Before I write this please be aware that these are my strategies and may not be the cheapest or even sanest to use. So before you decide to try them shop around… I tend to find something that works and never change – I like the familiar.
I listed my problems in What is dyslexia and here is how I cope:
- This is an ancient device… In fact I’m not even sure you can get it anymore but I carry around (normally only in uni) – an electronic Concise Oxford Dictionary, Thesaurus and Spellchecker. True it is a little bulky being eight years old but living in Wales where internet signal can come and go, it is invaluable. I have found an updated version here but I wouldn’t change my clunky blue device for anything.
- A smart phone. I use a Monte Carlo from Orange and it is fantastic… Don’t understand or know the word? Well Google it! (Amazing really that google has become a verb – when did that happen?) Not only does it help with emails from the business but I can gain access to a wealth of up-to-date information. I remember as a child we had a set of encyclopedias that I used to use. Only problem was that they were ten years old before I got them. My research was slow at the best of times and libraries just plain scared me… so I worked from these book. So may essays I handed in where just out of date (as well as other problems like grammar and spelling), poor teachers! And it was before everything had to be handed in typed so they had to put up with my unique and doctor-ike handwriting (almost illegible). Which leads nicely to the next point…
- A computer, laptop, netbook, or tablet, or ultrabook, or mac… well you get the idea. Anything that will let you upload word or works so that you can use the spell checker and grammar checker… It’s a must for me. Luckily WordPress has a version so I can use that one. Phew!
- Spider diagrams – oh I love these. With my sequencing being a problem I use them all the time. I just go mad on paper, brain storming it’s sometimes called, and then try to get a sequence. Most of the time it works… Sometimes though I do need to get anothers input, oddly though I have found that even random strangers will help (as long as it is a short piece and not a novel!).
- Audible… Yes I know this seems like advertising but it really isn’t. I don’t know what I would do without my audio books. Some writing is just too complicated for me (the Bronte sisters and Dickens to name a few) but they are something I desperately want to read. So I have an account with Audible and I scour the shops for second-hand copies. Amazon is good as well. I never say I can’t read something even when I know it’s out of my league because I can always listen to it…
- Amazon… Well I had to. There are two elements to this; firstly the book store (second-hand books are wonderfully cheap) and secondly the kindle. I can have my hands on a copy of the book I need within seconds of leaving the classroom. Need more time to read it and understand… well I make time. No more having to go to the book store and trawling the shelves only to then told they don’t stock it and I have to wait weeks, instead an instant download. Now I’m not saying that I agree with the whole process but needs must and unfortunately I must.
- Libraries… turns out they aren’t that scary and if you get lost people help you find a way out! For research they are fantastic, honestly I would have bankrupted myself if I had brought all the books I needed.
- Second-hand book shops. I just browse these – after all you never know what you might find…
- Lovefilm or Netflix (I use the first one). Film adaptations at your finger tips.
So all these go together to make me able to keep up with everyone else at uni but I haven’t touched on the extra help I will get… but then that is a completely different post.