I play by no one’s rules but my own…take that grammar

Apraxia Child

To all of my now and future readers I want to apologize. You may notice grammatical mistakes in my writing. That awkward moment where no one wants to be that guy who calls the blogger out, but they are all whispering under their breath “can he write?” or “if he doesn’t know basic grammar why would he write a blog?”  I want to apologize for my occasional grammatical slip ups, it happens but I think we are mostly adults here and can deal with it. I also want to explain why it happens. It is not that I am lazy, stupid, or (God forbid) a bad writer. I have got a learning disability called Apraxia. (yes, it is real.)

I will explain Apraxia as it has been explained to me my whole life. My thoughts to not get to my hands fast enough. I write faster than the thoughts can get there and so, my writing is not always flawless. In addition my fine motor skills are not great, yes I can fold, yes I can cut with a scissors in a straight line…both of those just take a lot of concentration. My writing was much worse before I had a computer though, my hand writing was far worse than any doctors (my dad is a doctor and my hand writing beat his any day). While my writing was horrendous my speaking ability was articulate and well formed (not to toot my own horn, just a good comparison). This also differentiated me from people who had “speech language apraxia” which is entirely different. When I was in 5th grade (around 11 years old) I went to a occupational therapist because my spelling, grammar, hand writing, folding and scissor skills were sub-par for my age. She diagnosed me after quite a few tests and prescribed that I start typing. It helped a lot (I am indebted to Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing) but it did not “cure me.” I had an alpha-smart word processor, which, by the way, are almost entirely useless, for class so that I could just type but not be distracted by the internet. It was fine and when I had my Bar Mitzvah I got a lap top. From there the real life began.

With a lap top I began to learn how to cope with Apraxia and being able to communicate through writing. I started what, if I added them all up, must have been weeks worth of time sitting at the kitchen table with my mom learning how to properly communicate through the written word. All through middle school, high school and even college (#noshame) my mom helped me edit my papers and helped me learn how to develop my thoughts into the written word. It was tough. It was grueling. I learned to hate the word re-write. I learned that getting a paper back with tons of red is far better than getting a paper back with no red on it. As time goes on I have learned that if I take time, be it a lot of time, I can get it right. As time has gone on and I have learned more I have begun to cut down on the time it takes me to write. However, the idea of drafts has never left me. I will never turn a paper or document in having not reviewed it at least once. I commonly do three to four drafts and edits of any papers (five pages or over).

In short I came to the understanding that this learning disability makes me work even harder than I normally would. I put in hours when other people may not have to but I  understand that it is worth it. I understand that I have a disability that I have to work with and it will not stop me from succeeding. This is not to say that people do not need help, medication, or anything else they need. Hard work by itself does not always solve every problem, though for me it is still helping me overcome mine. Yes, some times grammar gets in the way, but if you can’t tell what I am writing because of one or three grammatical mistake…we have bigger problems.

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