In elementary school I thought that I was just slow and stupid and could not read. No matter how hard I would try to read it would be very difficult. I was always in the lower reading level groups. Whenever popcorn reading would happen in class I dreaded it and would always try to read ahead because I know I would mess it up if I did not. Then the teacher would ask the class a question. I would be terrified that my teacher would call on me because I was not paying attention to the class reading. I was paying attention to the words that were in the paragraphs coming up. I knew I would stutter if I were to read. I dreaded hearing my name called because I knew there was no way to get out of it. Middle school came and the same thing. But however in middle school I was put in special classes that would be based on reading and understanding. I dreaded these classes. Everyone saw me as the smart girl because I took honors classes, AP classes and I was an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate. I had A’s and B’s in class, I never got in trouble for anything, and I have never been to the principles office or even late to class. But I was the smart girl in the slower pace classes. I hated every minute of it because I did not understand why I was in these classes. I was never given a diagnosis on why I could not read, I just thought honestly I was stupid. I hated reading and every time I would read I would dread it. In my freshman year of high school I was talking to my english teacher and he asked me if I was dyslexic. I told him no I just can not read and am stupid.
When read I move words around and switch words or just add words that are not even on the page. I also did not realize until I asked my mom who is a first grade teacher, why everyone reads so fast? She told me that everyone reads in chunks of words. I was confused, chunks of words? What do you mean? She went on to tell me that everyone reads groups of words and they do not read one word at a time unless they are learning to read. Ummm… that can not be right because I read word for word. I never told anyone because I just thought that everyone read word for word. That is when I realized that I am not stupid I just have to learn how to chunk my words when I read. Let’s just say I still do not chuck words. I still read word for word.
Junior year of high school I was finally tested to see if I was dyslexic. Turns out that in my junior year of high school I was reading at a fourth grade level. Which now made since why I spent hours and hours of time on homework just doing the readings. I was reading college level material while only reading at a fourth grade reading level. I finally realized that this was the answer that I needed. I was not stupid I was dyslexic. At first I was embarrassed to tell anyone that I am dyslexic because I though that they would see me differently. During the summer before my senior year I worked very hard in this program that helped retrain the brain. I was told that I was left brained. My letters and sounds were not coming together as one and I needed to transfer the sounds and letters to the right side of my brain in order for me to read. If i am being completely honest I did not think that this would actually work and I dreaded going to my classes. They were two to three times a week for a half an hour. Plus for every class I had it was an hour of homework. It was all one on one but everyone else that was there for classes were little kids and I was 17 at the time. I was so embarrassed. But in just one year I went from a fourth grade reading level to a second semester junior reading level. I jumped seven years of reading in just one year. I could not believe it. When I went back to school my senior year of high school, my readings that use to take me hours and hours now only took any where from thirty minutes to an hour to complete. I thought it was crazy now I have all this free time to do what I want to do. And I loved it. I told my self from then on out that I was not going to let dyslexia define me and what I want to do.
If you are reading this and you see errors in my grammar or words out of place that is why. I am not perfect in any way, my dyslexia still will never be fully gone. I am still trying to understand the rules of english which is sad to admit but it is true. When I should have been learning grammar and understanding how the english language works I was just trying to figure out the words and how I can get through understanding the pronunciation of the words or just the definition of the words. Just know if you are dyslexic you are not alone. It is always going to be an up hill battle but you are very strong and can get through it.