Puka Dyslexic Chat with Jamie Oliver

It was about three years ago when I started doing my dyslexic blogs and pod casts with comedian Mark Simmons. For me at the time it did not matter whether people read or listened to it (other than my mum of course) because i was just doing for me. I guess it was a way of putting pen to paper or pressing record and just getting stuff of my chest and putting them out there in a notional black whole that maybe one day some one may dip into.

However it surprised me when people started to comment on them and started to engage feeding back there stories. It soon turned out that I was not the only one that was forced to wear coloured glasses and eye patches and being placed in classes branded as special needs. It made me feel better in myself that i was not the only one who was going through this.

So from that i decided to write to my dyslexic man crush, jamie Oliver! Why wouldn’t he be anyones man crush, he is driven, successful, focused, you could taking him home to your mum and you would not go hungry!!! 

I sat down at my table, wrote a load of my experiences growing up and asked how he copped with dyslexia during his early years. I placed the hand write letter (and i hate writing by hand!) in the envelope, addressed to to his agent, posted it and 6 months later…… i never heard anything! 

I knew no one would reply i guess i just wrote it because it felt good sending it and it gave me that opportunity to think not only about me but how someone else felt.

Anyway I now work in the maritime world off the Kent and Essex coast. Whilst on the water on our 7 meter rib we needed to stop in Southend for a quick comfort break. We moored up on the end of the pier and headed over to the toilet block. There is a little blue building which i always knew was linked to Jamie Oliver and where he films one of his shows. Every time we had been before it had always been shut and empty however this time it was full of activity. Lights set up outside, cameras pointing in all directions and about a 40 strong film crew.

Im looking at my mate Ron thinking I’m no expert but i think something is going down!! We walked over to the little blue hut and spoke to one of the staff members. They confirmed that he was filming so I asked if he would be interested in having a look at our boat (may have come across as a bit of an unintentional chat up line). she informed me that he wold love to if he knew but the filming shedual was very tight and basically said he had no time in a polite manner. 

tail between our legs we walked back to the boat which I would also like to add was on our lunch break. As we were just about to walk past where the film crew were based  randomly he walked out of the entrance door. Now as much as seeing my wife walk down the isle on our wedding day gave me butterflies I have to say that this moment I did get a few buzzing around my stomach  making me a little speechless. 

Of course i composed myself, prosessed the situation by thinking before speaking and then came out with “fancy looking at my boat!’ To which he said “why not”. His assistant said no to him highlighting that he had no time to which he came along anyway and spend about 15 minuets chatting.

I thought back to that letter i send him three years ago and strongly the first thing that I came out with way “I wrote to you but you never wrote back’ in a jokey way. He actually asked where i sent it and joked that some times letters turn up at his address that only have his name on it and a stamp!

Following that I explained the reasoning for sending the letter that I knew he was dyslexic. From there we had a quick but amazing chat which gave me a short insight into his dyslexic world.

He worked out that he was about ten years older then me and said that when he was younger there was no real help at all. He stated that back then you got isolated from the main classes and did more smaller group work. I mentioned that I was put in a class called “special needs” to which he smiled and said that was exactly what it was called when he went to school. 

I said that for me one of my main problems at work was spelling the wrong word for example putting on a form that someone was retarded when I actually awas trying to say retaired but my brain reads them the same so I get messily into trouble with that. He told me that in one of his books he was trying to write the word pancetta and actually wrote placenta with out noticing! Just shows that it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you are a multi million pound chef or just a small time blogger whose mum makes up 85% of your target audience, the dyslexic problems are still the same!

We spoke briefly about coping mecineisms – he stated that he uses a dictaphone regally which is something that I have never used or tried.

It was a very brief chat but what I would say is he is a really nice bloke and was really down to earth and open regarding dyslexia. A lot of people i know try to hide it as if it is a bad thing. It really isn’t! If anything I’m sure Jamies dyslexia may have played some part in his success today. 

Dyslexic filter glasses 90’s style!

The story of the purple glasses 

The year was 1992 – a young boy aged 7 (yes it may be myself again) was sat at the far end of the class room. 

Reading time – All the other kids were loving there new reading skills which they had been learning over the last few years. 

The room was awash of nouns and-pronouns, smashing out adjectives and throwing out verbs like they were making it rain with £50 notes!

One girl was so good that she was quoting the current financial climate referring the the Financial Times! 

Whilst this array of word crunching was taking place in the class room, little Sam was sat reading the very hungry caterpillar (#GreatBook).

The teachers realised that Sam was well behind in the reading game. The words just seemed to be all jumbled up on the page. It was decided that he was to be put through a special colour filter test.

The next week a man came to the school with a dark brief case. The case opens and out came a list of words and a number of different transparent coloured filters.

“Nothing to worry about old son, all you got to do is read until I say stop”. Sam hated reading. He really did think the Egyptians had the right idea with there cool picture words.

It said something like “the cat was wearing a hat whilst he had a chat with pat” 

Sam was getting it well wrong from the start “the tat with the part had a hat and a rat” 

Each colour not really making much of a difference UNTIL the man put a purple filter on.

It just clicked and for the first time the words seemed to be lined up together in readable sentences. 

Success you would of thought reading this! Well what the school didn’t say was that they were not just giving him the filter but making him a pair of purple framed glasses.

Not just run of the mill pair… we are talking huge thick brown framed glasses. They were that big that the top of the lance levelled with his hair line and the lower was most of the way to his chin!!! 

To top that the lenses were dark purple and you almost needed a backpack as a case for them!

Picture Elton johns mini me siting in a room full of other children all starring and lathing.

Well at the end of the first day little Sam was so upset and peed off that he had been made the lathing stock of the class that he took the glasses, threw them on the floor and stood on them. 

It felt so good to do that!! The only down side was sams mum had to pay for those glasses and as a family they didn’t have much money at the time.

She went mad, proper mad! To which my hatred for the glasses slipped to an emotional pit whole as I new we had little money and maybe being bullied wasn’t the lesser evil.

It’s a story looking back makes me smile (my work lot think it’s hilarious) but actually was a really vunrable moment in my growing up.

I hope my experiences in life make people realise that being dyslexic is not just about not being able to spell but actually has a real emotional impact.

Does this still happen? 

Dyslexia -Please please don’t pick me!!!!

 

He is sat amungst 30 other children at the age of 13 in a dark gloomy class room.

The atmospher of boredom fills the room. The class is just waiting for that one little thing to change the dull feeling that lingers in the air.

Macbeth is being read out aloud but the students in turn. Each rushing there few pages so to pass the buck onto the next person.

A young scared boy has seen that there is two more people to read before him. He can barely read picture books let alone Macbeth!!!!

He works out that he should start his section on page 46. Rather than listen he jumps forward to try and ore read that part to try and nail it prior to the inevitable pain that is to come.

The problem is that boy struggles to read in his head and quietly mumbles it with out being noticed.

Although to his horror the teacher sees what he is doing and decides to mix it up a bit.

Sam! Can you please take over. The boy looks up in horror and hasn’t a clue what page the class is actually on. He starts to glow red, his white shirt absorbed the gushing sweat from his back and he mumbles “yes sir… what page are we on I have seemed to have got a little lost”

The class all perk up, this was what they have been waiting for for the last 45 minuets!!! The boy waits for the reply of the teacher who is smerking up front.

Page 26 second line down please he says in a condersending tone.The boy starts and rather then reading sentences he reads word by word. He misses lines and almost creates new words from ones he can not read. 

The class love it, this is the highlight of the day. The teacher doesn’t stop the madness of the class but almost encourages it by letting Sam continue word by word, line by line. 

It must of been painfull to watch because it was dam painfull to do.

15 minuets in and only two pages kind of completed the relief of the school bell. 

Yes that boy was me!!!!  I can’t even look at Macbeth with out a shiver running down my back!!!!

It’s amazing how that day can have a huge impact on your life. From that day I realised I hated school and I hated that teacher. 

But that hate turned into a motivation to push on work hard and…… fail my GCSE’s! Haha not very motivation but when the school realised I had dyslexia I got extra time, help from better teachers than my dreaded English teacher of year 8 and managed to pass everything eventually getting a business degree.

Don’t let people drag you down. If they kick you down, pick your self up, if they put you down it’s because they think power comes from weakness But it doesn’t. It comes from belief and smashing those barriers no matter how high.

That day shaped me to who I am today.

@samthedyslexic

 

August Sam the Dyslexic Blogg

So I finaly wrote the letter to Prime Minister May!!

This letter will go one of two ways… She will agree and write back to me saying that her party will look in to it OR she will just think im a bit of a nob and will be filed in the department of recycling!!!

Either way it still is not fair that people have to pay well over £500 to find out if you are dyslexic. That would be like me going into hospital saying I think my leg is broken and the doctor saying “yeah it really looks broken but drop me £500 and I will let you know for sure!!!”

 

I couldn’t spell my name till I was over 10, surname at like 15, I read at like 10 words a minuet and most of the time I read the same line three times because the words are all jumbled up! I think its safe to say something is wrong and I and im terrible with numbers so I may have short changed you with your £500 test money.

 

How many people are out there that can not afford to pay to be told they are dyslexic. Deep down they know they are so why for them to get help do we bulid a huge barrier in fornt of them. AND what does it achive. Does there work really care, understand or even really want to help.

 

Iv noticed on twitter that there are so many groups out there for dyslexia doing an amazing job. It’s a huge community but yet people are slipping through the net in getting help. How can we change that???

 

Its like the government are not really that intrested as it is not something that affects them. Well the proof will be in the pudding and see if we get a reply.

 

Its been a while since Iv hit the blogs and twiter. Sadly my grandad passed away will a 30 year fight with dementure. If anyone who is reading this has family members with this then I really feel your pain.

 

Dementure if so crule and soul destroying that it finaly beat him. Desomond Jack Dyer my grandad who fought in the war, boxed in the navy and worked in construction for over 50 years became the latest victim of the darkness of the desease and he will be missed more than ever!

 

My Run

Please please have a look at my gust giving page under sam the dyslexic as I am running a 32 mile london race for the British Dyslexia Assosiation to raise a bit of money that they can use to help may for dysllexia test for people that can not afford it. Any donations no matter how small will go a long way.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/samthedyslexic 

What is the worst dyslexic error you have made with regards to words that sound the same? My top retired and retarded (on an official document) 

 

Thanks people

 

@samthedyslexic

Where is Your Dyslexic Happy Place???

This is Mine, where is yours and why is it a good idea to have one.????

I find that Dyslexia can emotionaly throw you from a real happy place to a real dark sad rubish area in a drop of a hat. Whether it is from bullying at work, stress of exams or even just being frustrated with everything.

The important thing to remember is that this also works the other way!

So I was at work on my first day of a new job, happy keen and excited!!! One of my first jobs was to take a report from a lady in the local community. I got my pen out and wrote down every thing she said. I then gave her back the report to read (not knowing she was an ex head school teacher) and she actualy got her red pen out and spell checked it.

Its funny now looking back on it being in an official position, taking important documents and someone completely undermimes you confidence and gives you an un expected English litracy lession. Luckerly 2nd time round she marked me as a C!!!!!!

 

Exams!!! I hate Exams!! Tests, Mocks, assesments. I hate them because it seems that the majority of tests I have done over the years are not designed to test you knolege but to simply catch you out. Double negitive questions, what are they all about. Which is not the answer in this situation. Why confuse me and ask me which is the right answer for this senario!!!

 

Ok I have clearly got myself on a bit of a rant to will bring it back to the point of the blog 😊

 

Happy Places!

 

Over the years I have found that if I am having a bad day and I am really down then I will head off to a place that brings me back, resets me and alows me to focus back on all the joys or nightmears life likes to throw at you as a dyslexic cluster (me).

I have a number of little escapes but this is my favorit.

About 8 years ago I found an old washed up windsurf board on the beach. It was old, dirty and even was covered in sea barnicals (sounds apleaing wouldn’t you agree).

However I managed to find the old owner who said he was going to throw it away. So I rescued it and gave it a clean up. This then became my happy place.

Everytime I would get stressed, angry or genraly pee’d off, I would get my recysled kyack and paddle out about 100m from the shore and just chill. The movment of the waves, the feel of the water and the cool air just made it amazing. And I had time on my own to work it all out, put the world to right and then head home with a clear head.

 

This isnt going to work with every one but everyone has something that lifts them, something that gets you away from all those worries (even if it is just for 5mins).

Being dyslexic is stressfull at times and simply its hard. When one barrier is overcome 10 more apear. We can never stop that but to climbe over or smash them down we need time to think. And that is where my happy place helps.

Some of my other happy places

Rowing – exerting energy helps although I am over 30 now so no longer a spring chicken.

Eating – Although I found the scales went as happy as they were before

Traverling – amzing way of unwinding. I took 8 weeks of work and traveled around india and australia. Best thing I have ever done.

Anyway in conclusion is you have made it this far. It is masivley important to try and remove and address some of the stresses and frustrations that dyslexia can bring. The best place to do that is away from those stresses trying to tackle them but in a place that puts you back in control.

I am no sciantific expert or renound reasurcher. I am simply dyslexic and this works for me.

Hope this helps

 

@samthedyslexic

May Blog

As I was sat in a cocktail bar over looking the beautiful town of Agios Nikolaos in Crete which was a little blurry as the “TRUST THE BARMAN” cocktail was a little stronger than my lightweight self is used to having!

A question was asked within the group of what is the difference between Assume and Presume.

Easy question I thought at first and naturally is said “well assume is like persuming something and persume is like asuming”.

Then I realised the cocktail was clearly talking and I had no idea about what I was talking about so listened to the grown-ups work it out (Im 32 honestly!)

It then seemed aparent that no one really knew the diffrence!

Can anyone actualy tell me the diffrence between them?

What is the point of two completely difrent words that mean the same thing?

And How do you decide when to use the right one…?

And then just to make assume and persume complecated, you can also have supose!!! Any more…..

Another one that gets me is words that are simular but have completely difrent sounds;

Cough (off) though (o) rough (uff) – all ending in OUGH but have completely difrent sounds. How can all these sound different when they have the same ending. If I was french and started learing english for the first time then surely I would be cursing because it is so complicated.

Have we over the years just made our language complicated or is it because our language is a mix-mash of other languages such as French and latin?

Some times I feel that its my dyslexia that makes it dificult for me but actualy I think it is the English Language.

Another example is if I said I like to sit and ROW, do I mean;

1)I like to sit and row a boat

2)I like to sit and row (argue)with my family

3)Or row as in lines of seats.

Is this not just a floor in the english langue. Do the oxford dictory people even know this and if so why make one word that means loads of different things!

Cup – drinking cup or going to the doctors and being cupped and asked to cough!!!!

Dog pound, pound in weight, money pound gave it a pounding!?

When I used to get words wrong – my nan used to say “there there sam, your get t right next time”. Which there or their is right in this senario?

In summery the english language is really complicated and confusing. So being dyslexic it feels a 100 times harder to understand and get stuff in the right context. Infact now I read this back I feel that I need another coctail just to understand what I have writen.

Only a quick blog today but I am looking a writing one about big organisations and how a lot of the time they are not dyslexic friendly at all. Example being terms and conditions – why not summerise so us dyslexic people and actualy read what we are signing up to rather than the hole 95 pages that no one will ever read!

Any ideas on that would be apreshiated to!!!!

 

Let me know what you think on twitter @samthedysleic

 

Thanks for reading

Sam

 

 

 

Can you Beat Dyslexia…???

Hi to my regular readers (mum)

I write my blog mainly just to get my thoughts to paper because mostly my thoughts are like bubbles floating around within my head. Half the time they pop or almagumate with other bubbles before I have actualy worked out what they were.

 

I recently put up a post about beating dyslexia and I recived a reply that made me think. I have always felt that you cant beat dyslexia and that you have to work with it. But recently I had to do a lot of job related exams that were pritty hard and it massivly brought out the dyslexic traits that I have managed to rain in over the years.

 

It reminded me of the huge emotional wait that can be placed on someone causing a huge amount of preasure and stress because ultimatly in my case the exams will help me get on the path way to a better job, SO NO PREASURE AT ALL!!!!!

I hated dyslexia as a kid because it made me different from all the other kids. I had to wear eye patches, purple lence glasses, be put in special needs classes, placed in all the bottem classes even though pleading with teacher to be moved due to all the desruptive kids being at the bottem also.

 

I wanted to beat it then because I didn’t realy know what it was or why it is happerning to me.

 

Later in life I relised that you cant beat it and almost gave up because it always seemed to get one over on me so I just plodded along until I got to my GCSE’s which surprise surprise I did pants in! However I got it back in my head that I can beat this and I can break this mould so I pushed and pushed myself and not only did I pass my GCSE’s but went on to A levels and even got a degree in Business at university.

 

So strangly I have always been torn between this premis of beating dyslexia and working with it. Prior to my recent exams I was very much of the opinion that dyslexia has shaped who I am and that I like working with it to over come lifes chalenges.

But latley the emotional black thunder cloud has be cast again and it realy takes its tole.

 

I know deep down that I would not change being dyslexic and that adapting and working with it is the way forward but soetimes its hard. And even harder what you try to speak to people who don’t realy understand much about dyslexia.

 

Im not trying to say that saying beating dyslexia is right. I think when I use the term beating dyslexia I actualy mean phycologicly beating it and knowing that you can still achive what you want even with the shadow that always follows you (dyslexia).

I still struggle reading and recently I have forced myself to read more and now really seem to have the bug for it, to the point that its inspired me to write my own book. Its not role dar or jane austin but to me its a small goal I have set.

 

anyway I have rambled on way to much to I realy woud like to know what other people think about it and how they deal with dyslexia.

Mum thank you for reading 🙂 and if anyone else got this far then please contact me on twitter @sam the dyslexic.

 

Sam

Dyslexic Game Of Thrones!!

Is Dyslexia like an epasode of Game of Thones?

It defantly has the brutality that can be found in life, work, schools and collages. For most people it has a real sence of love and hate that can boil down into a really deep dark emotional place for some people. And most of all it has houses that have simular traits.

 

House of lanister reminds me of the house of Employer as they are all about power and wealth and have little regards for the soldiers, workers and other houses that put obsticals in there way.

 

House Stark is like House Dyslexic. Is fighting a stale mate war with its values, belives and problems against a bigger more non understanding House employer.

 

Maybe house Targaryan is the ever growing suport groups that defend the rights of House Dyslexic.

 

Ok I feel like im re writing this amazing box set and ruining it!! I just feel that sometimes being dyslexic is like being in a battle with so many difrent factors and people trying to cut you down or break you. Employers don’t really seem to understand the difficulties that being dyslexic can have. AND that sometimes it is only small changes that are needed to help that person get on. Its like the nights watch is protecting our barriers against all the negativity that is out there.

 

House dyslexia is a strong suportive community but outside that it can feel like you are banging you head against a wall. So what can be done….

 

In short – rise up and stand up and make it heard what you want to say. I have been having huge issues at my work because the employer does not provide relivent information on how it can help people with dyslexia. I have been banging on to them for years now saying that we need a website with more information.

Someone took my idea (management) and created a site that was not acsessable and block black and white text. Nice work coyboy!!!!! How about you jump off your high horse and think outside the box and ask the people that will use it (dyslexic staff) what they would like to see and how it should be presented.

 

I guess that is thinking! However one manager has picked this up and has been amazing. He has organised taking ownership of the internal site and is asking me to reasurch what officers and supervisors would want to see.

 

I moan a lot about employers espechaly mine but on this occasion he has been spot on and I think this will really help.

 

Oh on a seprate note I haave been speaking to some really coll people at NUword. They have created a cool site which has a chat forum that covers some real good dyslexic topics. I have writen a few posts in there and think it is a great way of shareing stories and experiences. Please check it out at www.nuword.org/join

 

It is free to sign up and really worth having a look.

 

Anyway I need to get back to my revsion as have a few marine exams on the go. FUN!!!!!!

 

Laters people sorry if I ruined Game of Thrones

 

Sam

@samthedyslexic

Anyone else hate this?!?!?!

Question 1

Which of the following is NOT the correct feeling you get when a negitive question appears in your exam?

  1. A negiitive question never affects me during the exam because I only notice when I failed my exams because I did not see the “NOT”.
  2. I saw the “NOT” but my brain is scared of it and takes the tactical desion to ignor it because if you cant see it it cant hurt you
  3. Put my hand up and ask if I can highlight the question so not to miss the “NOT” but get told you cant write on the exam paper!!!
  4. Or im a cool dude and no NOT is going to hold me back.

i. A and B

ii. B and DA,

iii. C and D

iv. Or you start cursing, rip up the paper, throw it at the teacher and start to cry!!!! (my option)

 

HAHA so you may have quessed Im not a fan of the negitive question which seems to be widley used in moden day exams. I recenly did an advanced version of highway code theory for work. Prior to this I downloaded the DSA official theory aplication for my iphone and smashed the revsion side getting well over 95% each time I did it.

On the day of the race, I was sitting there looking at the exam paper which almost every question was negitive, I thought you buggers are just trying to catch me out rather than actualy test me.

At first I thought it was a bit of a joke test and that the person in charge would spit his tea out laughing, pat me on the back and say “ we got you there lad!”

 

Nope this was the test, and the most anoying thing being the questions wernt actualy that hard but were worded in away that you had to question what they were actualy asking you.

 

Now am I just being silly or isnt it better that the student revises and the exam board test you on what you have learnt… Nope they like to go one step further and try to catch you out. WELL my message to the examiners is stop waisting your ink by chucking in NOT’s and exantending has to hasents and just do your job and actualy test peoples knoledge!!!!

 

Maybe im the only dyslexic that belives in this issue but I just don’t think its fair and ultomatly I don’t think its right.

 

Anyway on a happyer note I have stupidly signed up for a 50km run in september with my best mate. Im looking to run to promote dyslexia and rise a bit of cash which I would like to donate to a chairty / organisation that could use it to help someone who cant afford to have a dyslexia test who needs one. Will keep you all posted on that one.

 

Anyway only a quick blogg but pleae tweet me and let me know what you think!!!!!

 

Samthedyslexic

The Hidden Dyslexic in a Board Game!?!


Hi all, hope you had a great christmas and new year! Im sure a few of you are wondering what im meaning by the title of my blog regarding dyslexia and board games….??

Well randomly christmas is always a time for sitting down with the family and playing a good board game unless it is monopaly because that just rips familys apart!!! But this year we played a few and strangly they are a really good tool for showing traits of dyslexia.

Just after christmas we an open house with lots of friends and family and played abit of a rude card game. I wont mention the name as people may judje me, however in the game you have a the bagining part of a sentance put on the table. All the players have to use one of there seven cards to finish the sentence and the best ending wins.

I hate games like this because you have to read out loud. It simply just reminds me of the dark days of school in the English classroom where i would either read the same line twice or read the word wrong and say something rude or completely wrong!!!!

However I soon realised that i was not the only one who was having truble reading out loud. In fact a few of the group were having issues in not just reading but processing the information in which they needed to get out.

I think board games should have a sign on saying “warning you may be a dyslexic after you play this!”

I guess they test all the cognitive functions of the mind so it would draw out dyslexic tendencys. Sneakerly it made me feel ten times better because I wasnt the only one back in that english class that day!!

People who read this (hopefully other than my mum) may remember that I was writing a book. Its still geting there but blimey its hard work!!!! Im glad im doing this for fun and not on a deadline for a job!

Anyway on the subject of books I think people should check this person out. Beth Montgomery has writen a book about like at school with dyslexia. I havent read it yet but im looking forward to! check her out @BeesWhiskers

Anyway only a quick on as have more studying to do!!!!!!!!! I am now learning nortical navigation!! How lost am I going to get

 

Laters

 

Sam

@samthedyslexic