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Read Joanne's dyslexia story and how she hopes to inspire her daughter

Monday 1 March 2021

At age 10 Joanne had the reading, writing and spelling ability of a 7 year old, yet the IQ of an 18 year old. She would like to share her story to inspire her recently diagnosed dyslexic daughter, that Dyslexia is nothing to be embarrassed about and to focus on the positive skills it can bring.

Aged about 8 my Mum could tell I was struggling, but my school (this was the 70'ies) just said I was lazy. On my 10th birthday Mum took me to Aston University, Birmingham to be tested. I came out of there with my head held high, as although my reading writing and spelling age was only 7 , the had tested my IQ and I had come out aged 18. That become my retort when others said I was stupid because I couldn't read something.

I can read maps, plan rooms, visualise changes to our house, look at system's and understand them. Reading has always been embarrassing, slow and awkward , writing reports was a long prosses too. In group counselling for something else, one of the other participant's talked about growing up with dyslexia and I cried all the way through I didn't realise how much it had affected my life.

Getting the right support

I had a best friend at school, Caroline who would help me read things and spell things out for me, so I could perform better in class. One of my teachers at college helped me get extra time on my exams and I didn't look back, with the reading time increased I could pass. One of my colleagues would read my reports and would suggest alterations to aid others understanding etc. word google and other free software has been a brilliant help.

Be proud

I am now a chartered accountant, I know that is mostly mathematical, but its logic and problem solving writing reports and exam questions. It took me longer than any of my friends but I did it and I could not be prouder of myself. My daughter has dyslexia, and it’s very hard to know what to say. You will be ok and there is so much help out there now. Anything you want to do you can, I had low goals to start with, so as I hit them, I made the goals higher.

Dyslexia is invisible, don't be embarrassed, be kind and always give allowances.