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My Dyslexia Story: Rhiannah

Monday 8 May 2023

I was diagnosed at primary school after my mum noticed my balance and coordination was off and my reading and writing was not at the right level. My mum also has dyslexia so she knew very quickly that I would probably have dyslexia too.

“Dyslexia impacts me in both positive and negative ways”.

I'm very creative, anything I put my hands to, I pick up very quickly. I am great at problem solving and thinking outside the box and great people skills. Negative impacts: there is not a lot of job equality, I struggle with day-to-day emails, texts and I get anxiety about writing and reading especially in front of people.

As a child I had a lot of support in primary school. Secondary school I had learning assistant throughout my GCSEs. Also, my mum and my family clubbed together to put me on a program to improve my reading and writing, which lasted for 2 years. At college I received a reader and extra time and support. In adult life I haven't received any help especially from employers saying that they don't have the right measures in place for someone with my condition.

“I was always told that my dyslexia would hold me back in life”

I worked in TV and film for 6 years doing acting and modelling, meeting musicians directing music videos and creating content for fashion brands, whether that be photo shoots or videos. After I left school, I started hairdressing and then went into barbering.

In September 2022 I opened my first store ‘Underfound’ a luxury fashion retailer, premium barbering experience, music venue and art gallery. I wanted to create a space where everyone feels welcome no matter background or learning disability.

It's hard enough starting a business when you can read and write let alone having a learning disability. I just want to share my story to let other people know that if you dream it - just because you can't write it down it doesn't mean it isn’t possible.

My advice…

The advice I would give someone that's just been diagnosed with dyslexia is: If you can imagine it, you can do it and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! It's a creative gift that has its ups and downs.