Dyslexia in Adults:
Dyslexia, and the related learning disorders that usually are accompanied by Dyslexia, are very common and these are not solely reserved just for children. Adults all across the world suffer from this condition and many do not get the help that they need.
In fact most adults who face day-to-day challenges that originate in this difficulty will recall that as children they simply passed through school until they graduated from class XII. Teachers would often find them to be difficult as children and would simply put them in a remedial class, refer them to a school counselor, or even better in our country, dish out punitive punishment for being a distraction in the class. These children who grew up in this manner still had the same learning disability when they transited into college and eventually into the work force.
For most of these adults who have had a learning difficulty as a child, the question that repeatedly comes to the mind is, why me? And what are the underlying causes that have got me into this situation
There are sometimes underlying causes to a learning difficulty like dyslexia that has been discussed in earlier sections, but it is hard to determine at all times, whether the cause is truly underlying or if it is simply overlapping or contributory.
Auditory processing disorder is one such overlapping or contributory issues where people hear things in reverse which in turn can lead to them writing it down or processing it wrong. Another condition might be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, where it is hard for the person to concentrate on one thing long enough for the information to be processed.
There are even conditions, where a person is sensitive to certain light wavelengths, or sounds and these begin to manifest themselves in a more aggressive manner as we progress in age. Light sensitivity makes visual processing difficult for the afflicted person.
In sound related sensitivity or what is more acceptably known as a Phonological deficit it is believed that there may be impairment when it comes to listening. The storage area of the brain does not process sounds quite the same way that others perceive and retrieve it. Similarly in Adults with non-diagnosed dyslexia there may be a visual distortion or impairment, which make it hard for the individual to process letters or words when it is written.
Whatever be the cause, the effect is real time and noticeable enough to impair and hinder the progress socially and professionally for such adults. A considerable majority of the dyslexic population who are adults, go through life suffering significant financial and emotional repercussions when correct remediation can actually identify and help them become aware of their areas of deficit.
For any adult who has visited this site for information and read through some of the difficulties that children face or the issues that college going students grapple with, and related to the same, it is recommended that you should spare some time and have an assessment done from the Dyslexia Association of India. Extremely beneficial, it is never to late to gain knowledge about yourself and how you see the world around you.
If you are identified with having dyslexia or a co related morbidity, you can plan to benefit in your work place by actually sharing the information with your superiors and if you want colleagues so that they are able to appreciate the minor quirks that may be showing up in your day to day work.
The quirks can show up as:
Following written and spoken instructions from your superiors and colleagues.
Dealing with charts, maps and tables.
Concentrating over a prolonged period of time and unable to sit on the desk for a long time.
Unable to formulate your own thoughts at the same speed and pace as your colleagues to present your point of view and being struck silent.
Writing memos, letters and reports with are structure and error free.
Unable to keep track of appointments, meetings and schedules.
Remembering who called on the telephone, taking a message and being able to relay it with accuracy.
Immediate desire to respond or retort when someone speaks to you or passes an instructions that you feel is inappropriate.
Feeling of wanting to go out of the office for a coffee or related activity, as you feel you have had enough and want to break free from the confines of your desk or the discussion on hand.
The foregoing list is not exhaustive and the difficulty can show up in various others forms also.
Some steps that you can take to make your work place less stressful may be:
Learn about relaxation training so that you can approach difficult tasks in a calm manner, thereby improving your efficiency
Seek assertiveness training to develop self-confidence and to enable yourself to seek support from your employer and co-workers as needed. Focus on the development of self-esteem and self-confidence in your work environment so that you can be a part of the team.
Use the technological devices available in the 21st century that help you compensate for specific difficulties such as poor memory, organizational skills, sequencing skills and hand-eye co-ordination
We at the Dyslexia Association of India believe that with appropriate support, the adult with dyslexia can increase confidence and eventually self-manage the dyslexia. Hopefully, abilities and talents previously obscured by the confusion of the dyslexia induced difficulties will have a chance to emerge.
It is not uncommon for adults with dyslexia to excel, for instance, in lateral or holistic thinking; they may be creative and innovative, and are aware of links and associations that may escape the more linear or analytic thinker; these adults have good powers of visualization, excellent practical skills and an untaught intuitive understanding of how systems work. They add wonderful perspective to any customer service oriented environment or an environment that involves a human touch mandated by right-brained thinking.
We also provide one on one counseling for adults who suspect that a learning difficulty is holding them back in their progress and after understanding how you tick we can work with you to develop a fresh perspective on how to move ahead with your personal and professional life.
If you have a friend who is dyslexic or facing problems in the work force due to a difficulty, please refer them to us or call us so that we can help them lead a more fulfilling and complete life.