How about bad company with these texts

This is how people with dyslexia perceive texts

When he was younger, Jakob Schroeder collected stars. His books were full of them. Satisfied, he glued them to each side that he had read with difficulty. Jacob is dyslexic. “Eragon” was the first Rome he conquered without sticker motivation. In the fantastic Alagaësia he spent 1,000 pages, his entire summer vacation between the fifth and sixth grades.

"Anyone who writes such grammatically lousy text can actually do nothing."

Not everyone is as relaxed about their dyslexia as the one from Stuttgart. After all, people with poor reading and writing skills were for a long time thought to have a lack of intelligence. Jakob had to experience that too: “I went to three different elementary schools,” he says. And not because his family has moved frequently. Some teachers just didn't know how to evaluate Jacob's texts, which were full of errors. His bad spelling rubbed off on his image in other subjects. "Anyone who submits text that is grammatically so miserable can actually do nothing," was the thought of some teachers, says Jakob.

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Such prejudices are not good for anyone, especially children. If you are constantly told that she * he would be unable to do anything, you will at some point believe it yourself. Jakob gathered the necessary self-confidence in the choir and in the voluntary fire brigade. In addition, his parents gave him little learning tasks. “For example, I had to keep a diary,” he says, “an A5 page full, even during the holidays.” He managed to push his grades through verbal participation, and the grades got better and better as he finished high school.

Leghastenia is not something that you sweat away with enough exercise like excess kilos. Reading is easier for Jacob than it used to be, but writing is not. His friends ignore mistakes - but once communication becomes official, it becomes exhausting. "For an internship I had to send a short email with my tax identification number - and even for these few words I had to try to read my mother and sister over it," says Jakob. "Leghastenia is just annoying."

Associations promote open interaction

Jakob is fortunate enough to receive a lot of understanding and help from those around him. Those who do not receive this support may deal with dyslexia differently: It becomes something that one prefers to hide. Due to the secrecy, the problems only increase, in school, during studies and later in the job. In this case, vigorous associations must work so that people with dyslexia break their silence; For example, as did the series of commercials from the Federal Association for Literacy and Basic Education, which for years promoted a more open approach to the impairment in the cinema and TV.

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But despite such campaigns, according to the associations, things are not necessarily looking better in society's way of dealing with dyslexia. Since the reading difficulties are so different, there is no standard definition of dyslexia, and the exact number of those affected cannot be recorded. An estimated four percent of all schoolchildren in Germany are affected by the developmental impairment, the WHO estimates that 10 percent of the world population are dyslexic. The impairment can have genetic causes, among other things, undiscovered visual problems or developmental delays at a young age can also be reasons.

At school, at work and in general in a society whose communication is increasingly based on texts, people with reading and writing difficulties are at risk of losing touch. Associations do their part to instill the courage to dyslexics to speak openly about their reading difficulties. There are also projects designed to make reading easier for dyslexics, for example an easy-to-read font or educational games.

Understanding is important

Another big problem is that reading difficulties are difficult to convey. Dyslexia is individual and can be described as simply as the feeling of being in love: not at all. When asked in a dyslexic Facebook group how members would describe their reading difficulties, there are different answers. "As if the letters were rotating permanently," writes one. “As if there were cracks in the text that were shifting,” writes another. Someone says, "It just can't be described."

Art projects ensure that the description difficulties are resolved and that dyslexia can be experienced: The designer Daniel Britton has developed a font that is intended to make dyslexia tangible. Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, he was able to design an entire "Dyslexia awearnes pack" that should explain to students what dyslexia is.

[Also on ze.tt: This coloring book raised over 300,000 US dollars through crowdfunding]

The British designer Sam Barclay tried to depict the reading-spelling weakness in a book. "It's not as if I see things differently, I just perceive them differently," he says in an interview with ze.tt. “If I had to explain what this 'different' is, I would first have to understand how others, even without reading or writing difficulties, perceive things.” Nevertheless, he devotes himself to the topic in his book “Dyslexia”.

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Sam began working on the book while studying at Portsmouth University. He cut words in two, pulled letters apart and together, and colored words to describe the kinds of games your brain can play with you. "The feedback has been overwhelming," says Sam. Parents have written to him who can now understand a little better what difficulties their children would have to struggle with; Dyslexics thanked them for finally being able to visualize their reading difficulties.

However, dyslexics benefit most from the courage of those who make their reading difficulties public and show others that the impairment does not have to be an insane problem. From people like Jakob. Jakob completed his Abi with a 2.6. He is now studying civil engineering. He is also involved in the Federal Association of Dyslexia and Dyscalculia to show others that you can do anything.