HomedyslexiaEvery Day Experiences With Dyslexia

So, part of what gets missed in the perception of the whole LD experience is that it doesn’t go away when you get out of school. I intend to write an entry up about the struggles we face in the workforce and the “to tell or not to tell” dilemma in the near future, but for now, I feel like writing about something a little more light hearted.

These are every day things that happen to me as a result of my dyslexia.
Hot and Cold Water Faucets
Little colored dots help a little, at least.
By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia
While I was trying to avoid either singing myself or freezing myself out of the shower this morning, I struggled with remembering which faucet is hot and which is cold. That tends to happen every time I need to do something with water. Although I know one knob is hot and one is cold, I swear they keep switching on me.
It happens with dishes, washing my hands and hand washing clothing, and it drives me nuts.
Then I realized that none of our faucets have any obvious markers on them. (Insert face palm here.) When I think about it, when the knobs have a big red H and a big blue C, the problem isn’t that bad.
Maybe I can make decals that say, “I’m HOT! Turn me on!” and “I’ll cool you down. Turn ME on.”
That was funnier in my head.
I tend to rely more on landmarks than street names and numbers to get around. However, in places like hotels, that’s a little harder to do. Why? The hallways and doors all look the same.
Sure, there are signs, but they don’t help when the arrow looks like it’s going in the wrong direction, or the numbers get screwed up. I’ve gone wandering so many times because of that.
It has given me some entertainment, though. Last year, I went to a local Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention and dressed up as a Red Shirt from Star Trek.
My somewhat less than professional rendition of how
useful directional signs can be for me.
There were also Star Wars fans staying in the same hotel, who had dressed up as Jedis. As I was trying to figure out where I was, and keeping an eye out for Gorns and bulls (people in red shirts don’t fair well in Star Trek), I happened to run across a few Jedis.
We stopped.
We glared at each other.
“TREKKIE,” the Jedi grated out.
“JEDI,” I returned in kind.
We then nodded at each other, smirked and went on our ways.
Eventually, I found my way back to the room WITHOUT Jedi mind tricks, thank you very much.
Grabbing the Wrong Thing
I’m sure plenty of neurotypical people do this, too, but I tend to reach for one thing on a shelf, and grab the wrong one instead. So long as the thing you grabbed doesn’t pull anything else down on you with it, this isn’t a huge deal until you reach the checkout or start using it.
Horseradish tastes nothing like ketchup. Just saying.
Sure, it’s polish, but is it
Neil from wikipedia
[GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
Getting stuck on the wrong meaning of similar sounding or looking words still happens, even when you can generally overcome that difficulty. It’s one of those things that just sort of pops up at the most random times.
A Polish person can polish their shoes with polish, but polish can’t Polish those shoes with Poland. That’s just silly.
Left From Right
Yeah, I still have this problem. I don’t instinctively know which way to turn when someone tells me to go either way.
I love my husband, and I enjoy expressing that affection, but part of the reason I wear my wedding band all the time is to remind myself of which side is left.
I wonder how many people have wondered why I start fiddling with the ring every time left and right sides come up.
Does anyone else have similar stories to share? As frustrating as living with a learning disability is, there’s no reason not to have a little fun with it sometimes.


Every Day Experiences With Dyslexia — 7 Comments

  1. I'm dyslexic and I can't tell left from right too! When I was young I had a callus on my right thumb and I would feel both thumbs when I had to tell left from right. Sadly the callus has disappeared but I still instinctively feel my thumbs whenever I have to tell left from right

  2. Glad I'm not alone!

    I can understand that lost feeling. A few years ago, I had an accident at the job I was working, in which a shelf fell on my left hand.

    It landed in such a way that the ring was able to deflect it enough to prevent injury, but the gold was bent badly. I ended up sending it off to a jeweler's to get fixed, but for those two weeks I was SO lost!

  3. I have dyscalculia but I frequently grab the wrong item out of a group of items – its like my vision flip flops when my hand gets close to the item and my brain thinks I grabbed the correct item but later I discover its the wrong item 🙁

  4. That's the exact same thing that happens with me. I think dyslexia and dyscalculia probably have similar mechanisms that cause those types of frustrating incidents.

    The worst is when it happens in stores! Suddenly you get to the check out and you have no idea of why you have what you do.

  5. Just read your entry, and I really liked it! I can understand the whole wanting to deny it thing, and I think most folks with dyslexia can, too.

    Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

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