Why Do I Have To Be The Freaking Expert On Everything?

Ok. I’m exaggerating. But come on. I just discovered a fantastic website that describes a wide variety of symptoms of dyslexia. A lot of the symptoms popped out to me as describing my son: delayed speech, confusing left and right, can read a word on one page but won’t recognize it on the next page (that last one always blew me away when he was learning to read). Can’t master tying shoes. What? This is related to dyslexia? Wow. Yup, he can’t tie a knot of any kind.

When reading aloud, reads in a slow, choppy cadence (not in smooth phrases), and often ignores punctuation. Becomes visibly tired after reading for only a short time. Reading comprehension may be low due to spending so much energy trying to figure out the words. Listening comprehension is usually significantly higher than reading comprehension.

When reading a story or a sentence, substitutes a word that means the same thing but doesn’t look at all similar, such as trip for journey, fast for speed, or cry for weep. I always wonder how he does this- won’t read a particular word, but will pop in a synonym in its place.

Their spelling is far worse than their reading. His spelling is atrocious. People with dyslexia usually have an “impoverished written product.” That means there is a huge difference between their ability to tell you something and their ability to write it down.

They go on to talk about directionality confusion. Most people know about people with dyslexia flipping d’s and b’s, p’s and q’s. But no one talks about not being able to read or understand a map. I used to make my living as a ship’s navigator. Reading maps was what I did best, and I couldn’t explain what a line of longitude was to my son, even when I was blue in the face and had turned one of his play balls into a round map with lines of latitude and longitude drawn all over it. It just did not compute.

People with dyslexia have extreme difficulty telling time on a clock with hands. I am finally fully appreciating that even though we go over what time it is, every   single    blinking     day, he still can’t tell what time it is on an analog clock.

People with dyslexia have an extremely difficult time organizing their belongings. They tend to pile things rather than to organize them and put them away. It is almost as though if they can’t see the item (if it is behind a door or in a drawer), they will forget where it is. So they have extremely messy bedrooms, lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, offices, and garages. Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!! We have hit another one right on the head. My son can’t keep track of anything. And my house constantly looks like a tornado just went through.

People with dyslexia are often gifted in math. Their three-dimensional visualization skills help them “see” math concepts more quickly and clearly than non-dyslexic people. Unfortunately, difficulties in directionality, rote memorization, reading, and sequencing can make the following math tasks so difficult that their math gifts are never discovered. I have seen some of this in my son- how he can look at a problem and see the answer right away. But the way math is taught these days, he has to write out each and every step in sentences, causing him frustration and defeat.

So, now that I see so clearly a constellation of traits that are my son, that are likely dyslexia, how can I teach him how to tie his shoes, or does he go through life wearing shoes that don’t tie? He’s made it 9+ years so far without tying his shoes. And will he ever be able to tell time on an analog clock? What will happen if he’s grown and needs to know the time, and has only analog clocks around at that moment? Will he ever learn to be organized enough to make it through life? Will he learn to read a map so he can get from point A to B? When he’s older will he be able to find that job interview and get there? on time?

And who, other than me has to figure this all out? To see the pieces of this puzzle child of mine. School certainly isn’t much help. Their resources are already tapped out. And it’s not their job to make sure all the kids can tie their shoes, or organize their desk or locker by the time they graduate high school.

Maybe there is a faint glimmer of hope. After all, there have been some pretty famous people who had dyslexia, like, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Benjamin Franklin.

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About mariner2mother

I'm a mother of a very spirited 14 year old son, and a former merchant ship's deck officer. To feed my creative side I take photos and make a very occasional batch of soap. I am also Reiki attuned and am a student of Energy Healing, having used several healing modalities to work on myself and my family.
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7 Responses to Why Do I Have To Be The Freaking Expert On Everything?

  1. well…let me once again remind you- Linear Time….will NO longer exist starting THIS YEAR-THIS MONTH…..we will see time “change”….so help your Mom mind relax….lolol….I know that you are concerned for Carson’s journey here at Earth School- I know that he faces challanges others do not- but remember…..WE ARE GOING TO CATCH UP TO CARSON and the other children like him. HE is PERFECT just the way he is and you bet ya that God has the RIGHT AND PERFECT people to BE IN his life to help him in ANY WAY he may need. Carson is a PERFECT SOURCE!!
    Such an Angelic Soul….so honestly…who gives a shit if he can’t tie his shoes- Einstein couldn’t tell time either!!!!…or do SIMPLE MATH equations and that really isn’t talked about because he was so brilliant with Quantum Math

    • Thanks for the reality check!! We have velcro and slip on shoes- LOL. The universe just sent me someone who I think will be a great help in our lives (see the blog entry after this one).
      You know how it is when you feel like it’s you against the world, fighting for your kid. Things are much better today. (I actually wrote this over a week ago, and let it sit).
      Love ya!

  2. Pingback: From Freak Out to Empowerment | Life Is A Journey… Not A Guided Tour

  3. Karen says:

    I have dyslexia also but mine manifests with numbers. How about that for a math teacher. It makes my job very challenging. I didn’t have trouble learning to read, however I had a terrible time with spelling and following spelling conventions when I was younger. I have always struggled with reading an analog clock. It took me a long time to learn and could do it when given enough time. When I was 16 I got a digital watch. After wearing it for about a year, I lost ground in being able to read an analog clock. It scared me enough that I decided that I better never wear a digital watch again or I would forget how to tell time on an analog clock. I still struggle to this day to tell time but I can do it.
    You might want to get him professionally diagnosed and then find a program that helps dyslexics.Good luck. Love you!

    • Thank you for chiming in. I think about you every time Little Man asks me what time it is and I go over with him for the thousandth time how to read the analog clock. You inspire me! And the post after this one tells about meeting a local dyslexia expert. She is going to help us a lot.

  4. When my son (who is 10) was 7, we went rounds with reading. He would excel at math and give us detailed science information, but reading was so difficult for him. Being a high school language arts teacher, I just couldn’t understand what was going on and I had no clue who to turn to about it. People kept telling us, “It will click” and “He will come along soon enough.” Finally, his teacher whispered to me that maybe he should get tested. And, voila! We found out that he had a form of dyslexia. Since then, we were better at finding strategies to help him. He also sees a tutor weekly, which has worked wonderfully. Go have him checked – it will give all of you peace of mind and ideas on where to go from here. My son is doing pretty well now with reading – and it is such a relief.

    • Thanks for chiming in. We have a diagnosis of dyslexia, but not a full blown evaluation. We have an appointment with a neuropsychologist to give us a very clear picture of what’s going on. Little Man’s dyslexia is complicated by visual and other processing differences. The difficulty will be waiting until the later part of May, when his appointment is. And we now know a wonderful tutor that we will be using.

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