The Dyslexic Naturalist (video)

Note: This post was not spelchecked so you can see what my raw writeing is like.

[I]f you are a dyslexic kid out ther reading this, know you are not alone. There are a lot of us out here, of all ages and we share your experince and understand what it is like. You are not dumb or lazy. It is just that certain things are machanically more dificult for us to do. When you get older they let you use spell checkers, calculators and all sorts of other ways to get around thoes problem areas. You are now working trew some of the most difficult years where, for some reason we make you work evrything out by hand and great value is put on spelling.  I know you did not ask for this, it is really hard, and it is not fair. Do not eqwait your intelagince with your ability to spell or memorize your multipicashon tables. It will get better, and not only that, the strugl itself is training your mind to do something amazing.

You can not give up. You need to try your best – not so that you can do everything like a non-dyslexic, but to identify both where the dyslexia is messing with you, and your capasity for creativity and brilliance. The more you can figure out specificly where you strugle, the easier it is to figure out what kind of acomadashions you will need to overcome it. This road is harder for us than for non-disleecsic people. The extra strugle we face everyday trains us look for and find alternite ways to solve problems. These back door aproaches are often not valued in school but, they will be a gift the rest of your life. You will see the options and possibilities that are invisible to most people. Your goal is to survive this time, to stay curieous, and learn to respect and value your way of thinking,

As a naturalist, this lateral thinking helps me to explor and wonder. I delight in discovering new things or asking new questions. My dyslexic brain is a gift with which I will never be bored. Hang in there. If I can be of support to you, I invite you to contact me.

A presintashon before the 2013 Confernce on Dyslexia and Talent.

17 thoughts on “The Dyslexic Naturalist (video)

  1. Kim Williamson says:

    I am a teacher and I am dyslexic. I struggled with reading my entire childhood and never made good grades in school. I went to college when I was 40 after my dad passed away. He was not very supportive so once he was gone I felt I could do what he thought I could not. It was in college that I realized I was dyslexic. Typing late into the night I realized how many times I used the back button to fix my words. I decided to type out a page without fixing and found all of the reversals and dropped or added letters. No one taught me how to work within my situation but I accommodated myself through perseverance. Because of my struggle I am drawn to helping those kids who struggle too. Thank you for being so forth coming and honest. And for all those who think you cannot go to college because of this glitch please think again. I graduated with highest honors and not because I am smart but because I am intelligent–I can learn.

    • Thank you for your story, servis, and ispiration. Our community is strong becauese people like yu claim their identity and use that as a motivation to give back. It helps us to know and see again that we are not alone.

  2. Laura Levasseur says:

    We have a dyslexic daughter who has a savant like ability to draw. I worry so much about her because we never had the money to really help her. She has these incredible gifts , but then in reading and writing she struggles. She can remember directions after haing been someplace once. She remembers because of a tree or a building. Things the rest of us don’t even notice. She is what I call body smart. If you throw a ball at her, and she isn’t even paying attention she will catch it. She plays varsity soccer and runs track and is one of the top twenty kids for track in the state. She also remembers History that she has seen on TV, and she may be drawing while I am reading to her but she remembers the most minute details. I guess what bothers me the most is that I consider her to be really smart and yet she won’t be going off to college like the rest of her friends. We don’t have the money for it and her dyslexia has made her more shy than she already is by nature. She wouldn’t step out to go even if we had the money. I wish the rest of the world would see things the way you do, in the manner that you have explained in this little video.. God makes everyone so different and what a blessing that is, except in the world they don’t see that as being a positive. It was encouraging to see your video! Thanks for making it !

    • Thank you for sharing your story. Her experience resonates with so many things in my life. Feel free to contact me by email or phone if you would like to talk more about this away from the public forum.

  3. Deborah Hatt says:

    I’ve learned so much through your videos – especially concerning perspective, foreshortening, values, etc.. And your helps on keeping a nature journal are the best I’ve ever seen. Thank you for so much free material I can use for myself and our grandchildren. One of our daughters struggled badly with dyslexia, and your video about being dyslexic brought tears to my eyes. I shared it on FaceBook, hoping parents use it to inspire and encourage their children, who may be struggling in school. Thank you for your attitude of thankfulness. And thank you for bringing others to a deeper appreciation and understanding of God’s amazing Creation.

  4. Lora deplante says:

    You are such a gift to the world and a much needed model to us all – young, old and all inbetween. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Lora

  5. April Dudko says:

    Jack, you are an inspiration! I may not struggle with dyslexia, but I recognize your courage in this unedited post. Thank you for recognizing those who struggle, and thank you for helping all of us to be kinder.

  6. Nanci says:

    I always enjoy your videos…this was special. I had no idea you were dyslexic. I have 3 special needs children (all with sensory processing disorder and one also with aspergers/adhd)…I worry about their futures, but you put my mind at ease…you have done so much…your teaching style is amazing and you are definitely “special”….this made me tear up seeing how “real” you are….all of my kids love to draw and it’s so great to see a role model for them what a fulfilling, thriving life can be. Sorry so gushy…it really touched my heart….

      • Nanci says:

        You already are tremendous help to us! By your encouraging me to learn to draw, something I wanted to do since I was a little girl, but because of the dysfunction and chaotic nature of my childhood home, I wasn’t able to. I’ve watched every one of your videos (or close to it)…it’s such great “therapy” for me…and my children learn too…

  7. Powerful stuff, Jack! Your words are very enlightening and inspiring to a non-dyslexic, and are sure to be invaluable to anyone struggling with the condition. What a brilliant and positive messenger you are! I’ll watch your how-to videos with even more awe and respect, and hope to take an in-person class one day.

  8. sonja says:

    Thank you for this post. My eldest son is in his last year of high school here in Australia and has struggled academically due to dyslexia. I love hearing and sharing with him stories of successful, creative and interesting people who have had to deal and work through similar issues.
    People like you challenge and provide a different narrative of what it means to be intelligent and successful.

  9. Tom Howick says:

    Thanks for sharing your honesty, gift of a naturalist and artist—I am dyslexic myself — I see it as a gift to sense and see the world differently and to entry this in my Nature Journal.

    • Lora deplante says:

      Nancy, I saw your comment and wanted to share that I am dyslexic and had an amazing experience after retirement. I signed on as a Special Ed aide for 1st and 2nd graders. I began doing simply Brain Gym exercises with the kids assigned to me, with dramatic results. The gift to me was a significant improvement in my dyslexia. Our teacher put me onto it when I asked why she started every class with warm up crossover exercises such as cross over steps while moving left to right, then right to left etc. You probably know about this but thought I’d share, just in case.

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