map of neurodiverse characteristics

Neurodiversity and the Weird Sister Podcast

2020 has been, well, you know what kind of a year it’s been. But, there have been a few good things. Less driving, more gardening, and helping my friend and USF MFA in Writing cohort, C.C. Hart launch her dream project, Weird Sister, a podcast about art, science, and culture as viewed through the lens of neuro-diversity.

I’ve always suspected I’m dyslexic. I transpose letters and rely on spell check. But since I didn’t have any trouble learning to read, I was never diagnosed. The Weird Sister podcast inspired me to research. Wow, I had no idea I was so normal, for a dyslexic that is. Growing up, spelling was traumatic for me. I couldn’t sound out words, and could barely count syllables.

Sally Shaywitz, M.D. is a Professor at Yale University, the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, and the author of “Overcoming Dyslexia”. She writes, “dyslexia is very common, affecting 20 percent of the population.” As with all neurodivergent conditions, there are positives. Shaywitz continues, “While people with dyslexia are slow readers, they often, paradoxically, are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities.”

I also have symptoms of dyspraxia and ADHD. It’s liberating to know that my propensity to be struck by volleyballs, softballs and other flying objects, and therefore dislike team sports, is probably part of my brain mechanics, rather than “not trying hard enough.”

The Weird Sister podcast is a deep dive into synesthesia, autism, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, and other neurocognitive outliers. I’m so grateful to be the audio producer for the series. I’ve already learned so much about myself, family members and friends. Understanding is the first step to acceptance.

“Dyslexics see things differently. They tend to be creatives. They don’t have to be pushed to think outside the box. Thinking outside the box is their automatic setting.”

— Ann Silvers, MA

Subscribe to the Weird Sister podcast on iTunes or via Podbean. Episode four contains an interview with yours truly.

It’s good to be weird!

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