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#MyDyslexiaStory: Sophie Fisher

Thursday 9 December 2021

My dyslexia was not diagnosed until I reached university and they had picked this up within the first two weeks of starting. Although from year 2 my parents were starting to see that I was starting to struggle with reading and understanding what I had read, but each time my parents were told that I was doing well. When my lecturer referred me for an assessment my levels were extremely low for my age and the educational physiologist could not believe that this was not picked up earlier.

Drive and determination

Dyslexia has given me the motivation and drive to help others with dyslexia. I am currently undertaking a level 5 course in dyslexia, my current school is supporting me to try and detect dyslexia early on within a child’s development. Dyslexia has had a huge impact on my self-esteem and confidence, because when I left year 11 I was told by the headteacher that I only had a 70% IQ Level and would not reach to university level. However, this has made me more of a determined individual.

I did not receive any support in primary or secondary which I found very challenging as I would always do well in class, but when it came to exams I always underachieved, which left me feeling defeated. However, when going to university I had my assessment, then once I was diagnosed I got given all the equipment to support my needs. Assistive technology, coloured overlays, extra time in exams.

Receiving recognition of achievements

When leaving secondary school I was awarded a plaque for ‘making their best better’ and this was due to the fact when I arrived at secondary school my levels were the lowest and by the time I had left I had made the most progress out of my year group. I then went to college and studied for three years and received an award for ‘Early years, Health and Social Care Student of the year’. Lastly when I went to Winchester University I was awarded a scholarship for my achievements, I was also an ambassador for the university promoting my course as well as dyslexia to the perspective students. On my dissertation that I achieved a 1st - it was on ‘how can the dyslexic child be supported within education’.

My advice for someone who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia:

Never give up, believe in your dreams, be motivated.

I strongly believe that schools need to receive funding for dyslexia specialists to assess children at primary age so that they are not left undiagnosed as in my situation. This will help a child’s self-esteem, confidence. An ideal situation would be that part of teachers training would include more on dyslexia awareness and special educational needs. I am so passionate about this!