What’s Dyslexia Got to Do With It?

Common Traits that Impact a Dyslexic's Day

It’s a common misconception that dyslexia only affects reading and writing, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye. As a dyslexic myself, chances are:

  • I forgot a person’s name right after I met them.
  • In multi-step directions, I forgot step two by the time I got half-way through step one.
  • An article I wrote for Red Square Pegs took me days or even weeks. I get distracted easily, and at times, organizing and getting thoughts from my head to paper can be very difficult and time consuming.
  • When I look up how to spell a word—I’ll forget the spelling by the time I click back to my email, text, or document.
  • Even with the use of google maps for directions, I will get lost.
  • Dealing with conflict, if I’ve had time to process, my response is eloquent with more precise word choices to clearly communicate my thought process—over-all making more sense. Otherwise at times my responses should come with some type of warning label.
  • Being put on the spot, receiving a lot of information at once, or what I call information overload, and when I’m tired or are dealing with emotional stressors my dyslexia shows up the loudest—impacting my communication, and how I show up to others or for others and myself.

Though difficulties in reading and writing are hallmarks of dyslexia, behind the scenes, there is so much more. People with dyslexia often have difficulties with working memory and other executive function skills, such as remembering and following directions, staying focused and engaged on tasks, planning, organization, time management, and regulating emotions. The truth is, dyslexia can impact everyday life in many ways. Some are loud and noticeable, while others are hidden—but they are equally impactful on a dyslexic’s day.

Dyslexics may experience difficulties in some or all of these in their daily life:

  • Multitasking
  • Starting and completing tasks
  • The ability to repeat something in the right order
  • Recalling words, phrases, names, and directions
  • Finding the right words to express self in high pressure situations
  • Pronouncing unfamiliar words
  • Words that sound similar
  • Speaking or reading out loud with confidence
  • Expressing ideas in an organized way
  • Simultaneously listening and taking notes
  • Feeling overwhelmed with a large amount information
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • React impulsively
  • Over-focus on the reactions of others

When it comes to these common and documented traits, Dyslexia has everything to do with it!

It’s true that all people can, and many do struggle, with things such as concentration, time management and organizational skills. Add dyslexia on top of that and it amplifies these struggles, making it a constant battle—requiring more effort to overcome.

As a dyslexic myself, I’ve experienced all of these known traits. Though not all at once or even on a daily basis—they show up, albeit inconsistently. But I’ve learned and experienced that by identifying areas of struggle, a person can start to understand the “why” behind it all, giving the opportunity for a pivot.

With even basic level knowledge, a person can properly equip themselves with tools and strategies—empowering them. This can influence how a person reacts, feels, prepares, or views themselves in situations where their dyslexia shows up—even at the most inconvenient of times.

Life is full of choices and each choice leads to a path. When it comes to the frustrating elements of dyslexia, I made the choice to pivot, choosing to flip the script by changing my story with dyslexia—grabbing the power of understanding and placing it in my hands gave options in how I navigate through the lifelong journey of dyslexia.

I am a dyslexic that graduated high school lacking essential reading and writing skills, but made up for it with grit, determination and the will to believe and keep going. I am a dyslexic that worked hard and didn’t give up. I am a dyslexic that didn’t make choices because they were the easy route. I made choices that I knew would be hard, but also understood they came with great reward. I painfully battled self-doubt, embarrassment and encountered people that were jerks, but I kept moving forward because I wanted better in my life—I wanted better for myself.

If you find yourself having negativity surrounding how your dyslexia shows up in your life, you can make the choice to pivot. Progress will come with consistency not perfection. Implementing strategies, finding and using the right tools to help you reach a whole new level, is all about consistency—which comes with practice, time and giving yourself grace when you need it most.

To learn more on how dyslexia impacts the common skills mentioned in this article, and discover strategies that help, download Red Square Pegs Dyslexic’s Guide to Understanding and Conquering Information Overload.

Red Square Pegs was established to empower dyslexics by embracing dyslexia through awareness and shared experiences and to be a symbol of acceptance, pride, and confidence.