That’s Really, Really Hard to Read

Dyslexia is a word that gets thrown around a lot, to the point that very few people really know what it means, or how to spot the signs in children. I remember, when I was learning how to write, my teachers told my mother that they feared I was dyslexic because I wrote my 5s in a funny way. My mother scoffed at them. “She’s not dyslexic, she’s just left handed. She’ll figure it out”. She was right, I turned out not to be dyslexic and I can write the number 5 perfectly well now, which should have been obvious to my teachers given the fact that I was also one of the best readers in the class.

It wasn’t until college that I met someone who really described what dyslexia was like to me. She explained that it was much easier for her to read words on a screen, rather than printed, and that the words moved around on the page. That sounded very annoying to me, and I understood why they gave her extra time in exams at the university. Not everyone did, though, and I heard some people complain that she got what they saw as an unfair advantage for such a “little thing like dyslexia”.

I then came across this website, which actually simulates what its like to try to read a text with dyslexia.

You should follow that link. It’s incredible. My friend’s mild explanations did not do it justice.

The problem with throwing around words like “dyslexic” is that it makes people think that it’s really not that big a deal. If you know anyone who bitches about people getting “special treatment” in class or exams due to a learning disability like dyslexia, send them that link. I am full of admiration for my friend who managed to get top grades in Uni despite her disability.


  1. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    I’ve got dyscalculia, and the description of the words moving around is exactly how I experience anything with numbers. The website does look an awful lot like what trying to do math was like when I was a kid in school. I still don’t quite get how nobody noticed that while I was reading at a university level as a very young child, and did very well at algebra, simple arithmetic was impossible.

    Thankfully, I grew up not often having to do much arithmetic. That phones these days mean you don’t have to try (and fail) to remember phone numbers is also wonderful.

  2. says

    That’s how numbers do with me, with the jumping around. I now double and triple check my numbers as well as running it all past another person just in case I missed something like writing “14” as “41”.

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