Dyslexia and Thyroids- Thoughts through Pictures and Images

The last few months I have been having some problems with my health, my thyroid levels, and finding a doctor that would listen… I’ve known and been being treated for thyroid problems now since 1990, now 20 years… It took two years recently and three doctors to finally find one who would listen, and this includes going to the ER when they where so low I was showing signs of slipping into a Wyxedema Coma…

So the last few months my health was not the greatest, needing to rest, and having problems falling asleep without notice and not thinking what I call “Clearly”… But while I have been resting to get healthy again, having found a good doctor who listens, I had some time to also really try to look at how I was thinking, while off the medication and slowing getting back to my correct levels and compare it also to knowing I think different, I’m Dyslexic too…

While I have been healing and recuperating from a very low thyroid level, I also had a chance to look into Thyroid problems and Dyslexia… It has been some interesting reading, about thyroid problems and my dyslexia, as the low thyroid problems with it being so low, had a major effect on my ability to think clearly, besides other physical problems…

Dyslexia appears to be more common in families in which someone has had Thyroid problems or disease than in the general population. Though these children are usually very bright, poor academic performance is not uncommon and may lead to loss of self-esteem. The condition occurs more commonly in males than females, and affected children are often left-handed or ambidextrous. So if your child seems to be learning things slowly, or family history with thyroid problems, there might be needing some blood testing along with different kinds of teaching methods…

In school I remember having lots of challenges with reading writing and spelling, though I excelled in the Arts, Math and Science classes… I do remember my first grade, my teacher putting my left hand into my belt, as I was practicing letter writing, the same letter on each line, with meeting in the middle, using both hands to fill in the line space with the letters, or would switch from one hand to the other when we started putting the letters into words and sentences…

But in high school, the doctor found my thyroid was “over sized” and I remember many visits to the doctor’s office in town between 9th and 12th grade for thyroid blood tests, … But I made it through school healthy and somehow made it through English and spelling classes and onto art college but it wasn’t until college that the thyroid became a problem, and I needed to get it controlled by the doctor…

I do remember while in Boston, I was working at a one-hour film-developing store, and was always looking at film nagitives, then the photos… I found I could read the negatives or reflections in windows just as easy of the signs across the street as to look at then forward… But so much time looking at all backwards in the film negatives, I found suddenly it was harder to read forward, so started to make sure I read out of a book 2 hours a day…

I remember the 1st Doc saying- “Thyroid’s control the hormones to all the glands in your body, including the ones in your brain, making memory and thought ability challenged, like literally not sending enough electricity to a light bulb…

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

Being a visual thinker, I gravitated toward the Arts, Graphic design, Photography, Illustration, Art Education and Ceramics… Though was challenged in all writing classes or project grades all the way through college I accelerated with visuals arts… I Went to a small Junior college in Boston for Graphic Design, then transfer and graduated from Syracuse University VPA program with a dual major in Illustration and Art Education, with combined 194 credits, Dual Degree of Bachelors of Fine Arts…

While at Syracuse University, I started to have problems with thinking, gaining weight, my grades seemed to go down some, and I was becoming very tired all the time and even my dreams seemed to no longer be there…. At about the same time this was happening, I had picked up a second major of Art Education and one of the professors was worried I was having problems writing lesson plans… The head of the Art Education department read my lessons plans and knew my art abilities, felt I might be dyslexic, and should be tested… I was tested in college for this and corrected the thyroid during the same period that I was being tested for being Dyslexic, which included IQ tests. Having low level of thyroid and once the correct level was found- lets say- the difference in the IQ tests scores from beginning to end was a substantial increase… During this same period, it was obvious my grades started to go up as my thyroid level came close to the correct level…

When I think, in my head I picture many images, even reading a word I see in my head many images of just a word, in photos or sometimes moving images, that I can spin around and view from different angels… But at the same time, there are many images, more like the windows on a computer, some having movement, some sounds, smells relating to images, able to look and link many together into visual problem solving, or figuring out how to draw or relate those images to drawings or ways to communicate my ideas… It is almost like windows that float, inner connecting, layer upon layer of images, and a 3D computer screen of multi tasking… But without the thyroid levels being correct, my thoughts became flat, black and white and fuzzy, had to relate them together, and a challenge to remember words, having to re-read or rewrite things over and over…

Dyslexic people are intuitive, highly intelligent and creative individuals who are visual, multi-dimensional thinkers. But because they think in pictures, they have troubles when it comes to letters, numbers, symbols, and written words. When speaking, they encounter difficulties in putting thoughts into words, speak in unfinished phrases and leave sentences incomplete, mispronounces long words, modify phrases, words, and syllables. 10% of the dyslexic disorders develop abnormal ways of writing and reading: they reverse words by writing letters back to front (also known as “mirror writing” – the writing appears backwards, but when reflected in a mirror it can be read), they are not able to remember the sequence of letters in a word or sometimes read from right to left… There are many now who view people with dyslexia with being “Gifted” and relate many have high IQ’s and many who are Genius’s in history who where Dyslexic…

So for now, I am just a couple months away from being back to correct thyroid level and being mentally and physically healthy, while slowly getting back into both physical and mental work… Will be slowly getting back into finishing weather damage done to my studio and renovations to the farmhouse and around the property, prepping it to sell… Also while recuperating, will be working on Blog entries, writing articles, working on my internet café with a micro business incubator business plan and lessons and slowly on my business website and the services I will be offering…

Some great websites to visit I highly recommend are:

http://dyslexia.tv/ , http://dearthyroid.org/

http://www.dyslexia.com/ Buy the Book: Dyslexia the Gift

Computers are Dyslexic, thinking in Pictures…

I am dyslexic, but it hasn’t been until recently that I started to really enjoy and take advantage of my thinking as being a Gift… Though I had huge problems with writing, spelling and reading in elementary all the way through to College, I was often able to over compensate for it through talking, using hands and or images to explain my ideas or express what I was learning…

When I try to explain my thoughts now, how I see them inside my head, I tell people it is like a Macintosh Operating system except not in a monitor, but inside my head, and not flat, as I can walk into each of the windows, and turn things around in 3D, and also can relate sounds, smells, sounds of voices and sometimes even taste to my memories or relating them as I think or contemplate ideas or questions…

It is no wonder Steve Jobs, of Apple Computer, helped in designing what we now know as the Visual Operating System, as he is also dyslexic, and sees in his head pictures and not words… This idea he took and put the idea of this into an operating system, and related it to a “Desktop” concept, using documents, folders and file… He basically helped design an operating system on how a dyslexic person sees and thinks inside their heads, then put it into a computer monitor and related it to an office atmosphere…

Often when I read a word, like “Corn” in my head I see multiple images of photos or moving pictures of things I relate tot his word, but not the letters… I see in my minds eye a corn cob, a kernel of corn, a corn stock, a corn husk, fields of corn, rows of corn, buttery corn on the cob with salt (which for a moment the taste of corn touches my mouth), Corn kernel with a root growing out of it then it’s first leaf, and so on… All of these images float through my head with just seeing one word- “Corn”… If I was to just see the word Corn, the images would continue to things relating to “Corn”- like hand falls of corn kernels, grinding dried corn, animal feed corn, corn silage for feeding cows, Corn chips, Corn taco shells, Corn Flakes, and so on… Some having more tastes hitting my mouth or even memories of smells added to the images…

When reading a sentence, the pictures become so many, each finding a link to the other, as the words of the sentence is read, some form of logic to linking all of these images together into one large photo or moving image which then equals the sentence’s meaning…

The visual operating system of today’s computers and the Internet offer the same all in one monitor screen, relating all of these images and ideas through a search engine, shown in one screen of over lapping windows… Very much how a dyslexic person thinks inside of their heads…

Even though I accelerated in college through art, drawing, ceramics and photography, I probably would have flunked out without the help of the Macintosh Computer, Microsoft Word and spell check for my written papers…

The internet and the modern day computer are so very close to how a dyslexic person thinks, and often “Normal people view this as being ingénues, but I would guess to most dyslexic people, it seems like just an extension of their own thinking abilities and find themselves very easily learning how it all works…

So next time you hear someone say they are dyslexic, remember, they just see and imagine things in their heads a different way then 90% of the people do, they think in pictures… Look to their picture image solving minds and try to think of other things to have them problem solve or work on then just their writing abilities…

A Small Business Marketing PodCast worth listening to! Small Business Marketing from Duct Tape Marketing

Over the past few years since the iPod has come out and podcasts have become such a common thing to listen to… One I find very enjoyable and informative for Marketing is the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

Besides loving the name of the site and podcast, Duct Tape Marketing Podcast: www.ducttapemarketing.com , John Jantsch’s Podcast has some of the best marketing, tactics and resources for small business and helping you get online with new online business skills & techniques… The website includes his Blog, articles and other resources for understanding Marketing online… He also posts links to other information online through his twitter account and highly recommend following his up-to-date Marketing information… He also has had some interesting interviews or discussions with some of the best marketers and writers online and helping Small Business…

Business Marketing PodCast worthwhile to listen to while your enjoying your coffee- Marketing Over Coffee Podcast

Quit a few people ask me what am I listening to on my iPod, and often it is Marketing and tech podcasts. I enjoy and find interesting to listen to is Marketing Over Coffee. Besides having a great business name, as I love to drink coffee while doing work and listen to their newest weekly show… Their podcast is very informative on current trends in online Marketing, Web 2.0 services with years of experience in online business…

Marketing Over Coffee Podcast: www.marketingovercoffee.com Another great Business and podcast name, John Wall and Christopher Penn offering weekly discussions on what’s new in marketing and tech, interviews with other marketers and small business owners online. Their both great guys with a wealth of knowledge and experience online and can be found posting information they post on their Twitter… I hope to someday be able to invite them to do a show from my business goal of an Internet Coffee Café!!!

You can subscribe to their Marketing Over Coffee Podcast through iTunes.com or on their site www.marketingovercoffee.com or find them on FaceBook and Twitter…

Favorite PodCaster and Story Teller worthy of listening to- Garrison Keillor

Each morning, for years now, on the way to work or while sipping an espresso as my morning starts, I will listen to public radio or download “Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac”…

His deep story telling voice, listening to those who in the past where born, a who’s who list of artist, writers, famous people and poets… With his great ability of story telling he gives the history of writers or poets, then will read a poem from a poet…

This often I will download onto my iPod from iTunes, and listen to months worth of his shows, as I might drive somewhere, or be doing some work outside in the garden… His rich soothing voice and descriptive way with words enriching my views and enticing me to find some of these poet’s work online to read on late nights when the winter’s wind is blowing outside and the warmth of the fire within, on a summer rainy night, or when drawing, writing comes to a point where I need a rest and a story of words to fill one’s soul with beauty is needed…

I also love to listen to Garrison Keillor’s “A prairie Home Companion” on Public Radio on weekend, something I started to do with my Grandparents, on Sunday afternoons during the winter while reading the newspaper and finishing off college work… Often I will down load the “News from Lake Wobegon” PodCast, and also listen to this too, while on a trip, or while doing some of the enjoyable things outside or artwork, or even while off fishing… His voice comes to full ability with his grand story telling abilities, comical wit and descriptions of characters within this small town… How I just can spend a full day listening to his shows, one after another…

If when I am older, and have the chance to tell stories to my children or even grandchildren, I would wish I would be able to tell stories with such skill and soft voice as Garrison Keillor has within his stories of News from Lake Wobegon…

You can find his show through iTunes, “Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac” or online at http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org

For “News from Lake Wobegon” PodCast you can locate that also on iTunes, or listen and find information to go to one of his shows through http://prairiehome.publicradio.org

Office Mascot, why they’re great to have around.

In this day of Home business and offices, and self-employment, I often talk with others small business owners who have an “Office Mascot”… Now an office mascot can come in various shapes, sized and colors with different characteristics, but best of all they tend to be the ones you can talk to and they almost always agree with what you have to say!!! I know a lot of people that have an office mascot and they love having them around…

I’ve had my studio now since 93, when I finished going to Syracuse University, I came back to my home town family farm where I had converted the old “Chicken Shack” into a small studio, with a woodstove, electric, skylight, insolated and enough room for a loft bed, drawing table, ten drawer unit and my computer desk… And I finished off the outside area with two flower gardens and a slate stone walkway around the front and to one side of the studio… Was real nice and well thought out, this would be where I started my full-time business of freelance art, illustration and design…

Little did I know, my Mom had not gotten me a Class Ring for graduating, but she knew I wanted to get another dog, as mine had passed away my first year of college. She had found the kind of dog I had always wanted too, a Saint Bernard, and I named him Marley… Later I would also get a cat for the Marley, as I felt he was big enough to have his “own pet”, so brought one of the barn kittens in for him to play with, naming it “Buddy”…

Now Marley grew to become a 175 pound Saint Bernard, who could put his paws on my shoulders and look me straight in the eye, and was a great office mascot, barking when someone pulled into the driveway, and was able to also hop up during the summer to put his paws on the top of the Dutch door and look out and enjoy the breeze… Faithful companion, he would follow me everywhere, and enjoyed most to hang out with me in the studio… I tried to teach him to bring in firewood during the winter, but instead, he would berry the logs in the side yard snowdrifts…

The one nice thing about having an Office Mascot, is they always agree with what you say, and never give much of an argument… They are always willing to listen to you, and rarely are they a business problem, unless your client is allergic to pet hair…

The only problem I did have with him, was instead of chewing the normal things a puppy would chew, he chose to chew or move around larger things then sneakers or socks… He chose to chew or move around furniture, Drawing table, my stool, chewed on the computer chair and once in the house, while I was out, dragging the sofa and a recliner chair around, chewing on doorways and table legs… To this my Mom was not too thrilled with, so I needed to get him a fenced in kennel that I installed just to the right of the studio, where I could put him while I was off meeting with clients or doing what have you…

He would love to ride in the back seat of my jeep, ears and jowls flapping in the wind and be the “Guard dog” of my ride, slobbering any who came near… He also took a liking to trying to be a “Hunting Dog”, chasing rabbits and chipmunks around the property, and would sit for hours keeping an eye on a chipmunk hole, waiting for the little furry creature to come out to “Play with him”… And that little kitten, he would scoop up in his mouth, walk over near the woodstove, lay down and spit the now slobbery kitten between his paws and g to sleep with it under his jowls, and the kitten would follow him around the property, and he would even go look for it, when I would say, “Marley, where’s your Buddy?”

The only problem with having a cat as an office mascot is they enjoy sleeping in warm places, often on your portable keyboard, when you leave the office, or behind the computer CPU, where the fan is drawing in air, and often cat hair with it… They also tend to not think to walk across your work, leaving sometimes paw prints, through my wet watercolor paints onto my clients painting or drawings… The other, if it is an inside/outside cat, is they like to bring you “treats” or “Gifts” from their hunting outings, and leave the in places where you are most likely to almost step on the dead mice, rabbits or birds… and when they are young hunters, sometimes these gifts are still alive, how often I had a flying bird, chipmunk or mouse running around my studio just makes me laugh some, as all of my cats I have had where great hunters… But the look on a clients face, when suddenly there is a flying bird in my studio, with a cat trying to re-catch it is just too funny to describe… But having them there to curl up in your lap, and the enjoyment a pet gives is just too hard to truly describe in words alone…

In his later years when he was 11, I got a 2nd Saint Bernard puppy, knowing that training it would be easier with a well trained dog to follow and learn from… This is the same Saint Bernard I have now, which I have had the pleasure of watching her even have puppies since… This one was a bit more challenging, and I learned that I needed to train her as to what not to chew… She instead chose to get into my paintbrushes, tubes of watercolor paint, paw prints on my drawing table and what ever artwork happened to be on it at the time and once even chewed on my Macintosh PowerBook, coughing up keys all night long… And now since Marley’s passing, have kept the runt of her litter… Seeing all have had the same things in common, eating snow, making paths in it, and barrowing my firewood in the snow drifts… He has even enticed me to keep some notes and sketches of him and come up with the beginning of a childrens Book, “Marley Goes Camping”…

Even though I did have a couple challenging times that are now funny to tell about, having an office mascot is great… I believed that not only should one have an office mascot to keep you company on long days of working at the old drawing board, or computer, but was great for spending time with doing work around the family farm, or off fishing and hiking… Giving you a reason to step away from your work to take a bit of a break, a healthy walk with fresh air to think or contemplate, and to enjoy some time off from work…

They aren’t the best at answering phone calls, or taking notes, and defiantly not great at helping do work, but they will give you undivided attention and companionship that sometimes when working by yourself is truly needed… I highly recommend getting a cat or a dog for an Office Mascot…

Is it a Website or is it a Blog?

I have been looking at many websites of late, and local web site designers, as I get ready to set up my own web design and Art Studio again, to get back to what I am good with, after taking a few years off from local web & Artwork business… And to be honest, it truly astounds me how many websites are out there, that someone paid a designer to do and it really is just photos placed in a template, or a web designer has just thrown some images into a WordPress blog template and called it a “Website”, when in reality is just a Blog…

In my view, it only makes sense to have a domain as a blog if you’re a writer, virtual newspaper or magazine- A Blog is really is a database of articles that can have some links and photos in it…

Otherwise, adding it to your domain should really be what you should want your web site designer to add in for you for your blog, to keep part of your site “Static” or filled with new content… But a blog is not a website, you need to understand this…

Now Blog’s do have their place, they are truly what they started out in being, an online journal… But their popularity has grown and so have the plug ins to make them do more things, but in adding more plug-in’s and making them more then what they where truly intended to be, has also made them problems for the users, with worms now being written against them, the last one nasty enough so someone could gain administrator access to thousands of blogs with one worm, which could allow the bad user to post nasty things link porn links instead of advertising, or change the words and info within the Blog… This is not something that could happen easily to a plain old HTML website, unless a hacker is able to figure out the password to the site…

Use a Blog to help earn peoples trust, with your knowledge of your services or products you sell or offer… If you do lawn maintenance, highlight things that are good for grass, or good for the flowers or visual gardens for a business… Write in your blog ways that your service can help people or business, give good examples of stories from your clients, or articles that support your services being good for business… Make this the place that shows your experience, give written examples of your service or what can help people with what your service provides…

If someone says they work for themselves as a “Web Designer” and states they have created hundreds or thousands of websites- think about this and ask yourself-
• How many pages or sites can one truly create?
• How many years have they been in business to do this?
• Ask them if they use Clip Art, or templates.
• What kind of design choices are they going to offer you?
• Can they explain to you the difference between a website and a Blog?
• Ask about security with blogs and websites too…

If they use lots of Clip art, are they going to just be sipping coffee, looking over clip art images, that thousands of other sites use, and using it on a template that also thousand’s of other people already use? Is this the kind of site you really want to pay a “Professional Price” to have quickly done in a morning of drinking coffee and just having them quickly throw it together with some of your text pasted into it and then pay them a “Professional design wage” for their time? Would you be a bit upset if you where to find out they where able to finish this by lunch time, and you paid them a few hundred or couple thousand dollars for something you could have done?

When designing a website, one has to design it for the viewer, the search engines and for the client, and being usable and secure for all… Most templates don’t have this figured into their design, nor does it with Blog templates… And the more plug in you add, the less secure it becomes… This is why you really should have a “Real HTML website“ and then an added Blog linked to your website… This also gives your more exposure in search engines…

I have seen some where the “web designer” can’t figure out how to get some of the code to work using these templates- if this is the case, they really aren’t a web designer, and are trying to offer something they really shouldn’t be offering… Maybe they are good with images, and should just stick with imaging and visual artwork, like Banners or logos, or newsletter design… Most Blogs are Java Script or PHP, or both mixed together… Each has their use, but still, they truly aren’t great “Website” code as a stand alone coding, s many security problems with each of those codlings that where truly meant to be added to HTML…

I was looking at some of the web design agencies in the Ithaca area, and was astounded that one of them used just templates and clip art, and charged like $850 for a 5 page template site… WOW, I could do like 8-10 by lunch time doing it this way, and I wouldn’t call this web design, and even though I would have a butt-load of money in the bank, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, knowing there is a quality difference… More like painting by number, then calling one’s self an artist… Just because you buy some hammer and a saw, doesn’t make one a carpenter…

Remember, use a well designed website and then add a blog to it, will give you the best and most bang for your buck!!!


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