Reading

Before I had a stroke, as part of my work I was required to read a lot of reports and correspondence.  To keep up, I had to read quickly and do a lot of skimming and scanning.  My stroke changed everything.  I can still read, but have no comprehension unless I go over the passage, especially with complex sentences.

I never have enough time to read paragraphs and sub-titles on TV and at the movies.  They go by too quickly for me to catch the meaning.  So, I stay away from movies with sub-titles.

Having to read long passages or even a single page seems so insurmountable that I often give up.  Reading a book is unthinkable.  It occurred to me that I should measure my reading speed.  Using a stop watch, I read through three newspaper articles and one page from a WordPress book.  Then, I did the same test at normal speed using my speech synthesizer.  Incidentally, when the synthesizer reads for me, I understand perfectly as I used to before my stroke.  The results of the test were not very exciting.  The synthesizer read the newspaper articles and the book three times as fast i.e. my reading speed is three times slower than the speech synthesizer.  Of course, this is not a scientific test, but it is enough to show me that measuring one’s handicap is not too pleasant.

Then, how to emphasize the positive?

I doubt that going through the motions of reading every day in the hope of improving one’s speed will produce good results.  Feelings of discouragement are likely to occur well before any promising results are achieved.  Using all the means technology has to offer is the path I have chosen.  This way, any reading exercise is easier and stress-free.

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