Yellow M&M: Dog-Damn-it Not only am I NUTS… But I’m dyslectic, too!
Which Came first, Bipolar or Dyslexia?
Is Dyslexia a precursor to Bipolar? I was diagnosed as dyslexic when I was 8 years old at the Boston Children’s Hospital. In short, my father was told I would not be able to read at my expected age group level and my comprehension would be affected. He also said my hand-eye coordination would be slow and I would not excel at sports.
My father refused to believe the doctor’s “diagnosis” and the following week signed me up for ice hockey, the hardest and most physically demanding sport around. His idea, I believe, was to handle dyslexia head on! What a disaster that was… it ended when I was just rolling on the ice. (Rolling over other kids for fun.)
My Dad did not give up and in the spring I started playing baseball. I loved it, but I was the worst kid on the team. I played the dreaded left field; reserved for the girls or kids like me who stunk up the field. Something happened toward the end of that season. I was able to hit the ball a little and I could catch much better. (A stark improvement) With practice, I was able to be a leading contributor to the team. The next year, we won the divisions. After that, every team I played on eventually won their division at some point. This proves to me, with practice and hard work , we can break the shackles of a label!
As for learning, well that diagnosis was correct. I had a very hard time comprehending what I read. However, if I heard it, I would retain it. It’s true – I made it through grade school to high school without ever reading one book from cover to cover. Yet, I scored high on many of the tests on books I did not read. Why? Because I listened when we reviewed them in class and extrapolated the rest of the story in my imagination.
I’m not sure what type of diagnosis I would get now if I were dealing with what I had back in 1979. In today’s diagnosis-demanding world, would they have jumped over Dyslexia to ADD or ADHD, or would I have been labeled as Bipolar?
Yes, once thought rare in preteens, Bipolar Disorder is now increasingly diagnosed in children including preschoolers… Here is something to think about:
“Rates of psychiatric hospitalizations for children and teens rose sharply from 1996 to 2007, and youngsters with bipolar disorder showed the sharpest increase, reports. The figures come from a study by Joseph Blader, PhD, of Stony Brook State University of New York, published online Aug. 1 by the Archives of General Psychiatry”
This figure was not based on “diagnosed” children which also has increased dramatically. Rather, it is based on “psychiatric hospitalizations for children and teens ” who were in crisis. While I have not personally seen any rock-solid studies that show Dyslexia and Bipolar as directly linked, I have many peers that are diagnosed with Dyslexia or ADD or other types of learning disorders with Bipolar. What about you? Do you know someone who fits this type of diagnosis? If so, please tell us.
I’ve been praised over the years (publicly and privately) for my courage in being a person with a learning disability who loves to write and blog. While I appreciate it, I have to tell you if it weren’t for my loving wife’s ability to “decipher” what I’m trying to write, then no one would ever be able to read or comprehend what I’m trying to say. So, I just want to once again, thank my wife for editing all my posts. If you ever come across a post that seems incoherent, then you can be sure my wife did not edit it. Even now, I’m looking at what I just wrote and see about 50 words with a red underline telling me I spelled them wrong. Spell check hates me.
I drew the above-cartoon completely with my mouse… I had the idea and could not find a pen…:)
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