Mistakes, misunderstandings and misdemeanors

[Image by Anne Taintor]
That moment when you realize you’ve missed something. Misread something. Or misunderstood something that someone said. UGH.

Was that meeting at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.? Remind me, how do you pronounce the teacher’s name? Can you repeat that? What’s our cell phone number? Banking password? Is that a typo in my twitter post?  Check. Check. Double check. Triple check. That’s how my day goes.

Everyone has days like this. But with dyslexia, and it’s co-conspirators dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD/ADD and anxiety, it happens every day.

“Contrary to popular belief, dyslexia is not only about literacy, although weaknesses in literacy are often the most visible sign. Dyslexia affects the way information is processed, stored and retrieved, with problems of memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing.” British Dyslexia Association

Dyslexic kids spend a lot of time and energy learning to read, write and spell. For adults, these challenges persist, but present themselves in different ways: Things like mispronouncing a person’s name, misreading/misprinting a time or date, or incorrectly filling out forms (from passport applications to those seemingly endless permission forms that come home from school). Sometimes the impact is small and can be easily fixed. Sometimes, when it comes to more serious adult endeavors — like work or money management — the consequences are serious.

Even one of the world’s most successful businessmen, Richard Branson, admits he has dyslexic glitches from time to time (love his story about not understanding the difference between net and gross).

Here’s what a typical glitch looks like for me: I had promised to take my daughter to an end of summer bonfire at our local beach. I checked and double checked the date. What I didn’t do was actually write it on the calendar. That meant I was relying on my weak working memory, my weak ability to process numbers and dates and my predilection for guessing at stuff I’m not sure about (Here I had the mistaken belief that the event would be on a Sunday. Why? Don’t ask. I don’t have an answer. It just seemed like a Sunday night thing to me.)

So, long story short, we missed the event.

And according to my social media feed, it was one of those magical “not to be missed” events. That we missed.

Chalk that up as a parental fail. A misdemeanor, no more, no less.

I’m sorry sweetheart. We won’t miss it next year. Promise.


Learn more about the skills affected by dyslexia and it’s co-conspirators:

And here are a few tips to help you avoid scheduling glitches:

  • Write it down somewhere (on your calendar is best) — not only does it help you keep track of appointments and important events, the physical act of writing things out is proven to help you remember
  • Get someone to double check what you’ve written
  • Don’t make decisions when you’re tired or rushed
  • Surround yourself with patient people 😉

A few tips for content creators:

  • Be specific; write “event is happening on Saturday, September 8” not “event is happening tomorrow”
  • Write date out in full — Saturday, September 8, 2018, not 8/10/2018 (this format is confusing; is it the 8th month or the 8th day?)

What dyslexic glitches bug you the most? Do you have any tips for staying organized? Please share your suggestions in the comment section. Thanks!




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