We have been together for 5 years, and our baby made 3 back in May. We have a deep connection, and live a creative life. I wouldn't change a thing about him. We are both happily imperfect.
He has, however, often been marginalized because of his learning differences, and has never been "diagnosed". It is just a topic I hear nothing about among adults.
I am wondering if anyone here has any similar experience, any strengths or challenges to share?
Albert Einstein was dyslexic..well at least a form of it. I have the same. I had to over come a lot in my "school life". My 2nd grade teacher was really the only person that believed in me.
Life as an adult is different in many ways. Like I said I have over come a lot and live a full life. I made myself read and still do. Spelling is out the window. I want to homeschool and do.
I know that their are many of "AS' out here.
I had a long term boyfriend (3+ years) and he discovered he was dyslexic while we were together. He struggled in school his whole life (especially writing) and had no idea why. He was very gifted in art. When we met, he had just started a Master's program in teaching and I found myself re-writing his written assignments. I told him that he was switching letters in words and making some plural when they shouldn't be..etc. He then went for testing (if I'm remembering correctly) and was diagnosed. The craziest thing was when he told his parents his mom said, "oh! Now that you mention it, they thought you were dyslexic in 1st grade." He was SO MAD at her.
He's teaching art now. We've lost touch so I don't know how he's doing.
What's becoming clearer to me is how his learning difference has affected the way he communicates with me, and in turn, how I respond. We are just starting to connect the dots between his ego driven anger, and the mistreatment he faced as a child. I am realizing the same challenges in myself.
Many of the significant people in his life have either ignored his learning difference, or kind of made a novelty out of it, the genius outsider stereotype.
When they come into his life they often can't understand why he has a hard time finding good quality work.
Facing the darker emotions in our relationship have allowed us find safe way for him to finally say, hey, I'm different, I need to be who I am.
We've talked about how the need to" play dumb" in order to be included by ignorant people just to get by, has inflenced so much of how intimate he can be.
I am seeing how our personal way of learning is so intrinsic to who we are.
My DH is dyslexic. He was dxed with ADD as a child and medicated for years, interestingly as an adult, he eventually ended back up on meds a few years ago and it really has made a huge difference but that is a whole other topic. DH is what they call 2E. Gifted with a learning disability or Twice Exceptional. He skipped two grades as a child because he has almost a photographic memory as well as a insane IQ level but yet can barely read even as an adult.
He was never dxed with dyslexia until our oldest child, DD1, was being evaled for dyslexia (it does tend to run in families BTW so keep an eye out in the kids), and it came out during the testing, that he was dyslexic himself. No one had ever caught it all these years!
He is what I call a functional dyslexic, because of his IQ level, he basically could beat the system, in school as a child and as an adult in his career. It did explain a lot for him. Why all these years, he always felt so stupid, why he is not book smart, why just reading a simple child's book to our 4 year old is difficult for him. He is very limited to what he could career wise because of his limitations. He was very fortunate that while still in high school, he fell into IT and had quite a knack for it. He specially does very high level trouble shooting in layman's terms and excels at it because he can see what others can't. The dyslexic brain is fascinating. It is also incredibly painful to watch my oldest child struggle so much and know that she still fails even with everything we have done for her, all the tutoring, the remediation, the therapy, the daily school accommodations, and to just know that life isn't going to be easy for her. Unfortunately these days, being a round peg in a square box doesn't always pay the bills when she will more then likely barely able to graduate high school. It has made me appreciate how much others struggle to grasp basic commands of language when it just comes to others easily. Dh often calls it a blessing and a curse, one he would never wish upon anyone.
The biggest issues we face as a couple are his self-loathing and my unwillingness to forgive his mother for her educational neglect of him. He seems convinced that everyone thinks he's stupid and are always waiting for him to screw up, but that's obviously not true. If he makes a mistake in the work arena, he berates himself and takes it wayyyy too personally, and that causes ripples between us.
I remember our first Valentines together, I wrote him a love letter I didn't know he couldn't read. He told me the next day, through tears, that he was stupid and wouldn't blame me if I left him. He was 19, I was 18, and that was 4 years ago. We are in a better place now. Thank goodness.
I think part if why I was attracted to my partner in the first place was because I saw the learning difference in him, and that reminded me of my specific giftedness, that I had learned to hide since childhood.
I encountered a sort of binge and purge dynamic in the mentoring I got from my parents, teachers and other adults, wherein I would be lauded for my special talents one day, and then left out of enrichment activities the next. I was self sufficient and lacked trust and had poor self esteem.
My parents were sometimes neglectful due to what I now know to be mental illness and the effects of childhood trauma. I just underestimated myself alot and spent most of my life working in dead end jobs and
mostly avoiding my talents.
I internalized the expectations of others that I would be smart but totally non demanding. I learned not to ask for help, and to just adapt to whatever
happened to come my way.
Relating to my partner has meant getting to the point where he wouldn't accept me just wallowing in school and work life, too busy to make change.
The mainstream never accepted him because of his dyslexia. He's always got by on his good looks, great personality and creative approach to life.
I think it has meant that he could actually learn to do things (such as maintain and captain a boat, forage for food, build things) rather than learn to be things ( a good student for example).
I hope those of us out here raising gifted kids get the chance to let them learn to do things that they can really shine at and get out from under all these stifiling educational standards.