sounds like there is more to understand than meets the eye about your character
That is definitely true, Saskia. Thanks for the feedback.
Also, love your name. Saski is a character in my wife’s upcoming Space Opera, and one of my favorites.
I don’t know if she’ll make it into Book 1, but she’s definitely a beloved character whenever she does enter. 🙂
Dyslexia is not about left/right reversal. It is not about seeing things backwards, and no special font has been shown to help by clinical testing. I can not stress enough it is NOT about seeing things backwards. Fonts will NOT help. Weighting the letters “down” as these fonts do assumes that “down” matters. “Down” does not matter in this case. This image is closer (but still not really right):
The brain tries to make sense of the jumbled mess and maps it to things it thinks it understands so it takes that jumble and says that all of these variations are the same:
(and more, but we only have 2 dimensions to play with here)
Dyslexias think differently, they think more in images than words. It really is hard to explain. Try explaining to a fish what AIR feels like and you will start to get the idea.
Dyslexia is not strictly a disability, though it hampers learning in the same way that “normal” children do. It is a different way of perceiving the world that has advantages but they are lost because we want all the fish to swim in a perfect group when in school instead of embracing that there are other ways to learn. Anyone with Dyslexia can learn to read/write the same way as others, but will always be hampered by it when they try to conform. It is not curable, you only learn coping mechanisms.
Dyslexias usually have more vivid imaginations and normally see things from angles now one else does. They normally have much easier time reading books with spelling issues or typos because they do not see them. From a recent study:
“Gadi Geiger and his colleagues at MIT found that people with dyslexia can distribute their attention far more broadly than do typical readers, successfully identifying letters flashed simultaneously in the center and the periphery for spacings that were much further apart. They also showed that such advantages are not just for things that are visual, but that they apply to sounds as well. In one study, simulating the sounds of a cocktail party, they found that people with dyslexia were able to pick out more words spoken by voices widely-distributed in the room, compared with people who were proficient readers.” (credit: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-advantages-of-dyslexia/)
Source: Lived with it for my entire life. Thanks to spell check you can probably read this post just fine though. 🙂
Anyways, hope that helps!
Thanks so much for the reply Vincent.
Interestingly, my survey has shown that several people with Dyslexia DO claim to have trouble mixing up left and right, and many have said that particular fonts DO help, though most have said that it’s more about familiar fonts and avoiding funkier fonts that misshape letters to less common variations.
I really appreciate the information about the advantages of dyslexia. I have a lot of work ahead of me to keep this all in mind while writing my MC. She’s definitely going to make use of that audio tip you gave me. I definitely want to portray the dyslexic character in a positive light. 🙂
Thanks so much for replying!
Oh, sorry, I did not mean to say that we do not mix up left and right at all, I meant to say that is so much more than that. If I take off my wedding ring, I have no idea which is my left hand. 🙂
Oh well that makes sense. 🙂 And thanks for clarifying. I really want to represent the character well. Dyslexia isn’t the first thing on the list of traits she’d espouse to people. She really mostly just deals with it and doesn’t bring it up unless it comes up on its own. That’s part of what I want to do here, but I also want to write realistic challenges and advantages into her ability to cope here.
One scene I wrote recently had someone ask her to count heads in a room. She lost count and asked why they asked the Dyslexic person to count the heads. Ironically in this part, she wasn’t really having a problem due to Dyslexia, she just wanted an out and used the general ignorance of what Dyslexia is to her advantage for once. hah 🙂
She’s the type to make jokes anyway, so basically saying “Why would you ask a Dyslexic person to count heads?” is really just her being snarky because of the fallacy involved, but she’s also the type who makes jokes regardless of whether other people will get them or find it funny. This kind of thing I know will not *land* on some people because some people will think that just means *I* don’t know my facts on it, but I’m hoping if I show enough to the contrary in her otherwise then the audience will get that *she* is joking there about the fallacy and not think I just don’t know what I’m talking about. 🙂
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