Tag Archives: forgetfulness

The Trials of Dyslexia

23 Aug

An hour or so ago I was idly considering whether, if there were a cure for dyslexia, I would take it. I’ve blogged about the joys of dyslexia before, but there are drawbacks, of course. In fact, it’s mainly a drawback, otherwise it wouldn’t be termed a specific learning disability (or whatever they’re calling it this week). This was brought home to me once again, very soon after my ponderings. I am currently supposed to be at an AGM but I forgot to leave something my husband needed before I departed, forgot my phone so I couldn’t even tell him, and so had to come home and miss my train. No AGM.

Forgetfulness isn’t exclusive to dyslexia, of course, and I don’t have conclusive proof that it’s even connected to my dyslexia, but I’m pretty sure it is. Dyslexia is a range of problems arising from faulty brain wiring (a rough description), mostly to do with reading and writing, hence the name dys – with difficulty, faulty; lexis – speech. These specific problems are usually associated with other ones, though, like clumsiness, forgetfulness and even difficulty following the plots of films (I kid you not). I have no difficulty with film plots, but I am forgetful, and my clumsiness drives me up (and very often into) the wall.

So why isn’t it an easy decision to choose a hypothetical cure for dyslexia? No more smashed glasses and chipped dishes, no more missed appointments. With a working sense of spatial awareness I might even be able to dance enthusiastically without the risk of knocking out anyone who came too close! If there were a cure for my lung diseases (two for the price of one) I would snap it up. If hayfever could be permanently cured I would take the injection or have the operation. There is a cure for short-sightedness, and I’ve had it: Thank you, Ultralase, I can now see. So why not dyslexia?

The thing is that dyslexia feels much more a part of me than any of these other conditions. Take away the sniffliness or the need to use an inhaler and I would be exactly the same person. My eyesight was bat-like, now it’s eagle-like, but it doesn’t affect who I am. If you changed the functioning of my brain, though, would that still be true? Who knows how many of the traits I think of as my own are in some way connected to being dyslexic? How much of who I am has been shaped by struggling with this range of problems, and how much of me would change if I didn’t have to struggle? If there were a way to try out a non-dyslexic life without committing to it, maybe that would be an option. But would the non-dyslexic me who made the final choice really be me, or would she make a different decision because she thought differently once she was eulexic? (No, that’s not a real word.)

Ok, this is getting excessively philosophical and could go on forever, but you see my point: It’s not a decision to take lightly. For the moment it’s purely theoretical and I can just sit on the fence, but if it ever became a real possibility, what would I choose? I honestly don’t know.