Thursday, February 07, 2008

I knew I wasn't Normal

Between my conglomerate of odd health problems, my unique visual-related learning problems, and my quirky personality, I've always known that I'm not normal. In fact, I rather take pride in it. After all, God calls us to be peculiar people, right?

When I was about 13, I went through an extensive three-year vision therapy program that resulted in me being able to write, strengthened my reading, and let me get at least a little closer to where I should be in spelling. My current problems with sign language, especially fingerspelling, seemed to be resulting from the same visual issues (basically my eyes and brain don't work together so well), so I went back for more vision perception tests.

I got the test results back today. I'm low in several things, including visual discrimination. But the most notable "significant deficit" is in the test of visual sequential memory. I was in the 0.1 percentile.

In other words, there's pretty much no one else quite as bad at it as I am. :-p

This means when I see a word fingerspelled, even if I do manage to differentiate the similar handshapes, I'm likely to not have the faintest memory of what they were by the time we get to the end of the word. The eye doctor told me that picking the profession I did means I must be a "glutton for punishment". All I say is it's a good thing I didn't pick interpreting or I woulda quit a long time ago.

So what's this mean? Leaning on God and a whole lotta hard work. It worked 13 years ago for my reading and writing (and look where I am now!). I have faith it'll work this time. And if it doesn't, then I know God'll have something even better planned.

BTW, I got interviewed by Lynda Schab with FaithReaders (sister site of FaithWriters) and the interview was posted yesterday. You can read it here, if you'd like:



Anonymous said...

Reading the interview reminded me.... You mentioned that your writings have appeared in church newsletters. Sure enough, one of your poems was in my Grandpa's church's bulletin one Sunday. (I don't remember when it was, or what was quite a while back, but I keep forgetting to tell you!) --Kathy J.

Anonymous said...

Dear Amy...

I'm a professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision at the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute and teach my students about vision therapy. I'm curious what doctor you worked with...also if you have an interest in vision therapy, please check out my blog at

Good luck in all you do.

Dominick M. Maino, OD. MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A

purple_kangaroo said...

So are you going to be doing more vision therapy to help with the visual memory?

The interview was nice.

Love you!

Debbie said...

Just wanted to say Hi! this is djdeb from Faithwriters. I pray all is going well. God bless


Shirley said...

Hi Amy! I enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know you a littl better! Here is my blog if you want to visit me some time

Josh said...

Being normal is highly overrated. I take pride in the fact that I go against the grain. I don't think I would want to be what the world classifies as "normal."

I think your website "Peculiar People" says it all. We are called to be different. Not only does that include being different spiritually, but I also believe that God makes us different physically and mentally as well sometimes.

I'm glad to see that you have embraced your differences and have used them to help you rather than hinder you.