1. They tend to make piles of things rather than to organize them and put them away. For these Dyslexics their “big picture” is not separated into parts.
2. So they have extremely messy bedrooms, lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, offices, and garages.
3. But they do have a tendency to know where individual items of importance to them are in these piles. Often they will also know when something has been moved. I have had some of our clients tell us that they see these “piles” complete in their minds.
4. The messy Dyslexic will generally not know however where the rest of their belongings that are not of importance to them are located.
One young client told us he could see in his mind exactly where the components and programs of his computer games were but could never find his school backpack. He was able to visualize his computer game stuff and their location but he had not committed the visual of his backpack to memory because it was not important to him and he didn’t put in one place all the time so he could find it. He would drop it anywhere and since his “visual memory” wasn’t turned on at that moment he wasn’t even aware he had put it down.
The need to “pile” is interesting. I believe it’s about the attempt to organize and keep a Dyslexic’s mind calm. I myself as a Dyslexic started out in my early years as a very messy person but I did know exactly or approximately where everything was.
I got tidier over the years for a couple of reasons. I had a house, children and a business to keep organized. My problem with my “piles” was it took too long to find things especially when I was running out the door with children, lunches, their “stuff”, my “stuff” and several stops to make.
Secondly I started to realize that when I was organized the “picture” of my life in my mind was calmer.
But I had to work very hard to change and I’m still not very good at it. We as Dyslexics get totally overwhelmed and confused with organization.
I do however have certain piles I feel I need to organize at some point. I have a tendency to make piles in cardboard boxes and carry them with me from home to work. I don’t know exactly where or what things are in that pile but I do have the calming knowledge that they are in that box somewhere. By bringing them with me I feel I will find time to organize them. So some parents may have noticed that their children will insist on carrying a pile of stuff with them when going to different places.
I want to emphasize though that they are not being lazy or uncaring as a disorganized person. It is not of importance in their minds and is also not a natural way to be for them so they have no clue how to be tidy.
1. Messy Dyslexics never get anything done on time. We send Christmas cards after Christmas (I thought it would be great to create a line of cards that was like “sorry I missed your birthday cards” – “Sorry I missed sending you a Christmas card on time”. My cards would arrive on Christmas day or the day after Christmas and some of the cards were never get out at all.
I send birthday presents to my grandchildren late, get my taxes out at the last minute, try to get tickets to things the day of the event, collect a list of emails to reply to and suddenly months fly by. We mean well but somehow can’t get it together. This is also called “procrastination” which can be a huge issue for a Dyslexic.
2. Messy Dyslexics have a terrible time with organizing their life in general.
1. Dyslexics live in the “now”, not past or future so schedules can be a frightening part of their lives.
(Still working on the rest of this thought)
1. They can be meticulous, extremely organized, colour-coded and very concerned about everything being the right place. They will know when something has been moved.
2. Dyslexics who are orderly feel that if the space around them is not organized they will be anxious and their mind will be chaotic with images. Their tidiness will help them keep a logical order to any task they are doing. For example, a tidy Dyslexic will often have a very organized clothes closet, arranged by type of clothing and arranged by colour. Generally they will start with white, colours and then black.