Life

Being Dyslexic

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Before I start this blog post it’s going to be written by me and it will not be checked by Jane. My normal process for Blog writing is to write the Blog post and then get Jane to check it. However I will be using spell check, he says as he spells check wrong.

Being Dyslexic my Struggle at school was two fold. I was not only having a daily battle with all teachers but also with my parents. Well most of the teachers only two stood out. The Physics teacher hated me because I understood physics better than he did and my Geography teacher who was a brilliant visionary but died of a brain tumour just after I left School.

The Geography teacher predicted the future as it is now and I will never forget him. When I was 14 he was telling me how we would not have cash one day it would all be plastic cards and there would be less jobs to go around and how the government would not know how to deal with the free time people had and keep them in work doing nothing all day etc

At School I was called quite a few things but Mad Professor or Nutty Professor were the common ones. I did have the best Go Kart even if I could not spell it. I was not picked on much as I decided to fight back and that was the end of that.

My parents were the biggest pain in the arse back then as they thought I was a thick stupid stubborn idiot. I was about 11 when they decided to have me tested by people that don’t have a clue and I got the Dyslexic label ! Great now I was labelled f%#}{]€ stupid ! Why did my parents treat me like an idiot ? Because I was adopted and they were academically clever ! Funny that word clever ! At 14 I could take most things apart and put them back together again and by 16 I could fault find nearly every mechanical or electrical fault there was. My parents expected a lot from me but the best thing they did was give me a Camera.

I hardly slept back then as I used to be inventing stuff in my sleep and even designed a car that ran on compressed air and electricity, I was told it would never work !!! However that was not quite true as I built a scale model later in my life from Air Tool motors and a compressor and it did work. I was told all my ideas were stupid and to stop drawing stupid things. I did stop, never picked up a pen or paintbrush again.

I have always been stubborn and wanted to do things my own way to see if there is a quicker route. People have always frustrated me because they spend all day doing something that I could simplify to do in a morning or even an hour. I have never understood why people have to be in work for 8 hours a day when they could do the days work in a few hours ! I guess it pleases someone !  Most of the jobs I have had I can see how much a waste of time and money everything is and ended up managing quite a few projects for that reason. In the early days my ideas were just stolen by my managers so I stopped telling them my ideas.

When my son could not tie his shoelaces because he was Dyslexic I got him Valero shoes, I did not make him do it for weeks on end and hit him round the head until he could do it like the old days. When he came home from School with 30 spellings to learn over the weekend I ripped up the paper and told him not to worry I could not learn them, so don’t expect him to ! But then the School labels him !

I met my real Mum when I was about 35 but before I met her we exchanged letters !!!! Her writing and spelling was worse than mine she had to be my mum !

I met an inspiring lady about this time Called Niki Stearman and she ran a Dyslexic charity called DARK and explained so much to me in changed my life. So much so she helped me to understand who I was for the first time.

My son is doing well in his job and I have also done very well. I am grateful for predictive text and spell check, even though it’s not perfect at least I don’t fall foul of the spelling Police as much as I used to. Jane has to check all my blog posts and emails and she is amazing for that. She once said do you just put full stops and comers where you think they go ? I said yes I just guess, as they dont mean anything to me. The truth is I probably pick up a big handful of punctuation marks and just throw them at the screen.

The other amazing thing about Jane is she believed in me she encouraged me to take my Photography to the next level and it paid off, I was always held back by the fact my writing and spelling would hold me back. I was also scared of standing in front of the Spelling police when I was teaching workshops etc.

Funny though every time someone pulls me up for spelling I wonder who they call on to fix their Car or teach them Photography, I also think why is it so important  ! I have got to this age very well thank you without the need be perfect in that area I wonder how many areas they lack in !

I found out that once I got in front of a group of people that I could talk to people and inspire people with my own stories and my knowledge without the need for writing and that has driven me on to this day. I now love passing on my Photography Knowledge and love the company of all the great people that have been on my workshops and to may talks.

Apart from a shit time at school life has been very exciting and good. My body language and people skills have always got me through. I was the one all my friends wanted to go out for a drink with at School as I was the one talking to all the girls and dancing the night away, so that was exciting.

I do feel I have been let down by the School system. If my Dyslexic brain had been given the room to grow and the systems and processes put in place to allow me to develop some of my ideas at an early age who knows how many of my ideas would have worked !

When you look at the long line of Dyslexic inventors and amazing people you realise the School system we have these days is useless in teaching kids that are a bit different ! I hear Richard Branson left School to get on with life. I tried to do that a few times but my Parents were having none of it.

I have always felt trapped in a box all my life and only talk about it to my close friends and family. Photography has always been my release and has kept me sane, well that was until Social Media I find it quite frustrating now because I have lots and lot of ideas but just like when I was a young lad and my managers stole my ideas, if I start a now project and post the images on Social Media now I just get copied. So I will probably end up doing some secret project from 2018 onwards.

My photography has helped me all my life to focus my creativity, I dont take millions of Photos and I like to keep it real with minimum editing. I am not keen on Photoshop but that’s because I can always see the fastest route to the end goal, so I dont want to spend 15 hours in PS when I can spend 3 min in Lightroom, seems like a waste of 15 hours to me.  I however have nothing against anyone who wants to use PS and I love some of the amazing graphic design that has been created. My brain however likes to keep things simple and real.

The most interesting thing about Dyslexia that Nikki Stearman told me was the fact the Dyslexic brain is not the same as other people’s brains and that Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area are not connected in the brain so our brains have to work in a diferent way.

I hear they are not finding this out with scans and there is some more information here.

We are not thick or stupid we are extremely intelligent and have amazing brains and this new Richard Branson backed project is inspiring. So inspiring that I have written this !

I wonder how many gifted and amazing people there are out there that have been shut in boxes over the years !!

Let’s hope this can change !

Check out Made By Dyslexia