Verbal Affects of Dyslexia
March 12, 2021
Being dyslexic, I have certain things I deal with daily, some are relatively well known like struggling reading unfamiliar words and remembering my left verses my right. There are also some unique challenges that few people are aware of are tied to being dyslexic, like how it can affect how someone speaks.
The best way I can explain what goes on in my brain when my dyslexia affects my communication is a mental hiccup. What some people are unaware of is that dyslexia is more complicated than just struggling with reading words. Dyslexia affects the area of the brain that processes language, so at times when I am speaking, I will say the wrong word because it sounds similar to the right word. I use vague words like thing and stuff because my brain cannot come up with more descriptive words. I often forget what I was saying in the middle of a conversation or forget a word. When that happens, I try to explain the word I want to say as best as I can, but it usually is not helpful to whomever I was speaking to. This can also happen while writing, which causes me to have to produce a new word or fight with myself to come up with the word.
This negatively affects my life every day. The last thing I want to do while I am in class is raise my hand and answer a question with complete confidence only to realize I used the wrong word because that is embarrassing. It is also extremely frustrating to be having a conversation and unable to say the word that is on the tip of your tongue. When this happens, it is not that I fail to remember the word it is that my brain fails to retrieve it. I feel trapped when this happens because I cannot move on with the conversation because I have failed to make my point. This often leaves me feeling frustrated and helpless.
There is a lot more to being dyslexic than most people realize. It is a constant learning experience for me as well. I have found myself googling things that I have experienced to learn if it is tied to being dyslexic. These mentals hiccups on top of everything else I experience is extremely frustrating, but it is a part of me, and I have learned to laugh at some of the things I do. Laughing is a way to take control of the situation. If I decide that what I did was funny, then others around me will laugh and it makes it less embarrassing and less frustrating.