A Daily Life: What is Daily Life With Dyslexia Like?

In The Morning

Imagine waking up disorientated, unable to decide whether to first shower, get dressed, pack your bag for school or have breakfast. Instead you walk round in circles for 10 minutes daydreaming of the day’s activities. Showering and dressing is laborious and takes much longer than it should. You gather, sort, reorganize and pack your books and papers that are scattered all over the flat. You have no time to clean the kitchen and table which are left in a mess after breakfast.

Leaving Home

Leaving home you close the front door, but moments later, find yourself reopening it to pick up your mobile phone that was left charging the night before. Running late you leave in a panic, racing down the stairs nearly tripping over your shoe laces left half untied. Instead of waiting at the bus stop directly outside your home, you decide to take a short-cut through the forest to the metro station. On the way you lose a sense of direction and temporarily become lost. At the station’s ticket barrier your metro ticket is not in the usual front pocket of your jacket. Panic sets in as you have no recollection of where it is. After searching through all the pockets of your trousers you eventually find it in the inner-pocket of your jacket. You arrive at school late.

At School

In the first science lesson there was no understanding of the concepts taught as total concentration was on copying down the notes from the blackboard fast enough before the teacher rubbed them off. In the second lesson you are unable to follow the instructions for the chemistry experiment so you rely totally on your partner to perform the experiment. In the English lesson that follows there is a comprehension exercise. After reading through the passage once there was very little understanding. Re-reading only managed to soak up more time with little progress. Irrespective of any understanding, remembering and recalling is a continual struggle with more information required to digest. By now the stress level begins to rise with most of the class already answering the questions. After referring back to the passage on numerous occasions understanding and recalling improves. With a slight boost in confidence you move to the multiple choice questions, only to have your hopes dashed when you realize that two or three choices in each question appear to be correct. Your motivation and concentration deteriorate because immense work has gone into the exercise with little result. You fail the exercise and once again your inability to understand, absorb and recall a written text is confirmed. A mathematics test follows in the next lesson and you are one of the last to finish and only manage to answer six out of ten questions. However, you are reasonably satisfied with your effort as you concentrated only on some questions and answered them thoroughly rather than attempting all of them.

After School

After school you meet with your friends at a crowded café but find it extremely difficult to enter any conversation firstly because you do not understand the discussion topic and secondly your hearing is very acute and sensitive to background sounds. To feel accepted though you behave and make gestures as though you understand, but just hope no one asks you a question. You have a response prepared in case someone does.

Next, at football training, you are unable to follow a certain drill because of a poor sense of direction and orientation plus a difficulty in remembering instructions. To compensate for this you make sure you are the last to participate in the drill, thus giving yourself time to observe how others perform it.

In the Evening

Immediately after arriving home you check your emails, a task which becomes a long, tiring but necessary process. You sit down late for dinner, nervous of the amount of homework that needs to be done and in no mood for conversation. After dinner, your clumsy nature is again revealed with the usual mess of food on the table cloth surrounding the plate. Homework begins with the reading and analyzing of the notes from the chemistry lesson. More research via the text book and websites is required for further understanding. By the time homework is completed the clock shows well past  midnight. There is no time left to read the next chapter of your novel and summarize it for the next English lesson. You go to bed with a stress-filled mind tracing the routine for the coming day.

You wake up at 5 o’clock to read the chapter of your novel. Unable to express your thoughts accurately in writing, you go around the central idea rather than straight to the point immediately and using more words than necessary to express meaning. Getting ready for school becomes the top priority so you leave the homework half done and just hope the teacher does not require you to read your summary in front of the class.

One of many Stories

This is just one story. Every dyslexic has his or her own that is different, unique and special. The person involved could be a relative, a friend, a work colleague, a fellow student or even yourself. On a daily basis, without realizing it, many of us come into contact with someone who has dyslexia or a disorder related to it. This disability is one of the most misunderstood, hidden and mysterious aspects of life.