Dyslexia, SPD or just a scared? What is wrong with me?

by Lucy
(Australia)

I have never been diagnosed with any kind of learning disability as I didn’t struggle through school; it was only number sequences and multiple choice tests that really bothered me. I’m 23 years old and during my final years of high school I was told I could have a mild form of dyslexia due to my inability to fill out multiple choice questionnaires properly and my jumbling of numbers i.e. when someone tells me their phone number or their address I have to double check with them as often I will put 14 instead of 41 or muddle up a sequence of 3; I would write down 5546987 as 5546789.


I was diagnosed with depression when I was 21 and considering I have a lot of mental illness in my family I didn’t think much of the diagnosis but looking back I don’t think that that is the crux of the problem. I did a little research into dyslexia and that is how I came across SPD. Going through the checklist I was amazed at how everything was coming together and I feel I can sort of put a mane to my ‘weirdness’. The things that jumped out at me was my absolute fear of loud noises, I get anxious when people blow up balloons or even just have them near me, I hate going to concerts or outdoor events for fear that there will be fireworks, my friends think I’m ridiculous or that it is fine for the noises to frighten me, but they do more than that, it is like I feel them through my body, it is awful! I also get motion sickness and I can feel really overwhelmed by smells (especially on public transport which is a major pain as I can’t drive). So obviously driving is another major thing. I thought that it was because I was in a car accident (I wasn’t hurt but I completely lost faith in the ability of other drivers) but now that I really think about it, I have difficulty estimating distances i.e. how far a moving thing is away from me so crossing roads is often difficult. Hence passing, merging, parking, breaking are all really difficult for me.

Also i fall over a lot, slippery surfaces are my enemy and slippery stairs, well grippy socks are the best thing around! The final major thing for me was also a noise thing but this time with ticking, dripping, wind-chimes etc. I cannot stand all those sounds when I am trying to sleep or concentrate, I will often hide clocks or dispose of them, use excessive force in tightening taps to ensure they don’t drip and pretty much just grind my teeth and get so agitated I need to leave the house or break something if I can’t stop the sound!

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