My Dyslexia Story: James Coxon
Tuesday 23 January 2024
My primary school teacher was the first to notice that I was having difficulties with reading and spelling. She informed my family about her concerns, and that was when the challenges I faced were initially recognised. My family, particularly my mum, took the initiative to seek help and support for me, which eventually led to the formal diagnosis of dyslexia around the age of 11 or 12.
This diagnosis was a significant turning point in my educational journey and played a crucial role in shaping the support and accommodations I received in school and throughout my life.
Academic Struggles: Dyslexia initially posed challenges in my academic life, particularly in reading, writing, and spelling. These difficulties led to anxiety, embarrassment, and low self-esteem during my school years.
I had negative experiences with teachers who didn't understand or support my dyslexia. This resulted in humiliation and frustration in the classroom.
Navigating the educational system to get the support I needed was often a challenge. The system didn't readily recognise or address dyslexia, which meant my family had to be persistent in advocating for extra help.
My Positive Aspects:
Overcoming these challenges has made me a more resilient person. I learned to face adversity and persist in the face of difficulty, which has been a valuable life skill. Dyslexia encouraged me to develop alternative learning methods.
I found creative ways to understand and retain information, which improved my problem-solving skills and creativity. Experiencing the challenges of dyslexia has given me a deep sense of empathy for others facing learning differences or obstacles. It has made me more compassionate and understanding.
While dyslexia may have hindered me in traditional academic settings, it led me to find success in a non-traditional career in sales. It taught me to leverage my strengths and find a path that suits my unique way of thinking.
My dyslexia diagnosis has turned me into an advocate for myself and others with learning differences. I've learned to speak up for accommodations and support, helping me in various aspects of life. dyslexia brought about substantial challenges in my education and early life, but it also instilled valuable qualities such as resilience, creativity, empathy, and advocacy skills. These positive aspects have played a vital role in shaping who I am today and have contributed to my success in various aspects of my life, including my Sales career.
One of my most significant achievements was successfully completing a leadership and management diploma course, which was a challenging and rewarding experience. When I was working in my career, I had the opportunity to take a leadership and management diploma course, a significant step in my professional development.
This was a daunting prospect for me because it involved a substantial amount of reading, writing, and coursework, areas that had been traditionally challenging for me due to my dyslexia.
However, I decided to take on the challenge, partly because I wanted to prove to myself that dyslexia wouldn't limit my ability to excel in a more traditional academic setting. Throughout the course, I encountered significant obstacles, particularly in dealing with the volume of reading and written assignments. It was both physically and mentally taxing. However, I persevered, developed creative strategies for tackling coursework, and sought support where necessary. I leaned on skills and coping mechanisms that I had developed over the years to help me navigate this academic endeavor. In the end, I successfully completed the diploma course and achieved my certification in leadership and management.
This accomplishment was a testament to my determination and ability to adapt to my learning differences. This achievement not only boosted my confidence but also demonstrated that individuals with dyslexia can excel in a traditional educational setting when they are determined and equipped with the right support and strategies.
It was a significant milestone in my personal and professional growth, and it further reinforced my belief in the importance of self-advocacy and resilience in the face of challenges. This accomplishment serves as a reminder that dyslexia does not define one's capabilities, and it is possible to overcome obstacles and achieve success with the right mindset and support.
My advice for someone who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia:
Based on my own experiences: Accept that dyslexia is a part of who you are, and it doesn't define your worth or abilities. Self-awareness is key to understanding your strengths and challenges. Reach out to your family, teachers, and school counselors to discuss your diagnosis.
Share your experiences and challenges to ensure you get the support you need. Don't be afraid to ask for help; there are resources available.
Dyslexia often comes with unique strengths such as creativity, problem-solving, and resilience. Embrace these strengths and use them to your advantage, just like I did, and still do to this day!
Surround yourself with people who understand and support you. Connect with others who have dyslexia to share experiences and tips. This can be incredibly reassuring. Above all, believe in your abilities and potential. Dyslexia doesn't limit your success; it's just one aspect of who you are. You have unique talents and can achieve your goals with the right support and mindset.
What one thing would you like the world to know about dyslexia?
Dyslexia is not a barrier to success but a different way of thinking and processing information. With the right tools, strategies, and support, you can achieve your dreams and overcome any challenges that come your way.