“I’m proficient using the internet but I have dyslexia.”   Leave a comment

Honestly I mostly see this on Fictionpress.com and Fanfiction.net though in recent weeks I’ve started seeing people say this on You Tube, Live Journal and Twitter. The basic idea some people want me to believe is though they obviously know their way around the internet, they are dyslexic or have dyslexia.

I actually know people who are dyslexic or have dyslexia. It’s like autism in which it varies from person to person.  Another both autism and dyslexia have in common is regardless of how severe it is, they tend to be far smarter than their peers. The most severe cases are completely illiterate without the aid of technology while the mildest cases frequently use the wrong letter in spelling (for example q instead of p or b instead of d). Both are lifelong though the latter is simply annoying to put up with.

Before I make my point I want to say that if you really are dyslexic you can stop reading here because this isn’t for you. This is for the lazy or simply misinformed who like to pretend to know things they really don’t know.

For starters, chosing tyo use poor grammar online or in text messages does not nean you have dyslexia. This “Text Speak” that was born along with the internet, while time efficient is NOT true shorthand writing. Nor should it be treated as such. Children and Teens who are “proficient” in Text Speak tend to struggle when learning ELA (English Language Arts) and PROPER Grammar in school. Not because it’s wrong (which it actually isn’t). It’s because they’ve trained themselves to perceive Text Speak as the most efficient to write or type.

The problem with this way of thinking is it assumes the audience will know what they mean. What I’ve been seeing alot of lately on Fanfiction.net and Fictionpress are case examples as such. I’ve worked with students who are English Language Learners. There is a profound difference between someone who doesn’t know English and someone who is just using bad grammar. And it shows. I took an English 101 course a few years back just as a refresher (which I scored high marks in). We did peer revieew work and I discovered those who were learning English as a second language (or third, etc.) had a far better grasp of word use than those who just plain were using bad English. It’s not that they didn’t know proper grammar, they just weren’t regularly using it.

Having dyslexia is no laughing matter. Ask someone who has it and most will tell you nothing would please them more than to be rid of it. In time it becomes manageable but you’re never really rid of it. If you were never disagnosed with dyslexia it’s not funny or smart to claim it just because you chose to use bad grammar online.

I don’t have dyslexia myself though I do know people who do. I find it disrepectful when some people–mostly uneducated on the matter–carelessly label themselves with it.

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