That despite my long time contention that I’m horrible with words, I am, in fact, not bad with words. Perhaps even gifted?
I was thinking about this today, while sitting in the 103 degree weather, playing Words With Friends of all things. It suddenly occurred to me that, if you had asked me a few years ago if I would enjoy a game that is essentially online scrabble, my reaction would be one of ashamed denial. I have always held that I am not good with words, due to the mistakes I make and the conditions with which I was diagnosed.
See, I grew up with both dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. Both of these disorders are supposed to hinder one’s ability to learn and process language. Now let’s be clear: There is no doubt that I have these two conditions. I show or have shown all the symptoms. I was even formally diagnosed with ADD. And this is not to say that I do not have my fair share of problems even today. Without Firefox’s built-in spell-checker, there would be a great many more spelling mistakes my posts, and there are a lot of dyslexic mistakes I catch myself making, especially while typing, where it’s fairly easy for me to get letters and words switched around. For example: In the last sentence, I nearly spelled ‘fairly’ as ‘fiarly’ and arranged the phrase ‘fairly easy for me’ as ‘fairly for easy me’. Still… I caught it and corrected it as I was typing.
It has come to be my firmest belief that a lot of this is owed to my family, especially my grandmother. It wasn’t very long ago that I learned that she has ADD and dyslexia, only worse than I do. She has a lot of trouble reading and can only read about half as quickly as most of us. Yet there are books everywhere in her house. Books on wildlife, books on anthropology, and magazines from all sorts of scientific periodicals. Despite her great trouble with reading, my grandmother keeps reading. I’ve never seen her without a book or magazine in her car with several clothes pins keeping different places she wished to remember.
And my mother! She read to me every night and found me books to help me learn to read. She brought me TinTin as a bedtime story and encouraged me to read them myself.
The point is that, as a child I learned a valuable lesson:
Even if you find something difficult, that does not excuse you from doing it.
The only way to truly overcome a weakness is to keep working at it, otherwise the skill will only fade further, until it truly does become a disability.