Dyslexia: Shaping Lives

Dyslexia-awareness.com and the forthcoming book THE DYSLEXIC - An Extraordinary Learner provide a realistic understanding of dyslexia by exploring how dyslexics achieve, compensate for their inabilities and why many of them have a superior learning ability.

Much about dyslexia has been written from academic theory and research by experts, but rarely in depth from persons who have actually experienced it. This website and the book come from an unusual perspective: the author is a dyslexic who has adapted and achieved in a culture built for non-dyslexics.

"After experiencing dyslexia throughout a lifetime, I can truly say that society's belief of dyslexics is misunderstood and in many cases totally incorrect."
- Graham Saba, a dyslexic Mathematics and English TEFL teacher and author of the forthcoming book The Dyslexic- An Extraordinary Learner

If you are dyslexic:

  • You know you can achieve but the learning tools you are given are often difficult to use and that affects your motivation and interest to learn.
  • You have a desire to express your talents but the opportunities for this are rare.
  • Goal choices are limited because they depend on what you can do rather than what you want to do.
  • Your focus is more on what you cannot do instead of what you can do and thus feel safe sticking to things you can accomplish.
  • You become uncertain and hesitant to experiment and try things that are different because you are afraid of failure which exposes and confirms your inabilities. Consequently, your confidence is often low with a feeling of always needing to increase it.
  • Working alone, minimizing failures and hiding your inabilities and limitations are signs of success because you are competing and being treated on equal terms with others. This boosts self-esteem and confidence.
  • Satisfaction felt from achievements is compromised by the lack of enjoyment while achieving because the amount of effort and time to complete tasks far outweigh the desired results, particularly when others can complete the same tasks with ease.
  • You tend to be critical and often dissatisfied with your achievements because you feel that you can always do better.
  • Often you lose track of time while doing things and this makes time and lateness difficult to manage.
  • Your life is filled with secrets because you know if you explain or express how you really feel, others will not understand.
  • Putting up barriers to hide your deficiencies and weaknesses prevents exposing yourself for others to use and exploit. This is a form of compensation, one of many which become an integral form of your behaviour.

If you are not dyslexic:

  • You have some understanding of dyslexia, believe that dyslexia is a learning disability and perceive that dyslexics are mentally slow.
  • You provide dyslexics with learning tools suitable for non-dyslexics and don't understand why dyslexics are unmotivated, disinterested, lack concentration and struggle to achieve.
  • You often put blame on the individual for behaviour for which he or she is not fully responsible, instead of providing guidance and support.
  • Your focus tends to be more on a dyslexics' inabilities and less on their natural talents.
  • You often do not believe most dyslexics when they inform you of their disability because they do not show distinct signs and you feel that their accomplishments would not be possible if they were dyslexic.
  • Not believing that a person has dyslexia is understandable because you are completely oblivious to the compensation skills that dyslexics need to make up for their inabilities. You judge them on their results without any knowledge of how they are obtained, in particular how much time and effort is needed.
  • When living or working with a dyslexic you tend to confront and fight against his or her unpleasant and negative habits instead of understanding and working with them.
  • You are probably unaware that the annoying, negative behaviour of dyslexics will not change significantly because the disability and its accompanying consequences are inherent for life.
  • When confronting dyslexics who lack clarity, spontaneity and articulation when expressing themselves you tend not to listen for the substance of what they are trying to say and become impatient if they cannot express themselves in a simple way.
  • Unintentionally, you can be insensitive and take advantage of someone's inability to understand or express themselves without realizing that they may have a disability.