My Dyslexia: Should I Seek A Cure?

I have dyslexia. I think people who meet me in middle age can be unaware of this–but not if they notice I can’t spell or am apt to go right when told to turn left. I was diagnosed as a six year old, looking into a machine. Asked how many squares I saw I said three. This was the wrong answer, I quickly ascertained, as the tester asked me over and over in an increasingly irritated tone. I’d have lied, but I had absolutely no idea how many squares there were. What I saw was wrong.
I couldn’t read until the summer of fourth grade, when mysteriously words came together. In elementary school I was often criticized for being lazy and told I wasn’t living up to my potential.
Recently, an alternative health care practitioner I’ve been working with told me she could “heal” the dyslexia. It would be arduous, labor intensive, and somewhat costly, but, she said “you’ll be able to see as everyone else does.” Now I like her, and she has really helped me with a chronic condition. But, if it were even possible, do I want to be cured of my dyslexia?
Looking within, I find the answer is currently no. Of course I’d have said yes at ten years old, as I struggled in school. But at almost sixty? I did go to college–and actually I now teach college. Because of my dyslexia, I never even think a student is stupid. I can pick up quickly on so called learning disabilities. I have empathy. It has made me a better teacher.
Also, I’ve come to accept the fact that my mind is odd. It doesn’t function in the standard way. But so what? Why is “normal” good? The quote normal world and normal people have done terrible things, as history will atest. Sometimes I still get teased for my differences, or even criticized. But I am realizing this is a small price to pay.
I recently got a student evaluation that said I helped them think outside the box. This is an understatement. My sister, who shares my inability to distinguish right from left, said once “I didn’t even know there was a box!” I can’t see the box, or the squares in it, but that is fine. Dyslexia is seen as a bad thing, but my kind is called “mixed dominance.” It sounds kinky, but just means one hemisphere of the brain doesn’t dominate the other. I think of artistic types I know with math anxiety and uptight left brainers trying to loosen up. I don’t have these issues. I think I’ll stay the way I am.

11 thoughts on “My Dyslexia: Should I Seek A Cure?

  1. Miriam, this is an excellent question that adults with dyslexia often pose. “I have gotten this far with my dyslexia, why should I fix anything?” Dyslexia is not something that can be “cured”. Once you are born dyslexic, you remain dyslexic for the rest of your life. As you may know, that comes with many challenges, as well as many, many advantages. I would be weary of anyone trying to sell you a cure.

    What CAN be done, is for dyslexics to learn how to read and spell better using an Orton-Gillingham based reading and writing program. Being able to read and write more efficiently does not eliminate your dyslexia, but it will simply help you with some of the typical challenges that dyslexics face.

    One thing to look out for is any reading difficulties in the family tree. If you have or plan to have children, you should get them tested as soon as you see them have any difficulty with school, as dyslexia is often inherited.

    You can find out more about dyslexia at

    Best of luck on your journey!

  2. Thank you–useful advice. I was worried when my daughter started school, but mercifully she did not inherit this. I’m a fast reader at this point, and obviously a writer…have made my living at both for decades. But I never take these skills for granted. I think words remain mysterious and powerful to me, alluring…I sometimes think the concrete feeling I have for words actually made me a writer. Thanks for responding.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! There are so many accomplished people in the world who have dyslexia. I really do wonder just how boring the world would be if everyone ‘thought’ the same!

  4. I like the way you think! I am also dyslexic and I have Aspergers syndrome too.
    I have very often wondered how different my life would be if I didn’t have these difficulties.
    I wrote a poem once that helped me so much with this.
    I realised that I actually like being different and just that little bit quirky.
    The poem is on my blog it is called, “Poem…Looking Forward not back!”
    Thanks for popping by my blog.
    Love and hugs. xx 🙂

  5. I thought a bit about trying to change my brain around. There are a good many other things that would be better investments in that kind of energy at this point.

  6. Pingback: Myths about dyslexia | Lexercise

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