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My Dyslexia Story: Matthew Head

Monday 6 May 2024

I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 6 year old about 1990/1991. For my first year a school I did not have an understanding teacher, Lucky for me my teacher in the second year was reading about dyslexia at the time and saw those traits in me and pushed to get me diagnosed.

So I got extra help at school including 1 to 1 support and extra time in exams. I was offered to drop one subject during my GCSE's but I chose not do as I would of had to drop my strongest subject. During university I used DSA and got a laptop with Dragon and Texthelp on.

Burn out!

I was feeling burnt out by the end of college after working really hard to get through my education. I left college with a BTEC national diploma in engineering and took up a job as a HGV technician. To this day the one job I took to avoid writing things down is the one job where I had to hand write the most, to the point where I was told not to write cursive so people could read my job cards.

“I can’t spell, so how the hell am I going to study a university education; that’s for clever people”

In my mid 20's I left full time employment to study a fast track MEng at Robert Gordon University. If you had asked the 19-year-old me who left college whether the 31-year-old me would have graduated with a Master’s Degree, I would have laughed

At university, I also took part in the MATE ROV competition where my team got to the finals and returned with 3 awards. During my time at university, I started to remove my self-limiting beliefs about dyslexia and focus on my visual thinking skills, which were a great advantage for my engineering degree.

Never think you are not clever enough to achieve your dream job

Quitting my job and going to university is my biggest achievement so far. This lead me to a thriving engineering career which in turn lead me to dream jobs designing motorcycles, race cars and cars. Things I only dreamt of growing up, but didn't think I was clever enough for it.

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

It’s ok, It will be hard at times but you have the skill and the talent to achieve everything you want and dyslexia can actually help you with that. You have a mind that thinks differently and a lot of people who think differently drive progress and innovation.