do i tell them i’m dyslexic?

dear heather,

I have had dyslexia since I was little. I used to live in Virginia and no one cared–they thought it was cool.

Then I moved to Ohio and people started making fun of me. I had a speech problem and couldn’t speak as well as the other kids. This was when I was in 5th grade and I didn’t really know how to explain it.

Now I am in high school. I do sports and I am in band. My squad leader asks me if I am dyslexic. I always smile and shrug, and then he makes fun of dyslexic people.

I know he isn’t trying to be mean and he doesn’t know about me, but I never know how to tell people what I have. During tests I leave the class so I can have the test read to me. When I come back, people in my class ask me where I go. I always end up changing the subject. How do I tell people about this?

One thing you could do, if you haven’t already, is learn all you can about your condition and then just be straightforward about telling people about it. That way, if anyone has questions about it, you can answer them and sound like an expert. If you’re confident about things like this, people usually understand. It is often people’s own fear and ignorance about something that makes them act like jerks, so the more you can explain about the situation, the better.

However, it is also no one’s business about your dyslexia, and if you choose not to let anyone know about your condition, that’s fine, too. Just keep in mind that if you don’t tell anyone you are dyslexic, people won’t know they are bothering you if they make fun of dyslexia or ask why you always leave the room for tests.

You could keep changing the subject if dyslexia comes up, of course, or explain to your squad leader in a general way that it’s not cool to make fun of anyone–whether they are dyslexic or something else.

If you decide to tell your squad leader about your dyslexia, let him know that you don’t like it when he makes fun of people. If he is really not trying to be mean, he’ll probably get very apologetic and stop joking about it. If he continues to make fun of dyslexic people, you could ignore it–and ignore him. If it continues to bother you and you consider it a form of harassment, you could consider lodging a complaint against him.

There are a lot of famous people who are dyslexic, and there are a number of resources online where you can learn more about dyslexia. In truth, everyone has something about her or himself that is different in some way. For you, it’s dyslexia; for each of your classmates–including your squad leader–it’s something else.

take care,

Posted in: Being Different, Help Me Heather, Virginity
  • Bri:)

    I have Dyscalculia, and a lot of people either don’t understand, don’t believe me, or think I’m I’m straight out retarded. Which I’m not. I excel in Biology, Social Studies, and Reading. Just because I’m not good at math, people think I’m stupid. I do wish I was good at math, though. Everything requires for you to be good at math. Fml.

  • Zurie

    I have dyslexia as well I’m 14 years old. It’s hard for me too but just remember your not alone and think of all the others just like us because we know your troubles and can get strenght fromone anothers experiences! Hang in there I know you can do it!!

  • Madi

    Hey well I have dyslexia too and don’t worry it’s not weird and it doesn’t change who you are! Just be positive and your life will be a whole lot better!