How Dyslexia impacts on my writing and my confidence.

Most of what I write on this blog tends to be about autism, but I wanted to take the time to talk a bit about my dyslexia, and how it impacts on my work. I have written about having dyslexia in the past, but to tell the truth it’s not something I think about all that often. I get so caught up with my autism, and how that impacts on my day to day life that I tend to forget that I am dyslexic and dyspraxic too. However, at times I cannot help but think about it. When I work I am keenly aware of my dyslexia, and how much it slows me down and frustrates me.

My work is my writing; I write blogs, and articles about autism and disability in general, and, as yet unpublished, short stories and novels. I have co-written and published two autism books as well as writing my own autism-related book, and had that published last year. Like everyone who writes I go through times in my life where it is hard to write, and where I don’t get much work done at all. But most days I write something, and that has been the case for over ten years now, and yet I can’t spell or hand-write. If I were to be tested I don’t know what level my spelling would be at, but I know it would be poor. There are very few words I can actually spell right first time, and when it comes to spelling out loud that number goes down even more. When I type most of the words I get right I do so without thinking; my fingers just hit the keys. If I had to tell you out loud how to spell half the words I do manage to get right, I would not have a clue.

It will be hard for a reader to fully understand quite how bad my spelling is; by the time you read this blog it will have been spell-checked and edited by my Mum, so most if not all of the spelling or grammar mistakes will be gone. I could publish a blog without any spell-check or editing for you to get a full idea of what I mean, but I don’t think you would be able to read it. A lot of the time the inbuilt spell-checker does not even know what I am trying to type. It changes the word to what it thinks it is meant to be; sometimes to a word that is so close to being right that I don’t even notice it`s wrong until someone points it out – other times to seemingly random words. When this happens I have to resort to googling a word (as Google seems to have more luck working out what I am trying to say) and pasting it in to whatever it is I am writing.

My spelling has always been poor, and I am sure anyone who is dyslexic knows that feeling of frustration when you try over and over again to spell a word without getting any closer. But there is an added level of frustration when it impacts on what I do for fun, and my work. I write at a much slower pace than I would if I did not have to worry about my spelling, but its more than that – it’s the lack of confidence in my own work. A lot of the time I do not even feel like I can put a tweet out there without having someone else check it first to make sure I haven`t spelt everything wrong. I can’t ever see myself feeling confident enough to write a blog and publish it without having my Mum, or someone else check it over first. When writing is what you do it can be unbelievably frustrating to know that you are reliant on someone else to make even the most basic of your work understandable. I am a published author, and yet I do not even feel confident to send out a tweet on my own. As for making notes or hand-writing anything, there is next to no point in me even trying to do this anymore. I cannot even read my own handwriting! I have to type and I can type quite fast, so things now are a lot better than they were a few years ago, but there is still this underlying feeling of frustration at my poor spelling.

I don’t want this blog to be full of self-pity, but I felt that I needed to point out how much extra work myself, and fellow dyslexic writers have to put in to get our work ready to be read. There is a part of me which thinks that even with some of the difficulties that come with my autism, it’s my dyslexia that gets me down the most. That’s what makes it hard for me to do what I love, and that’s a huge part of what makes me so reliant on other people when it comes to my work. And even though I have gotten so used to it I might not think of it much, it’s the effects of my dyslexia that keep impacting on me day to day.

I don’t have any practical advice to leave you with in this blog as it was intended more as a way for me to vent some frustration, and explain how hard writing these blogs can be. But I might try and put together a list of tips and things that have helped me over the years, as well as things I might try in the future, and post that at some point.

You can find my new book: http://www.jkp.com/uk/communicating-better-with-people-on-the-autism-spectrum-34253.html

If you need any more help or advice about Asperger`s/Autism or simply want to talk about it check out our free help and advice service ASK-PERGERS?

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Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ASKPERGERS?ref=hl

And have a look at our books (at the time published under pseudonyms, but we did write them trust us on that!)  http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/author/1762

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6 thoughts on “How Dyslexia impacts on my writing and my confidence.

  1. Yes – I have often thought that so many things are harder for my son than for me (we are both on the spectrum) because of his learning differences. So far, i know how to celebrate our aspergers but only how to “help with” – like your mother – the learning differences, such as dysgraphia.
    Thanks and love and keep up the GOOD, USEFUL work!
    Full Spectrum Mama

    1. Thanks! I know a lot of people with Dyslexia do see a positive side to it. But I have never thought about it enough to work out what it is. I will need to think about it a bit.

  2. I agree! It’s the lack of trust in one’s output that is so inhibiting. Not being able to rattle things off, write notes with nonchalance, jot things down and not care if someone is watching. There is a level of shame and a loud internal dialogue that cuts across a spontaneous tweet or email. I am conditioned to punctuate texts ffs!

    1. Exactly! I forget so much because I can not note it down or if I do I cant read the notes latter on. Also those moments when someone in class or work asks you to ” Just type something up me.” and I am just sat there with out a clue what keys to press.

  3. I personally believe that dyslexia is a gift! I would never change having it. We are creative, talented, have great people skills, have a great way of expressing ourselves and come up with ideas that others find difficult or simply never come up with. Some of the most successful people are dyslexic. It is harder doing tasks such as writing, spelling and grammar, but we have computers to fix this now. No computer software will come up with original ideas though. Some days can seem more dyslexic than others, but that’s okay. I struggled in school through the late 80’s and all of the 90’s, yet I went on to do a bachelor of science with hons in psychology, a masters of science in psychology and I now work for a university. I sometimes take seminars and speak at lectures about dyslexia and what it’s like to go through school with it. You can make dyslexia work for you. It doesn’t need to hold you back. I love this video about dyslexia and how it goes through all the inspiring people who have done great things because of being dyslexic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7OlxL9iUeI

    1. Hi thanks for the comment. I hope I did not come of as being to down about dyslexia, I am autistic to and see my autism as being both positive and negative but would not change it at all. As I say I have never thought much about my dyslexia but now after posting this blog I am reading more and more about it and learning how it has been impacting on my life both in bad ways but also as you say in positive ways. Its all helping me to get more understanding of it and see it for what it is both negative and positive. Thanks again for the comment and the link. 🙂

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