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My Dyslexia Story: James Clarke

Wednesday 30 August 2023

I was diagnosed in the early 2000's whilst at school, when it was noticed I was having issues with mathematics and comprehension. I was held back a year due to coming from Germany and missing a year worth of school, so I had a lot of catching up to do! Once it was finally recognised by my teacher's, I was referred for testing, where it was confirmed, I had dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Upon entering university, I was retested to confirm my diagnosis for DSA. Interestingly I was diagnosed this time with 'just' dyspraxia. Which was interesting to me, as for the past decade I thought I had dyslexia and dyspraxia in combination.

“It has made me increasingly self-aware of my areas of improvement, my challenges, it has also made me creative in the ways I go about circumventing these challenges to function optimally”.

I have received support from teachers, special lessons in school, 121 teaching of mathematics, tutors for other subjects and DSA in university plus a person who I could refer to for any further assistance or help. I worked extra hard and was awarded for the 'best improvement' finally moving up a year, back to the same age group as my peers.

My advice... Don't fret, you aren't 'worse' than everyone else or 'stupid'. Your brain just works differently and has its own unique quirks that make you better at other things, such as spotting patterns, retaining information and problem solving!

That it's not just difficulty with reading, understanding, or writing words. It is a complex variation of brain patterns that have any number of combinations, giving people their own unique 'quirks'. Some are adept at spotting patterns, some are super creative dreaming up ideas that no-one has thought of before, or like myself some can become walking encyclopaedias of random knowledge that may be useful in pub quizzes!