Stop struggling so much while doing everyday things!
We talk a lot about the real-world impacts of dyslexia on people who have it, some of those impacts are big, and some are much smaller! This week we wanted to talk about a small but mighty inconvenience; trying to read while driving. No, we don't mean reading a book or your text messages (don't text and drive); we are talking about reading street signs, maps, and more.
Reading while driving is a fluctuating stressor for people with dyslexia. Sometimes it will be stressful (like when you are tired), and other times you might not struggle. We are fantastic at mono-tasking (doing one thing at a time, then switching), but multi-tasking takes up a lot of brain power. Driving and reading fall into the multi-tasking bucket.
Quit Worrying about Street Names
Pay attention only to exit numbers if you are driving on a highway or roundabout. Remembering and reading 'Exit 25' is much easier than '27 North East Yorkshire Street'. Paying attention to exit numbers only is also really helpful when you have to deal with taking 'I-4 East' versus 'I-4 West'. Just focus on the exit number; you should find things less stressful.
Stop Trying to Guess Distance
'Turn right onto Beowulf Way in 1000 meters. I have a confession, I have no idea what 1,000 meters are, and by the time I have worked out how far that is and searched for the street name, I have probably missed my turn. Instead of trying to do mental gymnastics, try this. Look at your GPS and count how many right turns between you and where the picture is going. Then as you drive, count the turns then turn. Don't worry about street names or distances!
Switch to Visual Cues
Do you drive/walk the same route to work every day? Stop worrying about street signs and start looking for landmarks to guide you. Landmarks will substantially lessen your mental load. Our brains love thinking in 3D, so let them. An example is when I go to the coffee shop, I turn towards the empty lot with all the flowers growing, then pass the shoe shop, which will be right after the street pizza shop.
If you happen to struggle with right and left while driving check out this blog!
Are you tired of struggling with your dyslexia? Dyslexia in Adults is here to help! Check out The Dyslexia at Work Playbook, a self-paced, pre-recorded mini-course on navigating dyslexia in the workplace—giving you confidence in navigating dyslexia in the workplace.