Dyslexia - Beating The Odds
by George C Glasser
When I first got an idea to write an article about my Dyslexia, I did a crash course about the condition from reading “Scholarly” articles I googled….to reading psychological and neurological research…. to watching Ted X videos on Youtube….to reading stories about how peoples’ lives were negatively affected because of being dyslexic….or how they managed to become the square peg who learned to fit in the round hole.
I wanted to do something different and entertaining - an adventure story - an autobiographical sketch, a truncated trek through life with dyslexia on the fringes of society bouncing in and out of the mainstream.
Consequently, I decided to pursue writing a short story, and not another article rehashing other articles with not much new to offer.
I became aware that I was dyslexic in 1973 when a friend’s child was diagnosed with the condition. As the mother began discussing his dyslexia. It was as if she were speaking about me and my experiences.
Her son was part of an experimental group at UC Berkley, California.
When I said her son’s experiences virtually mirrored mine, she set up an appointment with one of the researchers for me. Tests confirmed that I was indeed dyslexic.
Later in life, with the advent of inexpensive word processors with spellcheck (the dyslexic’s prosthesis), I became a successful freelance investigative environmental journalist which required doing copious amounts of research.
However, I never bothered to research Dyslexia until recently. That was simply because it was something I dealt with using convoluted strategies, and I often successfully achieved my goals - the end result of spontaneous notions on my part
Chasing a notion down required learning and understanding about the goal I was attempting to achieve….Understanding being the keyword.
With every failed attempt, I built up my arsenal of knowledge to chase down another notion that popped into my mind.
Failure was the best teacher.
Employment was nothing more to me than financing my fomenting notions or a learning process.
Often, my notions had absolutely nothing to do with money or advancing my social status, and I took throw-away jobs, however menial, to finance the pursuits.
If I wanted to accomplish something that I knew my dyslexia would be a roadblock, I looked for alternative routes to get there.
Consequently, my dyslexia led to grand experiential adventures that most people find unbelievable when I recount them in conversations.
For me, success was never about wealth or prestige but accomplishing things, whether it be an artist….or building sailboats at a world-class company….or becoming a writer.
Once I achieved a goal, I became bored with the repetitive nature of the game; it was simply the redundant, formulaic application of applicable skillsets….monkey see monkey do. For me, it was always about the adventure of doing whatever I took a notion to do at any given moment and the challenge of getting there in spite of the odds.
My motivation was a lifelong quest about beating the educational system that was rigged against me, societal prejudices, academic snobbery, and mainly the fact, I was addicted to the psychological rush of actualizing my notions.
Today, I live in the UK on the edge of a classic pastoral countryside, own a 300 old stone farmhouse, and have the freedom to pursue my many interests.
My good fortune came about because of writing. It had nothing to do with making money from writing….it was the opportunities that arose because of writing that I took advantage of.
However, if I hadn’t experienced all the mazes and dead ends dyslexia took me into, I never would have become an environmental writer respected for being knowledgeable about the subjects I covered.
My story will be an adventure story.