Harry Potter

Harry Potter
Even the world's best super spy needs a little help from assistive tech!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Living with an LD

I know that this is being written before the class on Wednesday but I wanted to write something else after the weekend that I had. I went shopping in Bangor with my sister, sister in law, Mom and Mom's best friend. Think of us as the Economic Stimulus Package. Anywho, every night we'd sit down with our receipts and tally up what we owed and how much we spent. On Sunday, I  noticed my sister was using a highlighter to help her find the totals like we all did but she was using other colors in other places on the receipts. Always being the teacher, I asked her about why she was doing that.

She reminded me that because of her dyslexia, she needed colors sometimes to help her organize her ideas and thoughts. She was using different colors to help her figure out who she had bought for and how much she was spending. She also told me that reading the numbers was hard for her and by highlighting them in blue it helped her to remember the order of the numbers so she didn't make a mistake. It wasn't until I was half asleep that night that I realized that she was using a very low tech version of assistive tech to help her with her LD.

I am very proud of my sister. When we went to school, there was no dyslexia, you were just stupid. Dee had trouble learning how to read whereas I was reading before I went to school. I used to read her homework assignments and then tell her the answers so she wouldn't get in trouble.She had no real idea why she couldn't read or retain information but when she 19 and out of regular school she took a test in a magazine and it told her she was dyslexic. From that point on she became a woman possessed. She went to the library (this was way before computers) and did exercises that strengthened her reading and writing and found out what the positives of her LD were and how she could make this work for her. She even taught herself to write with her right hand by copying fairy tales into a notebook because it helped her right and left brain to communicate. Today, she works at the Halifax Infirmary as a Pharmacy Tech: the first in her class to be certified and the first at the hospital to be checked out on filling the trays for people on her own. As she told me on Sunday, "I see in pictures and make connections visually. I can also remember long numbers and series of things that makes me a whiz filling the trays."

Well done Sissa. You are my inspiration.