Everyone makes them, some more than others. A simple spelling mistake might seem unimportant to most of the world depending on the context in which it is written, however to me reading a text with spelling mistakes is like trying to read something with random words being on fire, the flames obscure my vision of the rest of the text. I sometimes don’t even notice it until I’ve spent five minutes staring at one word on a full page trying to internally correct it. Often upon noticing a spelling mistake I will feel drawn to it like there is nothing else my eyes could possibly focus on. It doesn’t even have to be something that prevents me from understanding what the word is supposed to be, it could be as simple as someone swapping an ‘a’ for an ‘e’, or spelling out a word as it sounds rather than as it’s written.

Sometimes I will read a single paragraph of a book for hours because there is one spelling mistake in it and I will automatically jump back to the start of the paragraph after reading it in order to try and fix it in my head. Of course I never can, printed ink can’t be changed and I can’t change what other people write in some formats. But what I can do is try to help someone improve their spelling over time, which not only helps me read what they have written but it also helps them appear more outwardly intelligent. At least that’s how I see it anyway, others just think I’m being anal when I correct their spelling but that’s probably because I’ve never told this to anyone.

It would be fine if it didn’t affect the rest of my life but it does, when someone passes me something to read and it has spelling errors I just zone in on them and can’t focus on anything else. Internally I scream in frustration at my inability to read a simple fucking sentence. Others get bored and frustrated waiting for me to read the short paragraph they handed me because they don’t understand why I’m having difficulty when usually I would have read it within ten seconds. It’s something that I actually find very embarrassing, not because others would judge me for it but because they would try and give me extra support for it.

Having been diagnosed with dyspraxia as a child has meant that throughout my life I’ve been given special treatment by my family and teachers to support my learning despite the difficulties I have. It’s more than enough to remind me on a daily basis that I’m not as capable as my peers and no matter how hard I try I never will be. I can’t make my hands do the things that I want them to do. I often can’t turn my thoughts into words. I can’t understand why people believe or do certain things, often causing it to be difficult to socialise with others as I can’t predict how they will react to things I say. A sentence with a single typographical error can sometimes trip me up for an hour or two.

Don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t need pity for this I just need people to understand. When people try to support me with this type of problem it doesn’t help because they don’t understand it, I would explain it to them if I could get the words to form in my mind to do so but they never do. I never asked for support so why do people assume I want it? Much like being alive, I don’t get to opt out even if I never wanted it in the first place.

I guess people reading this might help to some degree but not fully. People still won’t understand where my difficulties come from or exactly what they are because I still don’t know how to put them into words though at least people might stop trying to give me special treatment for things that they don’t know how to help with.

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