Madd Martin L Kroeger (madd74) wrote,
Madd Martin L Kroeger

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Madd Memory: How My Memory Does not Suck

In the spirit of the last entry, I am not doing my regular spell checking and the like. I said everything would make more sense with this post, so, here you go... I have dyslexia. Big deal, right? I thought nothing of it until I realized, I had no actual clue what dyslexia is, and this entry is going to cover some of that, as well as how I relate to it... I possibly might please the masses with a trilogy post! I do hope (almost said promise) this one will not be as... taxing, as the other.

As far as I ever knew, dyslexia was that mental thing that made the punchline, "He stayed up all night wondering if there is a doG," a funny joke. Well, at least for some of us. It turns out that dyslexia is much more than this. Also, in saying that I have it, I understand how as humans we tend to read or hear about something and think we have it. While many people do blow it out of propartion, anyone who knows me well will see all of the signs that I researched yesterday, and in some cases rather bad. In attempts to help bring this to light for those who do not, or for those who just like to see a sample, I decided on the non-editing of spelling, something that seems to relate high, and for good reason.

So it turns out dyslexia (DY) is more than me saying my numbers backwards. It is more than switching things around. From we get the definition:

"Dyslexia is a state of disorientation where the brain's two hemispheres are not communicating with each other. It is a different way of thinking and a different way of learning. Researchers now believe that dyslexia occurs because of the way that the brain is formed and the way it processes the information it receives. Pictures of the brain, taken using modern imaging tools, have shown that when people with dyslexia read they use different parts of the brain to non-dyslexics. People with dyslexia process information in the right hemisphere of the brain, this is not the side of the brain that focuses on language work, and, as a result, the brains of dyslexic children and adults have to work an estimated six times harder."

Madd's brain working six times harder. Sure sounds like something for someone who's brain races like no other. So, all the time when I thought I had ADD and the like, it turns out there is an extremely high case of it being more related to DY. The site brings on more information, but first I run to run through a checklist.

It is known as the following things (while this list is wikipedia, keep in mind wikipedia was not the only site I did research on):

Individuals with dyslexia:

a May be bright, intelligent and articulate, however their reading, writing and spelling level is below their average age group.
b Have the same intelligence range as people without dyslexia.
c May have poor academic achievement due to their problems with reading and writing.
d May have good oral language abilities but will perform much more poorly on similar written-language tests.
e Because dyslexia primarily affects reading while sparing other intellectual abilities, affected individuals might be categorised as not "behind enough" or "bad enough" to receive additional help in a school setting.
f Might feel unintelligent and have poor self-esteem, and might be easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
g Might try to hide their reading weaknesses with compensatory "strategies".
h Might learn best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.
i Can show talents in other areas such as art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
j Have related problems with attention in a school setting; for instance they might seem to "zone out" or daydream often; get lost easily or lose track of time; and have difficulty sustaining attention.
k May exhibit mirror reading or writing, without even realizing it.
l May read numbers backwards or jumbled.
m May have great difficulty in learning foreign languages.

a) First and formost, I have one of the worst spelling practices of anyone I have ever known. I have always had a problem with spelling. In many recent chats, and in a lot of entries, the reason this is not known is due to the fact that I have guides to correct things. I prefer Firefox, so any entry I make is automatically checked similar to using Word. Keep in mind that while our pals at wiki also mention reading, that or other friends state that reading skills can be "compinsated" by simply reading outloud. However, more on that with their checklist later

b) So DY people can still be smart, yay!

c) It took me 10 years to get a 4 year degree. One of the reasons was my grades slowly slipped into the world of incompletes and the big F. So it was time to step back... for a few many years.

d) I can talk with the best of them, and most people know this. I loved speech class, and in all of my classes, felt better not having to write about things as opposed to open discussion. Also, it is important to note, that for the life of me, I could not figure out why I would "fake" notes in some of my classes. I actually moved my pen around to make it look like I was writing things, but in essance, I was making it look like I was taking notes when I was not.

e) I had a high grade point average in high school... I also ended up not doing a lot of homework. I cannot recall enough of my high school to explain this.

f) I use to have piss poor self-esteem. If you read early JOHD entries (back before anyone was allowed public access to my mind), you would see many entries that lingered in the .3 and so (and for reference and clarification, back when I first started writing things down, the entries were in the form of MMDDYY.x where X was a mood scale from 0 to 9, with 0 being ready for suicide, and 9 being around the happiest point in my life... unrelated, JOHD entries are now in the form of YYDDMM.dx, where d is the day [sun=7, mon=1, etc] and x is a similar scale, but altered some]). The reason this turned around, was actually thanks to the world of psychology (some time, someone ask to talk about, "Psychology: The Quicker Smacker Upper").

g) While I am not one to really "hide" anything about my own self, I think it speeks for itself when one looks at different "strategies" I have attempted to come up with over the years.

h) Hand's on, the only way to fly. This fits my bill at Qwest, as well as many other areas.

i) I am musically gifted. I do not say this because I am conseeded, I say this because I was given a test, similar to an IQ test, and in the state of Iowa, among my peers of the fourth grade level, I scored a 94 percent. I learned to play the "Star Bangled Banner" on my trumpet when I was in junior high, or earlier, whenever that music band time thing was. It took me three days to come up with the ability to play the song by heart. It turned out when later years would come, and I was given sheet music, that the sheet music was in the exact same key as what I had written down. These are just a few of the talents that I had shown. I was first chair trumpet in school, and in later jazz band was also first chair. Music is not my only strong suit. I excel in spacial recognision, hense my excellent video game skills (usually), and my ability to look at an opject and tell you if it will fit (at Wal-Mart, when staking shelves, I would look at empty spaces, and determine what combination of boxes went where to ensure everything fit "just right"). As for story telling, well, I use to write stories of my cat... so much so I almost flunked out of fourth grade or so. As "punishment", I would be "forced" to read to the class and tell them about my stories. It turned out that this would become a weekly assignment for me. Not, I can just remember how bad my spelling was on these stories. Good thing I got to read them aloud.

j) See "cat stories" of above paragraph... or the fact I daydream and zone out in the middle of actually talking to people. Most people have come across this before who have been close and interacted with me. Been close AND interacted? My word, who in the world would I have been close to whom I did not interact with??? Well, not sustaining attention, that is something shown in my writings... bouncing all over everywhere and the like.

k) While I was not able to find a clear cut definition on mirror reading or writing, if it is what I think it is, then it is the Dy that people are familiar with. I do both, and I do so often. Many times I catch myself, however it is not always the case.

l) I work for the phone company, and have learned to verify my numbers and addresses for a reason beyond verifying my customer. I tend to see "5055843856"as 503. I mix up the 505 and 503 area codes more than any. See, when someone calls, the number they input pops up on a screen, so I start to write down the number on the computer in attempts to pull up their information. Sure, I am certain about everyone has had the instance where they say or read a phone number, and mix up the words. I actually some times "stare and concentrate" on the actual number in attempts to make sure I do not say it mixed up. I still end up failing.

m) I struggled a lot with French. Of the six years I took of the class, to this day I know about a pamplet worth of French things.

There is a "test" that people can take that if you answer yes to most of it, you most likely have DY. This is from that other site I mentioned. The test, with my explaination to answers, is as follows:

Answer yes if the problem happens frequently.

1. I sometimes have to read a passage several times before I understand it.
Very much so. See number two.

2. When reading I sometimes miss out lines or lose my place.
Number two for me causes number one. Some times I use my finger when I read, in an attempt to prevent skipping. Thanks to the internet, much of what I read has a better layout. Shorter sentance structure, so I do not lose my place as easy.

3. I sometimes get the wrong word, or confuse words that are similar when I am writing.
My grammar is wonderful, despite what it seems from conversation. Because in my mind I see things one way, but I write it another. I also frequently can be found doing something like "Know I now what it feels to to running outside", where I repeat, flip, and "think" some of my word but "forget" to type it.

4. I make silly spelling mistakes and on some days I can spell better than on others.
Yes, while some words always get the bad treatment (hence gets hense majority), some do not (my desire to spell "magority" is not always there). I have a lot of words where I have this issue also.

5. I have problems with sequencing, months of the year, dictionaries, telephone directories.
Many people for the longest time have heard me make reference to my inability to store things in the proper order. It had been one of my biggest complatints, where I would remember the fact that 9,845 events happened with no problem, but attempting to remember when I encountered these events, some times being off by actual years (Thinking I was told about event X by person Y, when in Reality it was person Z who told me the event 4 years before I met person Y)

6. I cannot remember messages.
Yeah, see also, "Hey, remember this for me..."

7. I find it difficult to follow complicated instructions.
I take complicated instructions and some times make it near impossible to follow them. It turns out I have to go over steps over and over some times to get the instructions to work.

8. I have difficulty remembering telephone numbers, birthdays, appointments.
I do not have to comment or give any examples here :D

9. I cannot get organised.
This is about 89 times more true than 8, and I *really* do not have to give examples here :D :D

10. I mix up my left and right.
Many people may not know this, with the exception of anyone attempting to give me directions in a car. When I have to think left vs. right, I actually make a bowling motion with my right hand, as I am right handed, and I bowled for over ten years (from age 5-15). If you watch, some times you will see me twitch my right hand when told "left or right". In the car, it is more apparent as my "left or right means possibly missing a turn" thought kicks in. This is the reason I came up with "towards Madd" and "towards powerslave" while driving.

11. These problems get worse when I'm under stress
Here, my human friends, is the reason I do not like fighting. It turns out (found from research) that the more stress pressed on me, the more I tend to forget entire moments in time. I have had close to two or so hour fights with someone, where no more than even an hour after the fight, I remember about five minutes of what I said (or the other person). I have heard in many instances, where someone thought that the drinking and fighting and not remembering was due to the drinking... well... hate to pop your Reality, but this has been well disproven. I do not like to fight, because after I fight, I some times wonder what in the world was accomplished. This is the reason that with the exception of Jen, my current girlfriend, I have not even been interested in any woman who had an attitude problem, because attitude leads to stress leads to fighting leads to more stress and oddly enough would lead to more problems with me (see also a large block of time known as "Life with the Evil One").

I must say, the discovery of this makes me extremely happy. I am happy in the sense I have gotten the answers that I have been looking for regarding a great time span of my life. As noted, I have done a lot of things to attempt to "fix" the problem, so now I know what I am up against. Unfortunately, what I am up against has no cure. There is nothing to treat DY. Some parts of me are sad for this, that I appear to have no way to chemically combat this problem. Psychological, I appear to also not have any way to correct it. All I can do is accept that I have this problem, and hope that people are understanding and caring enough to realize, if I forget to do things, it has nothing to do with them, so at least I do not feel worse than I actually do. I mention the memory because for the most part, spelling, left vs. right, and the other have not ever been a concern between me and other humans. Also, not once has my reading ability (or some times lack of) caused any greif. However, as anyone reading this knows, if someone forgot something or you forgot something for someone, at times issues arose. If I can store the information in long term, I appear to be fine. As to what makes it and what gets lost, there is no pattern. It is closer to a dice roll, meaning, if there was something that came to my mind that was to be remembered, roll a 4 sided die and if it rolls X, then the information gets "lost".

So all I can say is, those who are my friends, know that even if I forget, as noted, I still care. I miss my spell check.
Tags: dyslexia, memory

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