re: How Dyslexia helped me become a programmer VIEW POST


I'm a tad older than you. I wasn't diagnosed as Dyslexic until I was in college. By then I had been programming for nearly 10 years. I started at age 10 as part of gifted and talented education program. Which I got kicked out of for a while because I couldn't spell or read very well. But my grammar, writing, math (sic. I'm American) and logic abilities were top notch, so I got put back in. Programming languages just came easy to me, because they are basically all the same, just in different word orders or with different decorations. My memory is also amazing as long as the subject is completely useless or computer related. For example: I don't know when my next meeting is, but I know that the largest lake in the world is the Caspian Sea. Thankfully, we now have spell checkers and e-calendars and all sorts of wonderful interweb enabled gadgets, so not remembering the important things really doesn't matter anymore. Which, you would think, should make them easier to remember. Anyway, you should see my desk. I have 4x4 post-its all over my monitors (3 of them). I call them my engrams, little bits of memory stuck where I can see them. I am not ashamed of being Dyslexic. I see it as a super power where words are kryptonite. I don't even say "I have Dyslexia." That "I have" bit makes it sound like a curable disease. It is not a disease and it is not curable. It is a condition of my existence. I am Dyslexic. Just as I am a man, I am an American of mixed Irish, Spanish, Native Mexican, Hungarian, Slovak, and Finnish descent, I am 5'9". You wouldn't say "I have Masculinity" or "I have Average Height Syndrome." or "American Hyper-Admix-osis." No. Embrace your super powers. Can you read backwards, upside down, and out of order all at the same time? Do you go on incredible adventurers looking for the "Parking Barn Tram" only to end up finding "Parker's Tramp Band"? It can be disappointing to discover the sign you thought said "Portable cantaloupe traps" really said "Portable canopies and tarps", but, hey, you had an adventure and a giggle. My "favorite" Dyslexic Super Power is that I am non-handed. It's sort of like being ambidextrous, except instead of being able to use either hand equally well, the non-handed are equally crap with either hand and generally have no sense of direction. It also means I can easily switch driving modes from US to UK, just by sitting in the driver's seat. In genius school we had a word for the kids that were not there with us. We called them "normals". Dyslexia is not a disease or a disorder. It is a state of being that lets you see the world Dyferentli. And what you see is not wrong. Only a wizard, with a couple of blinks of the eye, wave of the hand, and a pirouette, can change "Portable cantaloupe traps" into "Portable canopies and tarps". We're magic. We are Extraordinary. I don't want to be a normal.

code of conduct - report abuse