy to just say, "they're stupid, we're not"! I don't believe that, but just like anything, if you don't educate yourself about it, and of course being personally affected by it, you are just ignorant about it. My sister grew up always feeling stupid, and believing she was stupid. She got beat up as well, and although I was younger and smaller, I was her protector! She was ridiculed not only by friends, but by our parents and brother. To this day, she is now 54, she still believes she is stupid and "less than".
My son is 8, adopted from Guatemala as a baby. I would say he is severely dyslexic.m, but so smart on so many other levels! The school part is so difficult and frustrating. He spent two years in Kindergarten at two different schools. Socially he did pretty well, but as the year progressed (each year in Kindergarten), his behavior started to change and we knew something was going on. We had him tested at our local Dyslexia Center, and he still tested at at beginning Kindergarten level. He was 7-1/2 by this point. We then decided it was best to homeschool him, because he needed the one-on-one attention, and I mean every step of the way one-on-one. There was no way he could survive (or thrive) in a school setting. He started seeing a tutor at the Dyslexia Center twice a week as well. It is such a slow, grueling process, but he is making progress. The Orton Gillingham program is designed for dyslexics, and after taking the course, I often wonder why school don't use this type of program to teach all students. It makes so much sense, even to a typical learner! My son is almost 9, but now he is testing at an early first grade level. There is progress, though is is extremely slow, and he is experiencing small successes. We are trying to spare his self esteem and help him to find what HE is good at! School is a struggle, for him and me at this point! There is hope though.
I am sorry for all that you had to go through. Kids can be so cruel, and as you said, they are acting out of their own experiences and hurts. I pray you find "your purpose" in life. God bless you.
Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 10, 2015:
What a fantastic article you have written, and that comes from a person with the same obstacle - Dyslexia. I laughed when I read: I go on Google to find the correct spelling but even that thinks my spelling is so bad it cant even identify the word I am looking for. I often do the same! I hated school and suffered in similar ways you so well described. After my 50th birthday I was going to challenge myself and write a novel. ( in a second language as well, I'm original Dutch) I have always been able to read, but never out loud. I skip many words but I seem to be able to see the story or content visually. I have never been able to explain how i do this, but today eighteen years later I have published 6 books, write articles for hub pages and married my publisher 15 years ago, who is also my walking dictionary. Every article I write he edits for me, but not when I write comments, so yes I do make mistakes. Today I still daily struggle to type what I want to share, in English, and yes I still keep making mistakes or try to find out how to spell a word, ( like the word dictionary) but my creativity has awakened skills that I can now use on the internet that was never possible before ( like the use of a spellchecker! I think in pictures is what I say to people when I give talks and ask a person from the audience to come and write on the board, since that is something I can never do but I have made peace with it. Thanks for sharing your story.
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 10, 2015:
Thank you for your responce allan. I think you may have miss understood my article in some way. I was speaking my experience with dyslexia in the hope that someone would relate to it knowing that not everyone will relate to it. It was to highlight the impact that dyslexia can have and i have exposed myself so that people can see what it can do and hopefully prevent the worst of it. I am not moaning about my past as i am over it, But other people can learn from it. I understand that some people who are dyslexic can do well and progress my father is dyslexic and at age 40 went on to pass a phycology degree and he is my personal spell check at times. but there are some people who are too far gone and too damaged from the impact to pick themselves back up to get themselves to a better place. and that is who i am trying to reach out to. however someone improves or progresses in life with dyslexia we all started in the same place. some people have figh in them are strong willed but other people have been pushed so far down that they are not strong enough to get back.
Allen Shaw on December 10, 2015:
Dyslexia is a word that covers a huge variety of learning and life difficulties,
I have read your article and believe that you should try and view yours, mine and anybody else's genre of Dyslexia with an open mind, I don't wish to knock you but stop whining and change the things you need too to make a better existence for yourself, I along with one of my brother's spent my educational life from the ages of 7 through to 16 in a school for children suffering with various genres of dyslexia and it taught me one thing and many others that shared the same schooling and that is dyslexia is not whom you are but part of you and not a governing part!
It teaches you to be strong willed and more determined than less fortunate mortals that believe they do not have it, well here is a little lesson, if all people were tested you would find that nearly everybody has dyslexia in one form or another, I myself detest seeing dyslexia described in such a manner as people with minimal knowledge take it as gospel, it is not, it is just one persons experience. buck up pal the world is a hard old place to find your feet in and any form of dyslexia will not hold you back if the correct determination is found and expressed, kindest regards Allen, ( somebody who proudly has the unsolvable ailment that is Dyslexia ).
ReeganS on December 10, 2015:
This is so powerful and so accurate! i am dyslexic and have always struggled to put my thoughts down on paper. You have described the way of thinking and feeling of someone living with dyslexia and i was so inspired by your article that i created a share ideas and advice page for people to come together and exchange ideas on dyslexia.
siobhan on December 10, 2015:
i am a mother and teacher there are no study books that will give us the insight you have just given. i am going to print this and give it to as many mothers and children i can thank you for the enormous effort it took to write this you communicate very well it has nothing to do with spelling
Mom & Teacher on December 10, 2015:
I have such a range of emotions after reading this that it is difficult to even know how to respond. My 11-year-old daughter is dyslexic. She knew it before she was even diagnosed (after hearing the term on a Disney channel show). So did I, but I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want her to be stigmatized. But when she was finally diagnosed it came as a relief to her. At least it made sense. She knew she was intelligent, but she wasn't being successful in a traditional American educational system. See went through several years of being pulled out of class to go to the "special" room.
Fortunately in my daughter's case, her reading has improved significantly, enough that she was released from special education, but she still has a 504 plan (American educational legalese) that gives her extra time on assignments. I also made sure that they put into her 504 plan that she would not be penalized for spelling errors on her assignments. But the spelling problem came to a head in fifth grade when, after several weeks of the teacher having students swap papers to grade one another's spelling tests, I received a call from a concerned parent saying my daughter had told her daughter that she wanted to kill herself. I knew she had been down and discouraged and was having problems with "friends" at school, but I was devastated when I heard this. She was being publicly humiliated in class. Obviously we got her into counseling right away, and she is better now, but there is still this fear that things could dip to that low again.
What kind of an educational system drives a child in fifth grade to want to kill herself? Ironically, I'm a teacher, but I blame the educational system. If those students had not been swapping papers, others might not have made fun of her for spelling. I realize this is a simplified explanation of a very complex issue. But why, after decades of research, are students around the globe still being taught in the same ways? Why can't we teach to students' strengths and give them opportunities to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways? Having a dyslexic daughter has changed the way I teach. But we really need to see a change in the university teacher preparation courses. Through all my years of college and even after earning master's degree in education, I had absolutely no training in how to teach dyslexic students. As a matter of fact, I only recall the term dyslexia being used one time, and that was in a master's level special education course when the professor actually said dyslexia did not exist! If approximately 20 percent of our students are dyslexic, why aren't we doing something about it? Are we content to dismiss one-fifth of our students? Those students are not failing. It's the teachers who are failing, but in most cases it is not intentional. Contrary to popular belief, most teachers I know really do care about their students. They want to help, but they don't know how. This is a problem at the university level. Universities are not training teachers how to instruct students with dyslexia. It goes beyond the university level in the U.S., as well, because our state departments of education should require universities to provide this training and should mandate professional development in all school systems to train teachers who are currently in the field.
Back to my daughter's story ... because her elementary principal and fifth grade teacher (yes the same one who was having students swap papers to grade -- he did care and was a good teacher, in spite of this questionable, yet common, practice which I was also guilty of doing before I had a daughter with dyslexia), but because they recognized her intelligence, they recommended she be in honors classes in middle school. When she entered sixth grade, however, her scores on a computerized reading test did not make the cut for honors. I advocated strongly and she was placed in honors to "see if she could do it." Not only can she do it, she's doing it with flying colors. And her most recent scores on that computerized test actually exceed the honors requirement. Of course the test took her four class periods, when most students were finished in less than one. But I'm so proud of her for sticking with it and working so hard!
Your story and that of my daughter and the countless others with dyslexia are so important. Your stories need to be heard because they inspire change. You made a difference by telling your story. Thank you!
Grateful Mom & Wife on December 10, 2015:
Martin, it is 3 am-ish. I came across your article via facebook. All I can say is, WOW! You have given me the insight I need to move forward. I am a homeschooling mom and more recently a wife. It is believed that my daughter has dyslexia and my husband was diagnosed as a child. Your article has given me some tools to move forward. Thanks for enduring so many years of judgment, ridicule, shame and torture in order to contribute to the lives of so many people. You are a trail-blazer, a forerunner, a leader. Because of your courage and transparency, so many parents know how to help their children and children know how to understand themselves. You are a great man! I have a funny feeling that after this article goes viral (I am going to help it spread) that you will be able to take care of your family quite well. Write the book!!!! You have already started it. Add your art work to it and it will be a best seller! Blessings to you Martin!
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 09, 2015:
Thank you all again for all the kind words. I have woken up and am working my way through all the messages that have gathered up over night with my coffee and its mental how many people i have helped. Your words mean alot and i thank you :)
Momma C on December 09, 2015:
Amazing article. My daughter has been living with dyslexia since the age of 8. She kept being told she needed to read more, needed to spell more, needed to study more. Then one day, a teacher cared and it changed her life. She has become an amazing self advocate with a lot of self confidence, but I know there are still days when she feels "stupid" like when she is speaking in front of a class and forgets where she is going with it....or when she gets interrupted and can't get back on topic.
I wish your experience at school was different, it sounds awful and for that I'm sorry. Those idiots are the stupid ones, the ignorant ones.
Thank you for sharing your story, you have obviously affected a lot of people. We do need to bring this more into the public, especially education. Thank you for making a difference!
Vicki Murray on December 09, 2015:
Beautifully written and heartbreakingly honest. My 12 year old son is going through his own version of high school hell at the moment here in Tayside, Scotland. You have inspired us and given us strength through your experiences. Thank you so much for your bravery, you have no idea how much reading this has helped. We are not alone after all!!! Wish I could hug you. I have so much I want to say but I have to go because I can't stop crying. Mums and Dads, please hold your amazing dyslexic child just that little bit longer when you hug them today. Thank you Martin. Xx
J on December 09, 2015:
Thank you so much Martin for writing this. My Son is severely dyslexic, I am not. I try so hard to understand and support him. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don't. The one thing my Son knows is that I love him unconditionally, I think he is intelligent, inspiring and truly amazing. Your article has been an upsetting eye opener, it has made me cry so hard. I am so sorry for all the negativity and bullying you have had to experience but I thank you for being brave enough to write it down. You have helped me to understand my wonderful Son a little bit more.
I wish everyone who works in education would read this. If you could work with educators or get them to read your work that would be amazing.
Thank you again and best wishes
Theresa on December 09, 2015:
I am a first grade teacher. I specialize in dyslexia remediation with Orton-Gillingham. It is hard work but this story I will keep to motivate me. God bless you. You have touched me.
Becky on December 09, 2015:
Thank you for your honesty. My daughter is severely dyslexic. She hated school from kindergarten through 2nd grade. She has endured many different evaluations up until we found it was dyslexia. Since then she has received effective reading remediation through the Barton System, an O-G method. She goes to a small private school and has amazing, encouraging and supportive teachers and she is thriving there! As we now know, she will always struggle with reading, spelling, grammer, but she has been supported so much at home and school to focus on her creative abilities and not so much the testing that it has improved her attitude at school and now looks forward to going. I still worry, however, as you point out, the negative internal effect this has on a person. My daughter is passive, quiet to a point and has expressed negative statements about herself from 1st grade on. This has improved with the change in school but as 7th grade and public school approaches, I worry and want to protect her through those tough, anguishing years (for any teen, much less one who is dyslexic.) I pray that she will make it through these years with a positive sense of self. Thankfully, with people like you who are sharing your struggles, there is more awareness out there. I, as a parent of a dyslexic child, am very grateful for you and you have a great purpose and influence in dyslexia awareness.
LM on December 09, 2015:
From on dyslexic to another - you are a brave man, my friend. Your article made me laugh and tear up. Thank you!
JLS on December 09, 2015:
My 11 yr old daughter has adhd, dyslexia, and written expression disorder and this article is very enlightening. Thank you for putting yourself out there and working past your struggles to let us all know how hard it is. She was recently diagnosed and i am trying to get her school to recognize her struggling is real. This will help. Thank you again!
Dale on December 09, 2015:
Thank you! Best article I've read on dyslexia! I just finished reading it to my dyslexic 16 year old. At first he found it hard to believe a dyslexic wrote it because it is so long but he said only someone with this LD could understand it so well. As a parent I learned something new and it lead to a very insightful conversation with my son. Thank you kindly!
Tracy on December 09, 2015:
thank you for sharing my 9 year old is facing many issues but no label yet. you stated something about food can you explain your issues because we suffer here with him not wanting to try anything new, same stuff all the time and he wont eat any fruit none will not try and smell of oranges and textures are these some you face?you expressing yourself was so inspiring because I'm left understanding more and seeing it in another angle Thank you
Jeremy Rhett on December 09, 2015:
Great work, Martin. I have been surrounded by dyslexics my entire life and I heard my Dad, my brother, my two sons, my cousins, my father-in-law and dozens of friends speaking through you. As an employer and "Grammar Nazi" myself I also felt the pain I have likely caused others unknowingly in my pursuit of perfection. It was a very emotional read for me.
Your struggle, and that of many others, is the reason my wife and I founded Reading is Essential for All People(REAP). It's a non-profit organization devoted to a simple mission: Provide public school teachers with the training needed to support dyslexics and others who have reading and writing struggles. REAP exists to reduce the pain and improve the skills of dyslexics by showing teachers that their students need a different learning approach. They are not stupid or lazy or careless.
The benefit of your writing is that it may move others take action, or be a little nicer or more patient or less judgemental. It provides some real insight for non-dyslexics who don't understand the problem and the many facets of life that it impacts. Thanks again for putting yourself out there. It was definitely worth it.
As for me, it reinforces REAP's mission. And from this day forward I pledge to keep my Grammar and Spelling Nazism to myself.
Caro on December 09, 2015:
Thank you for sharing this Martin. My 13 year old daughter is Dyslexic and you are so right that it is so much more than spelling. It certainly affects social aspects and the awkwardness of knowing how to express yourself to fit in. "people at school think I am weird" is what she feels and yes as Discommonsensia said schools still dont understand. just today she has gone to school with a speech she had to write but she will refuse to read it. Well she cant read it out loud. Even though she wrote it, she cant read back out loud in year 8. she will sound like a stuttering kindergarten child and how cruel will that be. Some people are so unkind to her and dont understand that she doesnt say hello to them in passing because she is afraid she will have to have a conversation with them and she wouldnt know how to talk to them. She wants to be accepted but when its hard to even say hello its hard to fit in. Other kids dont get it. I guess that is understandable when her teachers and even grandparents dont understand. so the dyslexia increases the anxiety she suffers because of the dyslexia and its a hard road.
Michele on December 09, 2015:
Wow. Tears rolling. This is the single most insightful thing I've ever read. You've changed lives by sharing this. I'll be reading it to my 15 year old dyslexic son. I'm positive he'll feel so validated and will agree that dyslexia is shit. You put into words what he hasn't been able to, you've answered many of my "why" questions. Martin, this is powerful. Thank you. Thank you for being brave and authentic. I think I'll print it out and keep it handy.
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 09, 2015:
Dyscommonsensia WOW. all happening your end. i am sorry to hear the impact it is having onthe family it is a family dissorder its not just me that suffers as you know you suffer your partner suffers too. I wish i had the answers but i dont. Stay strong hang in there things will always get better. always reasure your daughter that its ok none of it is her fault she is not stupid and that she is amazing. maybe try having a little ritual with her at night before bed. We do it with our kids here. get them to repeat everything you say and tell them to remember it every time they are struggling and the same goes for you. You are amazing, You are beautiful, you are intelligent, and you are good enough. you say it and she repeats it but saying i am not you are. you do the same thing for yourself. and everytime things are getting hard just repeat it to yourself and your daughter getting her to say it too. give it a go.
Dyscommonsensia on December 09, 2015:
Thank you from America. I'm a mom to an 11 year old daughter who happens to struggle to learn the way a machine called Public Education wants her to learn. Martin, you are now a grown man who had to suffer growing up. It wasn't right then and it isn't right now. Yet, educators have not learned how to help students who don't learn by the established standard methods. The problem is not that my daughter has learning struggles/disorders/disabilities/differences. The problem is the educational system's unwillingness to adapt. If she learns better by a making model pyramid and talking about it rather than writing an essay on how the Egyptians built pyramids, who cares! It doesn't have to be like this. Why are today's kids going through the same exact thing? There are proven tools and programs that can help. I am pissed that I practically ignore my 8 year old "average" son because he can survive the school's narrow definition of education. I am pissed that we are refinancing our house to help my daughter when the school refuses to do so. I am stressed that my job is in jeopardy because I have to deal with the Child Study Team so often. Too often, I neglect grocery shopping so I can help my kid with her endless hours of homework. (What the hell is ANY 11 year old learning from 3 hours of homework after 8 hours at school?!) By doing so, I enable the school to not do their job. The alternative is to let her completely fall off the ledge. Not academically (I couldn't give a crap about that), but emotionally. Martin, I see my daughter in your story. I am pissed that my kid is filled with anxiety and self-doubt which is reinforced both in and out of school. I wish she saw what I saw - an amazingly intelligent kid who is funny, creative, hard-working and curious. But she doesn't see any of that. Why should she? The school has never offered her a meaningful situation where she could be successful. I don't blame her for asking, "What is the point of school? What does a standardized test have to do with real life?" (My daughter is smarter than most of those who "manage her case"!) Sometimes, I cry myself to sleep at night listening as she cries herself to sleep in the next room. I am pissed that I no longer smile, relax or spend time with my husband or my friends. I'm spending so much time battling the school that I'm forgetting about my life and my family. ( My priorities are misplaced! And now I'm pissed at myself!! :-D ) I am a reluctant advocate when I just want to be her mom. Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia: I'm sick and tired of wearing those names like a badge on behalf of my daughter as if that is what defines who she is. I'm sick of shoving it down her throat in an attempt to explain it's not her who is the problem, it's the grown ups who won't teach how she learns. She often says to me "I'm stupid." This could lead to some really dark places later in life, as you know too well. The reality is that most Dyslexic people do not become a Richard Branson (not that his journey has been easy). Martin, I hope you believe that I don't mean to take away from your story in any way. It's heartbreaking and humbling. I'm not sure I could recover and carry on the way you have in your life. Life is hard enough and I imagine functioning in a world that doesn't get your story is frustrating. I'm just saying this is bullshit that, years later and continents away, your story is still my daughter's story and thousands of other's too. Martin, it's not you and it's not my daughter. It's the broken system of Public Education and social inflexibility that has a learning disorder. Rock on, Martin.
lynb on December 09, 2015:
Your expressed yourself very clearly here and helped me to understand how hard it is for my son to get his thoughts into words. Thank you!
Maria on December 09, 2015:
That's absolutely great. Thank you Martin for sharing. I can imagine and understand your difficulties and your struggle because I'm dyslexic too. And I have a dyslexic son. For this reason I've become a teachers' trainer specialist in dyslexia and other special needs. I'm think that dyslexia in itself isn't a negative aspect of our personality. You say youa re creative and you can sing and play a lot of musical instruments. The bad aspect is the difficult of school and teachers to accept our neuro diversity. Our brain is different and we learn in a different way, so teachers must be trained to teach in the right way to dyslexic students.
JessG on December 09, 2015:
I think your writing is exceptional. I'm a writing instructor and believe in content over grammar. Your writing captured me and made me "feel" your struggle. Give yourself kudos . . . you're an amazing communicator. Keep it up!!
Martin Camp (author) from Surrey, United Kingdom on December 09, 2015:
again thank you all so much :) I have had hundreds of people contact me the lst couple of days and its overwhelming. writing this article i felt it was stupid i almost put it down and didnt bother i thought my family would be the only people that see it and i worried more about them seeing it as they did not even know of most the stuff i have shared in here. now im getting messages from dyslexic people thanking me for sharing what they feel but could not express themselves, im getting parents thanking me for helping them understand what there child or partner is experiencing one little girl wanting to meet me as she loved what i had to say and then educaters who work with dyslexic children asking me to write about different subject and asking my advice on how to deal with the different areas of dyslexia. even people asking me for help with current issues in there lifes. i mean its amazing. i sed in the article if just 1 person could relate to it then i would be over the moon and the article would have done its job but thousends of people have read it the numbers keep going up, the comments keep coming and the messages keep flowing in. from the bottom of my heart i thank you all so much truly amazing reaction i never expected so much from this little bit of rambling :) We just need the media to see this now get them on it get it out there more. i want the world to know what dyslexia really is! :)
Kris on December 09, 2015:
Your story will touch many people in many different ways. Thanks for sharing your experiences and how dyslexia has effected your life daily. The struggle is real and I hope you continue to celebrate your successes and I wish you the best! Thanks for sharing!
Tracy Gardner on December 09, 2015:
Thank you, thank you , thank you for writing this. I am the mother of a 12 year old severely dyslexic boy. I feel your pain as I have lived with my son's pain. You are brave and a hero. This is the absolute best thing I have ever read in helping people understand this complex difference. You are already successful. Sending you HUGE hugs and blessings. Thank you for your bravery and sharing your heart.