Emily Gee: "Looking back at the young Emily, she wouldn’t believe how much she has achieved!"
Tuesday 3 September 2019
By: Emily Gee
At the age of five I was diagnosed with dyslexia. That's when I began my journey with my special gift. Of course at the time I didn’t view it as that; I saw it as my worst nightmare. After a couple of years I was also diagnosed with dyscalculia and dyspraxia, which was the start of a whole new world of learning for me.
At school I was viewed and treated differently by both teachers and students. The teachers would get angry at me which has stuck in my memory. For example, I was in year two in my English class, and my teacher came over to me and looked at me, then at my work. She took my book and ripped out the page, not making it subtle at all. She shouted out loud to the class. “Emily, what is this? What does that word mean? What is this writing?”
There was silence after her last word. I wish the silence had lasted longer because the classroom erupted with laughter. I have never felt so dumb in my life. You think my teachers were bad? The pupils were just as bad. After discovering that words on the board jumped for me, I had to use pink glasses. The pupils used to laugh, stare and point at me. One statement I remember is: “you look like Elton John. You look weird.” Looking back, I should have said “hell yeah, I am!”
It got to the point at school where I began not to attend. I use to come up with every excuse in the book to get out of it. I had to be dragged up the corridor because I didn’t want to go. My parents fought so hard for my needs. When I was in meetings with them, it felt like it was us against the whole world. My parents pulled me out of that school, a school that made me feel like I was a problem, and I moved to a school which accepted that I had differences. They treated me like any other student in the school but in a way that fitted me.
Many people have doubted my abilities. I was told by past teachers that I wouldn’t pass my GSCEs. I was told I would never go to university. Somehow the more doubt that people put against me, the more I wanted to work harder. I made sure I wasn’t portrayed as a poor child who has difficulties. I made sure I was viewed as someone who is just like everyone else.
My differences have made who I am today. I got my four GSCEs, including English Language and English Literature. Even though I never passed my Maths, I still got into university. I study Musical Theatre at Winchester University. Looking back at the young Emily, she wouldn’t believe how much she has achieved!
There are still many young or older Emily’s in the world that haven’t received the help need to be best they can be. I am so ready for the future to change for dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. You would have thought that by 2019 the education system would understand these differences!