/ Blogging

Dysphoneidesia

I remember when I was really young and I was sitting on the couch watching the 5 AM cartoons. There was a particular cartoon that was on that had heroes that were going around saving the day. They came across a kid that was on a pier and he was crying. They talked to the kid and found out he had problems reading. These super heroes explained what made it so hard for this kid to read and showed examples of what commonly occurs. While I was watching them describe what was the issue, I remember thinking to myself "That happens to me sometimes too.". What they ended up describing was Dyslexia.

I don't have straight up dyslexia; instead I have a subtype of it called Dysphoneidesia. Dysphoneidesia is a learning disability. It primarily has to do with me looking at a board, understanding what is written and trying to write it down myself and remembering. It affects reading, memory as well as visual motor functionality.

I am not writing this post for sympathy or pity or anything like that. I mostly wanted to share what my experiences have been growing up and what I normally deal with today.

Throughout my life I feel like I have struggled with trying to learn things. English and math were probably the hardest things for me to learn precollege. I still struggle with trying to properly format this language. The best part is when I will commonly mix up the letters p with b or q or d. I have noticed that it changes throughout the years, for a while I had issues with mixing up numbers of 9 or 6. The strangest thing about it is that I can see what I am going to write/type in my mind and then when I actually go to write/type it, it comes out as a different letter. Maybe muscle memory but it seems too consistent.

One thing too that people might not understand is that dyslexia isn't a permanent kind of thing. What I mean is, if I read a word and I see WorP the next time I see it, it will be fine Word. I am not always seeing letters being flipped all the time. Refer to the gif below.

In school it always took me just a little bit longer to write down notes. I have never been a very fast note taker. Especially when I had to erase things and I felt like I would look at the board, look down at the paper and forget what I was just looking at. I would look back up at the board and only write down 1 math variable down at a time.

I had an interesting teacher in school that asked us one day in class what our thoughts looked like. How did we imagine our thoughts? How do you remember things? Various people in the class would say things like sound, light flashes, images, or nothing. I was one of the people that would say images. I can remember a person by their face but I struggle with their names. I will find my self more describing a person to someone hoping that they will tell me their name when telling a story about something that may have happened to someone they knew.

Reading was always something that I didn't mind doing too much but found it hard to get anywhere in larger books and understand it. I can still remember the countless book reports that I had to write and sitting down at the computer not really understanding what happened in the book. I know I read it, but I didn't understand a lot of the plot. Most of the Harry Potter books I ended up listening on tape. (Yeah right? I know what a cassette is.) Probably the most interesting part is that reading a book and then listening to it on tape; it seemed like and entirely different story. Certain details in the story were completely missed.

My reading comprehension is pretty crappy. I am currently reading a book and I was asked by a fellow coworker what certain details were about the book. Wife's name, narrator's job title stuff like that. I wasn't able to say. I have been more focused on the main character and what he has been up to. Lately the context has switched over to some cops that just found the scene. I can describe what is happening but as for who is there and what their names are. Ha, yeah no. I can definitely tell you what their roles are and what they have been doing.

So most of the time when I sit down to read a book I start to get anxious because I feel like I could be reading other things and be learning about more important stuff than fictional characters.

I have never tried to seek out any professional help/advice on this; if there is any at all. The only thing I could think of is doing to improve is reading, memory and comprehension exercises. However I haven't really thought about it being limiting or anything like that. Although thinking about it now, it kind of has been.

I haven't noticed much if it has affected me while coding. I am sure in some sense, reading function names and long concatenated strings would slow me down. I know there have been a few times that I have confused a spelling or reading the word and mistaking it for some other word. As for actually coding I haven't noticed it affecting me. It might be but it isn't as apparent. I am sure learning new things would be inhibited in some fashion.

So that's it, I have a brain that tries to be overly helpful. What about you? It seems there is a pattern in the computer science realm of people having some kind of disability. Do you have something that you deal with every day?