Confessions of an Undiagnosed Learning Disability

I have had trouble articulating how I feel into words for as long as I can remember being able to write. I struggle with spelling and grammar. I just can’t remember the order in which letters go in unless I write them out a million times and even then, I am just remembering the pattern in which I spell out the letters. It comes from what is likely an undiagnosed dyslexia and dysgraphia. Trust me when I say that 90% of the words I write often have a little red line under them.

For a long time, I was embarrassed to show anyone my writing because of my fear of them discovering my flaw. I was actually ashamed of it. Everyone else I knew what so much better at grammar and spelling that it made me feel like I was somehow defective. Don’t even get me started on reading aloud or mathematics. If my ability to write was bad, you should have seen my math scores or listen to me try to recite poetry. I distinctly remember a time in high school when I was asked to read Shakespeare aloud and it was a train wreck. Hard to believe that I was any good at choir because I had a hell of a time remembering lyrics. The tune was easy but the lyrics would always get messed up. Somehow, I managed to ace music but barely pass subjects like math and English. I have been resistant to improving my basic grammar and math skills but I decided that it was time to change that.

I have enrolled in the adult basic education program at the Okanagan College for the summer sessions. I am just waiting on hearing back from the school to get more details. Last year, the government declared that all adult education classes are now free. There are a few things that I would like to re-learn: English Grammar, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. I fully intend to get a better understanding of all of them.

Why am I doing this? For one, I am bored. For two, I don’t have enough saved up for collage yet. I have also been out of the school game for almost ten years now and I have a feeling I need to remember how to be a student again. I figure, it can’t hurt to improve my knowledge of the foundations of education. If I do return to university to pursue further education, I want to know that I am at the top of my game again.

In preparation for this, I am looking into seeking assistance for how to strength the visual and kinetic skills I need to cope with my dyslexia and dysgraphia. I took a little online test from the point of view of a parent who has concerns about their child’s apparent learning disability. I was brutally honest about the answers to the survey about my experiences from both childhood and symptoms I still suffer from today. In doing so, I was able to find some clarity about what I have been struggling with for the last thirty years. I have noticed that there are not a lot of resources out there for adults learning to cope with dyslexia and dysgraphia, so if you know of a resource, I would appreciate the help.

Clara D. Munro

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