In honor of National Dyslexia Awareness Month, we’ve tracked down Mylo to share a few thoughts on the true definition of dyslexia and how he’s become more confident in himself as a learner since discovering his learning difference.
Q: When did you find out that you had dyslexia and how?
M: I found out that I had dyslexia when I was in 7th grade. My mom told me that I had dyslexia, which meant that I learn differently from other people, but that it was not a bad thing. She explained that everyone learns differently, that our brains are all wired differently, and that reading and writing might be more challenging for me.
Q: Can you explain dyslexia to those who are unfamiliar with it?
M: Dyslexia makes reading and writing harder. Reading individual words is okay, however understanding the meaning of a full sentence or paragraph can be challenging. Following text in sequence can also be a struggle, as I will randomly skip lines, then have to double back and re-read from where I left off. As I see it, dyslexia does have its advantages, as topics like math, sciences and art come easily to me. This may be because I am more of a visual thinker and can easily see things from different perspectives.
Q: Do you think people understand what dyslexia truly is?
M: People definitely do not know what dyslexia truly is, as it is still viewed as a problem. I feel like most people, and even schools, don’t understand that all kids naturally learn differently. Most schools are also not set up to teach to the individual learner, which makes dyslexia stand out even more. Even kids don’t really understand that dyslexia is not a problem.
Like any person, we have our strengths and weaknesses. Reading and writing are naturally not going to be areas of strength.
Q: Can you share a bit about what it means for you to have dyslexia?
M: Personally, I approach things in a very visual and mathematical way. For me, it’s honestly kind of just normal, as I knew from an early age that I had dyslexia and so I kind of just grew into it knowing how I learned best. I just found other ways to approach the same things that other kids were doing. I also have a lot of positive support from my parents. I do, however, have to work longer and harder with reading and writing assignments than most kids.
Q: What is your advice to people who don’t have a learning difference to understand people that do?
M: Just understand that dyslexia and other learning differences occur in a lot of kids, it is not a choice or a measure of intelligence. It is simply the way we are wired. There’s not only one way to do things, one thought process, or one way of coming to a conclusion. A lot of people learn in different ways and this needs to be understood.
Q: What is your advice to someone who has just learned that they have dyslexia?
M: Don’t get overwhelmed by it. It’s something you’ve been living with for your entire life, and it’s okay. Many brilliant and successful people are dyslexic. It’s important to simply understand that you learn differently and to figure out how you learn best. Dyslexia is your normal, and it’s just a different way of looking at things.
Everyone learns differently, and that should be celebrated! Learn more about Mylo and our story under the 'The Story' tab on our website.