Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On Daniel Radcliffe, His Disability, and Whom We Should Truly Pity

As a foreword to this post, I would like to apologize for any and all spelling errors -- the spell-check feature on my computer was not particularly helpful.

The young yet rather accomplished actor, Daniel Radcliffe, has made news headlines of late for going public with his affliction of the little-publicized disability, dyspraxia.
While I believe it is crucial to inform all people everywhere about the facts regarding such disabilities (anything caused by brain trauma, anyway), Mr. Radcliffe can cry me a freakin' river about his serious affliction. Shall we compare notes, Mr. Radcliffe?
When I was a young child, I was involved in an automobile accident, during which, the driver of the lone automobile involved was engaged in a very crass, "distasteful," and quite reckless activity. He was not the sole participant, as there were reports of a woman exiting the motor vehicle, and "acting very much like his girlfriend," after the crash.
In the hospital, my neurologist described my brain injury as, "severe, closed. . ." but for most of my remaining childhood, as well as all of my teenage years, I received no medical help from any neurologist of any kind.
I was constantly harassed by my teachers for poor social behavior, not getting my work done (including having absolutely horrible reading comprehension), having "'way more homework than any student should have" (on a daily basis, despite having a study period for most of high school), and sleeping in roughly one- to two-thirds of all of my classes. I was unable to defend myself against this onslaught, due to an inability to think on my feet, as well as my ignorance of the absence seizures I had during normal "asleep hours," several times a week.
At the age of 18, exactly one month before my graduation day (I was still not certain I would even be receiving a diploma), I went to an ophthalmology appointment with (ironically) the same doctor I saw for my nystigmus after my childhood automobile accident. The doctor (whom I bear absolutely no ill feelings toward, nor do I hold him in any way responsible for not knowing the more important diagnosis when I was a child) diagnosed me with dyslexia. It was such a relief to finally know, that I just busted up laughing.
Since my aforementioned diagnosis, I have also learned that I have dyscalculia, body dysmorphia, dyspraxia, and I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect also dysgraphia.
Yet, even with all of that and then some, I still have enough gall to be grateful for all of my blessings, even the ones that at times feel like curses. For further reading, I highly recommend the book, The Gift of Dyslexia. My dad recommended it to me when it first came out. I don't remember the author's name, or even the publication date, which I do apologize for.
Again, Mr. Radcliffe, you and I do not have it so bad. The people whom we should really thrust our pity at are those who believe we are somehow "lesser persons" than they.

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