- Say "um" or some other word that isn't English.
- Close my eyes wall talking
- Not look at the camera
I have a condition, learning disability, whatever, called Dysnomia. If you've been following my blog for sometime, you may have seen this post where I first mention it, albeit briefly.
I generally don't talk about it, but it came to mind when I was showing my son my vlog and he started joking about how many times I said "um". He didn't intend it to be mean, but it stung a little. It also got me thinking about how many other people noticed.
Dysnomia isn't a new problem for me, I've had it for my entire life. Yes, it is technically a "learning disability", but I just view it as a challenge. To be honest, a frustrating challenge a times.
Here are the basics of Dysnomia that I found at this site:
Dysnomia is a difficulty retrieving the correct words, names, or numbers from memory. Dysnomia is a learning disability present from childhood which can affect speech, writing, and/or math. Word recall problems are classified as dysnomia when they are severe enough to interfere with learning or with daily life.
NOTE: I'll list all the sites with relevant info at the end.
Unfortunately, I was not "diagnosed" with this disorder until college. This resulted in years of frustration on my part and ridicule by my peers. I lost a lot of arguments because I couldn't come up with responses fast enough. It made me feel stupid and I avoided any verbal confrontations as best I could. Writing was also difficult for me. So much so, that I dreaded having to write anything for class.
Somehow, I managed to finish school and get through college. My English grades weren't always that good, but I still managed.
Eventually, I went to the college's speech and language clinic after my girlfriend, now my wife, suggested I might have a problem. They weren't an accredited clinic, so they were only able to do some basic testing, but based on their tests, I scored at the bottom of normal. This indicated to them that I had an issue.
One of the things I found out was that I write, by hand, 15 WPM. In contrast, I was typing at 60+ WPM...my typing speed is a lot higher now. I have no idea how fast.
The other thing they discovered was that I had compensated for it to the point where they couldn't help me. No therapy. Nothing. The college offered accommodations, but I was so used to not asking for help, I rarely did.
How I deal with it:
- I rarely take notes. I have a choice of either following what the teacher says, or write something down. I can't do both. So I do my best to memorize everything.
- I convert everything I read into pictures (if possible). Every fiction book I read is stored as a movie in my head. I remember every book I've ever read.
- I don't remember addresses, I remember landmarks. If I give you directions, I will mention landmarks more than street names. It will drive you insane.
- I recommend using a GPS to get anywhere I tell you to go. It will be easier.
- I type more than I write by hand. Typing is a different mechanism and uses a different part of my brain. I have fewer problems typing and I make sure I have spell-check turned on.
- I won't always look at you when I'm talking. I'm working on it, but it gets distracting sometimes when I do look.
- I say "Um" a lot.
- I drink caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. It helps me focus better and seems to help.
- I pre-think what I'm going to say before I call someone on the phone or have a face-to-face conversation.
- Tag! You're it or I answer some questions! My Vlog post where I say "um" a lot.
- The Blank Page (where I mention Dysnomia for the first time)
- Anomic Aphasia via Wikipedia
- Dysnomia and Anomia via A Special Connection Foundation Blog
- Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and Dysnomia via The Current Subject: All about Learning Disabilities
- LD Online (resource site for various learning disabilities)
'Till next time.