The wider world tends to view dyslexia as strictly something for kids, involving word reversals and reading comprehension problems.
|Baking & cooking can be challenging.|
In reality, dyslexia doesn’t go away when a child’s 18th birthday rolls around. Dyslexia is with us for life.
It gives us a unique way of looking at the world, innovating problem solving skills and a range of valuable insights our non-dyslexic peers wouldn’t get without us.
It’s More Than Text
On the other hand, we don’t just struggle with words. It doesn’t effect everyone in the same way, but these are a few dyslexia related issues I face every day.
- Organizational problems – I’m line-of-sight oriented. If it’s not in the open, I probably won’t find it.
- Time management issues – It’s hard to estimate how long it’ll take me to do things.
- Right/Left differentiation – They’re the same to me, unless I take the time to think about it. It also makes unmarked “hot” and “cold” handles on sinks tricky.
- Measurements – This applies to cooking/baking and some household chores that involve a knowledge of how much space is involved.
- Easily overwhelmed – The combination of these, and other things I can’t think of off the top of my head, means I get overwhelmed easily.
The best way I’ve found to deal with all of these issues is to create routines specific to each task. I’ll use baking for example, since I’ve been doing a fair amount of that lately.
|This is when I made the muffins pictured at the beginning. It spurred this bit of silliness.|
Before even starting, I go through the ingredient list for the recipe and put each thing on the counter. Then, since you mix dry and wet ingredients separately before combining them, I divide the ingredients accordingly.
Then, I take out the measuring utensils, set them aside, and finally everything else I need for the recipe, like mixing bowls, baking sheets, etc.
Instead of keeping them in the same place, as everyone else I’ve baked with seems to do, I set up little mini-stations, so I won’t risk confusing myself by grabbing the wrong thing as I follow the recipe instructions.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it pays off for me. I actually end up saving time by not over stressing my brain while doing an otherwise simple task.
Of course, this particular method of organization doesn’t work for everyone, but it does for me.
A lot of dyslexics I’ve spoken to have similar routines for certain tasks, as well.
Dyslexia goes far beyond words on a page, and lingers long past the school years. That’s not a bad thing. It just means our lives are a bit different than our neurotypical friends.