Dyslexia, Yes I Have It

People look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I can’t read. When I say I can’t read, I’m being completely honest there. I truly cannot read. Then how did I make it this far in life? Why did I pass school? Did I cheat? Well…no, but I sure did struggle. Let me explain on my inability to read. If you give me a word I have never seen before, I can’t read it, I can’t pronounce it, I just sit there staring at it. When it comes to other words, like the ones I type in my blog here, the are words I have seen before and had to have people tell me. I memorize, I see the word and make someone say the word and that’s how I “read”. That’s the best way I can describe it to someone that doesn’t understand and have the disorder.

So how did I get though school? Well I’m not a complete idiot. I have this ability to remember the things said to me, it’s part of my memorizing. If the teacher actually “teaches” instead of saying “go home and read this” then I will learn it and probably won’t forget it, ever. Not many teachers did that and the further in school I got, the less they did it. Spelling tests…those were a damn nightmare! And just anything that required reading…it was horrible! School was the toughest thing I have ever done!

All this came about when I came across the following article. You can read it at this link or read below.

Dyslexia Workarounds: Creativity Without a Lot of Reading

Actor Henry Winkler was told he was stupid. A teacher labeled Dan Malloy, the future governor of Connecticut, “mentally retarded.” Delos Cosgrove recalls “hanging on by my fingernails” in high school and college before becoming a thoracic surgeon and the Cleveland Clinic’s chief executive officer.

Each has dyslexia, a condition that makes reading difficult but has little to do with intelligence. Mounting evidence shows that many people with dyslexia are highly creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, and neuroimaging studies demonstrate that their brains really do think differently.

That helps explain the long list of entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, actors and other professionals, doctors and lawyers who have excelled despite, or perhaps because of, their affliction, experts say.

“There are people who are dyslexic that you could never imagine,” says Sally Shaywitz, co-director, with her husband Bennett, of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. When they give talks on dyslexia at high-powered gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she says, “We can’t walk down the hall without people pulling us aside and saying they think they have it, too.”

Celebrities who have spoken out about having dyslexia:

  • Actors: Orlando Bloom, Whoopi Goldberg, Anthony Hopkins, Keira Knightley, Henry Winkler
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Lawyer: David Boies
  • Writers: John Irving, Wendy Wasserstein, Philip Schultz
  • Politicians: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy
  • Scientists: Nobel Laureate Carol Greider, Paleontologist Jack Horner
  • Historical figures believed to have had dyslexia: Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin

Source: WSJ reporting

The Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Cosgrove says he relied on memorizing texts in medical school, and reading hasn’t gotten easier for him. He says he has never read a novel and told his staff he’d rather hear about any problems in person than read a report.

But, he says, “I frankly think dyslexia is a gift. If you are supported in school and your ego remains intact, then you emerge with a strong work ethic and a different view of the world.”

As many as one in five Americans has some degree of dyslexia, according to Yale research, although only about 5% of children have been formally diagnosed. And it clearly runs in families; six gene variations have been linked to the condition to date. Dyslexia was long thought to be a vision-related problem, but there’s a growing consensus that dyslexics instead have difficulty associating letters with spoken sounds and blending them together fluidly to make words. Neuroimaging studies can even pinpoint what goes awry.

Reading typically involves three distinct areas of the brain, all on the left side. The parieto-temporal region, just behind the ear, and the inferior frontal gyrus, at the front, slowly analyze words. The occipital-temporal area farther back recognizes the whole word instantly. Scientists think a word’s meaning, pronunciation and spelling are stored there too.

Imaging studies show that the best readers have the most brain activity in the rear, instant-word-forming area when they read. Dyslexics have much less activity there and more in the two slower areas.

“Think of the word ‘bat,’ ” says Dr. Shaywitz. “If you are dyslexic, you have to retrieve the B and the A and the T separately each time. It’s exhausting.”

Dyslexia can’t be cured, but imaging studies show that some remedial programs that help children learn sequential sound-letter relationships can rewire those circuits. Without such help, dyslexics may become accurate readers, but they never read fluidly. They often have problems spelling, writing, reading aloud and pronouncing words.

That’s why experts urge schools to give students with dyslexia extra time on tests, waive foreign language requirements and grade separately for creativity and spelling. But many schools don’t, according to a federal report commissioned last year by the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus.

 Among dyslexics who succeed, Dr. Shaywitz says many “give up their social lives and everything else to spend more hours studying. They are very bright, but they are terribly anxious and think, ‘I’ve just been fooling everybody.’ “

Other children with dyslexia become discouraged early on and continue to fall further behind their peers, even if their IQs are high.

Helping them access information in ways other than reading can be critical, experts say. Audio books and computer programs that can turn written text into spoken words and vice versa can keep their minds stimulated and vocabulary growing.

Gov. Malloy credits his mother for believing in his potential and giving him a radio to listen to at night. Having to read slowly helped him master complicated issues as he went from a New York City prosecutor to mayor of Stamford, Conn. He was elected governor in 2010. But even now, he says, “I have to stop and call each word up and do the best I can.”

At auditions, Henry Winkler memorized scripts in advance or ad-libbed if he forgot. “Some people got upset that I wasn’t reading the words, but I told them I was giving them the essence of it,” says Mr. Winkler, who played Fonzie on TV’s long-running “Happy Days” and many other roles. He is the co-author of 23 books for children in the series “Hank Zipzer, The World’s Greatest Underachiever,” about a resourceful fourth-grader with dyslexia.

Jack Horner’s reading ability is so poor that he says he bought shampoo for dogs instead of people recently. He left high school in the 1960s with all Ds and flunked out of college.

Mr. Horner also made some of the most spectacular dinosaur finds in the Western hemisphere. He won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, has two honorary degrees, inspired a character in “Jurassic Park” and is curator of paleontology for the largest Tyrannosaurus rex collection in the world.

How did he do it? He took a low-level museum job and worked his way up. And as he tells his students at Montana State University: “If you’re the first to do something, you don’t have to read about it.”

Other people with dyslexia find that they thrive only outside the world of reading and writing. “Find what you love and enjoy it,” says Piper Otterbein, a high school senior from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, whose talk at a TEDYouth conference has become a YouTube sensation. After years of tutoring and remedial classes, she dropped English, math and French and has found her passion, and self-esteem, in art and design. “I decided my creative brain is the one that suits me best,” she says.

Many adults with dyslexia say life does get easier, even if their reading skills don’t. Secretaries, co-authors, book editors and spouses can take dictation, spell and proofread. “There are very few times when adults are judged on being timed in reading,” unlike the standardized tests kids take in school, says Tyler Lucas, a New York-based orthopedic surgeon who realized he was dyslexic after his daughter was diagnosed with it.

The proliferation of smartphones, video chats and other technologies may also make the future easier for people with dyslexia, he adds. “Reading is just one way of communicating—and in the future, I think it won’t be as important as in the past.”

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Easter Break

Did everyone have a good Easter holiday? I did…sort of. I was suppose to be off work, my first holiday off in years, but that didn’t happen. Naturally someone called off, go figure. Why someone that calls off all the damn time gets scheduled so much, and on a holiday of all things…well there’s a reason she’s called Chief Bitch! I guess it wasn’t so bad, because I only had to do the first half of the shift, then got to get on with my plans.

I told my parents I was working so I wouldn’t have to deal with either of them or their families. My plans were to cache with my man, which we still got to do, just a late start. Caching Gods were not good to me! I had a very unsuccessful day while my man was finding them all! Not normal, not normal at all. I still had fun though and got to spend some time with him, which is always wonderful! I spent today caching too! We had a lot more success! My man didn’t get to join but I got to meet some new cachers and hang out with the older group. They came my way, so that made it easy and fun. I finished up the more difficult ones around my house. I wish someone would pay me to travel the world and geocache, how fucking awesome would that be??

Before my caching adventure today, I called the Chief of the department I just interviewed at to explain about the ticket I forgot about. She was totally cool and understanding and said I wasn’t the only one. : ) How awesome is that? She was really really nice about it! Said letters are mailing out today and they should be to us by the end of the week. I’m still nervous! I was informed before my interview that I should be proud to make it this far. My old instructed was shocked to find out I have an interview because he said they never hire without 3-5 years experience and I have 1 month and 1 year exactly! I guess I should be proud, but I will be even more proud if I landed myself the job. Last week, after the interview, I wrote out a nice thank you card and mailed it to the Chief too. I hope that helps. I told her I was honored to interview with her and appreciated the time. She should have gotten it today at the very latest. Now I’m just trying to keep myself busy until that thing shows up!

This week is two days of Critical Care Paramedic, including a test I am suppose to be studying for, then next week is the FINAL!!!! Holy shit!!!! FINALS = Fuck I Never Actually Learned Shit : ) After that I hope to be back in the blogging world! I miss being here, reading your stories, and posting my own. So if I vanish for a while, I’m preparing. But I promise to post as soon as I get my letter. Have a great week all!

Frustrated, Confused, and SO Lost!

Well good evening my blogging friends. I’m exhausted to past the stage of being able to sleep. I’m hyped up and restless.

Critical care is kicking my ass!! Though we had an AMAZING teacher today!!! I feel really good about what he taught, it’s the other stuff I’m nervous about. I’m horrible with numbers, given my dyslexia, so lab values are kicking my ass! I’m just trying to study as much as I can but one can only take so much at a time.

I got home from class today to find out my mother didn’t pick up the dog food…yea, had no idea the dogs ran out YESTERDAY!! Ugh! Poor babies are hungry! Been living off the crumbs in the bag apparently! I’m pissed! And by the time I found out it was too late to go to the store. Bitch! Can’t get them fucking food, but she sure can go out drinking EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! Yes, EVERY night this week and for many before! I fucking hate her! I scraped up some treats, cooked some meat, then caved and stole dog food from my dad’s house. They are eating…that’s all that matters. I hope the bitch goes tomorrow to pick them up food. If not, well I’d rather starve myself, so they will eat and I won’t. It’s $58 I don’t have, because she feeds them the expensive stuff, so I guess for a week or more I will just deal with what ever scraps I can find. I’ve been living off noodles, stale bread, and old soup for a few weeks now. I’m used to it.

Other than that, life is just…normal. Hell job sucks, people suck, school is going good…ish, and I’m just getting through it day one at a time. For now…sleep before another full day of studying…and maybe a break or a few for some Xbox, aka stress relief, time.

Good night all!

Bitch Strikes Again

I’m pissed! How’s that for a start?!

I’m suppose to take my first test tomorrow for this nightmare class and once again my fucking mother has to fuck my life up!! I’m sick of this shit!! She fucking knows I have a test! She has been going on lately about how I need to pay rent, which I’m not paying right now. Let’s discuss why this pisses me off.

Número Uno – The bitch goes out drinking EVERY night! Yes! Every fucking night! Then bitches about how she “has no money” and I should be paying her rent money. I don’t fucking think so! I’m not supporting your drunk ass fucking habit! Don’t have any money? Quit fucking drinking!!! Duh!

Number Two – Her fucking comment tonight of, “it’s the least you can do since you don’t do anything else around her” is getting her no where! I don’t do anything else?!?! I work 5 fucking jobs AND go to school! Are you fucking serious?! I’m NEVER here! And when I am I’m stuck cleaning up after her and her drunk ass friends!! I get no sleep before work because they are up yelling and partying! I clean up after myself AND her! But I “don’t do anything”…bitch needs to learn some appreciation!!

Number Three – She’s a dirty, sneaky, lying ass bitch! Right after the divorce she was seeing someone, I don’t give a fuck if she saw him before. What pisses me the fuck off is I overheard the conversation then she told everyone to shut up right to my face so I wouldn’t know! Fucking hoe! You told the WHOLE FUCKING FAMILY about the divorce 6 MONTHS before you told your own children! Now it’s top fucking secret too that you are dating?!?

Number Four – Even if I wanted to pay rent, I can’t! I wasn’t expecting Chief Bitch to give me zero hours yet again! I can’t afford gas, food, or the shit I need for school. Your fucking rent check can wait!

Number Five – You don’t even know my fucking age you fucking drunk! Thanks for making me 2 years older than I am…I appreciate that. But if you’re excuse to make me pay rent is my age…well the least you can fucking do is get my age right! You don’t even know me! You don’t know a fucking thing about me!

I’d rather live on the streets than pay your bitch ass self a fucking dime! So fuck you! You’re getting ZERO money from me! And go ahead, try to take it out of my savings account, it won’t get you far! You see bitch, after I realize you stole $7,000 or more from me during my childhood, all that birthday money and paychecks never made it there, I emptied what was left and opened my own account! So fuck you!

Gun Control…NOT the Solution!

I know this will piss people off and I don’t care!

I have seen SO many posts about “Ban guns! They kill people!” “The NRA is the problem!”

You know what…forks make people fucking fat! Are you going to ban those?!

Knives kill people! Are you going to ban those?!

Bombs kill people! Are you going to ban those?!

Airplanes kill people! Are you going to ban those?!

Cars kill people! Are you going to ban those?!

Motorcycles kill people! Are you going to ban those?!

Stupidity kills people! Do you plan to ban that?!

Did you know there was another school incident yesterday? Where innocent school children where seriously injured? No? Well look it up, China has had an out break of stabbings in schools and it happened again yesterday…there were no guns involved. Not a single gun was involved and innocent children were hurt! You going to say knives need to be banned?!

You take away the guns from the law abiding citizens it just makes them sitting ducks for the criminals who will ALWAYS find a way to have guns. Guns are like drugs, here to stay, weather they are legal or not, and there is no removing them. You tell citizens they have to turn their guns in, no more guns, you think the criminals are going to do the same??? If you said yes…well I’m sorry, but you’re too fucking stupid to be here so please stop reading now! Criminals will ALWAYS have guns! Just like there will ALWAYS be drugs!! Making something illegal does not make it go away!

So your solution is to take away the guns? Fine, now what, they find bombs? Fly airplanes into buildings? People that want to kill and harm will always find a way to do so! Take away my right to protect myself and those around me…yes that will stop the crime! Chicago has one the highest gun crime rates in the country and it is ILLEGAL to carry a gun on you, whether open carry or conceal and carry…it is ILLEGAL! And it has NOT stopped gun crimes because the criminals know that people are not allowed to protect themselves…this makes them an easy target. So you want to do what Chicago has done? Ban conceal and carry across the country…that is a great idea…let’s watch the crime rates jump even high! For a while Chicago had a law that made handguns illegal, guess what…they held the record for the most handgun crimes at the time. Handguns were illegal to own, illegal to possess, but yet they had the highest rate of crime involving them…so let’s ban guns, lets make them illegal, that will solve all the problems…you’re a fucking idiot!

I am very comfortable going into a city, or just being around my town, because I have done the proper paperwork, I have taken the class, and I have to license to protect myself and those around me. I am not scared, because I know I can defend myself. I can protect myself because I have the right to carry my weapon! I have the ability to not be another statistic. I refuse to be an easy target, I refuse to be that “sitting duck”. Take away my gun and you make me an easy statistic, you make me an easy target because criminals will ALWAYS have guns! Just like they always have these drugs that are “illegal” too.

The problem isn’t gun control, we don’t need more of that. We need more information, more prevention, more education. Just because one person made a mistake does NOT mean every single LEGAL gun owner out there will do the same.

And for the record…the deadliest school murder in the US was not from guns…it was from a bomb. Look it up. Columbine was not the deadliest school murder…

Messed Up World!

Thoughts and prays with the people effected by the Newtown, Connecticut shooting today. May God be with you.

With that said…what the fuck is wrong with people?!?!?! A fucking elementary school you heartless bastard?!?! 20 children dead and 6 adults are rumored. I hope you fucking suffer!!

And we do not need “gun control” and guns taken away because those jackass can still get them! Take the guns away from legal to own them citizens and you just make us sitting ducks! Criminals will always be able to get them!!!

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Students

I’m not sure what the deal is, but for some reason I always end up with the lazy students. When I say lazy, I mean not only will they not help with chores, they won’t do anything on the calls and I had one student downright refuse to call the hospital. “I don’t like calling in reports.” My response? Get over it! I’m sorry, but you’re about to test for your medic license. What are you going to do when you become a paramedic and are the only one in the back, just not call the hospital?? Negative!

If her goal was to become an “ambulance driver” (as some people refer to us), then going for a medic license failed her in that goal. Believe it or not, there are some departments (boarding one of my jobs) that hire “ambulance drivers.” You require zero medical training for this position, not even a first responder license, you strictly drive the truck. What fun…not! However we do have an employee at one of my job that wants to do just that, drive the ambulance only, I should refer her. She’s horrible with her EMT skills and just applied for medic school. I’m sorry, if you’re EMT skills are that shitty, you’re really going to be a horrible medic.

I was one of the rare students in my paramedic class that actually has a job in the field and had for a while. In fact, only 2 other people in my paramedic class worked/or ever have worked on an ambulance, and I can tell you…it showed! It showed in class, it showed during clinicals, it showed on the ride time…it was horrible. Too many students go straight through and too many schools let them.

Once class was over and we all finally managed to get our license, only 4 of us have jobs. Out of those 4, ONE got a job after medic school with zero ambulance experience. 16 of us completed class and 4 have jobs. The other students are complaining they can’t get/find a job and won’t listen to me when I tell them it’s because they went straight through class.

Back to being a student, I don’t know about anyone else out there but we weren’t allowed computers, no sitting down, no couches or recliners, and you ALWAYS helped with chores. When there was down time, you spent it studying not playing computer games. Schools have rules of what you can/can’t do and I know these kids would be in real trouble if their teacher showed up but it’s more than that. It’s about being respectful and doing the right thing. Are people not taught that these days?