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Chantal Gagnon

Tell us about your dyslexia diagnosis - when were you diagnosed and when did you / family members / friends / teachers realise that you were having challenges

I was diagnosed around 6 - 7 years old.

How has dyslexia impacted you in both positive ways and challenges?

Dyslexia has helped me be very creative, an idea generator, able to see the big picture and make decisions based on the collective good.

Dyslexia has caused major burnout where I ended up in the hospital, and has put a damper on my confidence and social life. Dyslexia also made it much harder to find work and excel in office environments.

What support have you received for your dyslexia throughout your life?

I went to a learning disability school for 3 years, and had accommodations made throughout grade school. The accommodations were not really applicable in art university. I never had accommodations made at work other than being allowed to wear tinted lenses and a hat.

Do you have a particular story or achievement you would like to share?

After year's of struggling with office environments and freelance work, I have now opened my own stationery business for adults with neurodiversity's and visual stress. I am able to work at my own pace and make my own accommodations. It's also great to work within the neurodiversity community where people are understanding and supportive.

What advice would you have for someone who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia?

The dyslexic community is super friendly and awesome to be in. Try to join meet-ups and forums and you will find a world or friends that are so sweet, understanding and supportive.

What one thing would you like the world to know about dyslexia?

It's not just slow reading and spelling mistakes. It effects every aspect of life.