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Lorna Burnett

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 not diagnosed as dyslexic until 2005 - I was 20 years old and studying at Bradford College. I struggled at school to keep up with my class mates and found things like the alphabet, maths and literacy very hard. I knew there was something different, but did not know how to describe it. I don't think anyone realised other than me.

I referred myself to Learning Support at college and was assessed formally. That was a big step for me, because at school I always tried to hide my difficulties, which is probably why no one realised.

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

In positive ways; I now work at Bradford College in the SEND & ALS department. My job title is "Access & Inclusion Advisor"; it is my role to support students with SpLD. I read their assessments and write learning agreements so they can access support with their studies.

Negatively, I guess you could say I have missed out on relationships. Milestones that peers reach easily have been harder for me to grasp. However, asking for help and getting assessed has helped with my confidence.

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

I was supported very well at college in class and with my exams. At university I was also supported by DSA tuition, exam arrangements and support from my tutors.

At work I am very lucky to have a supportive team around me who understand my need for support. I have purple lenses in my glasses for reading, I use Dragon software when producing written work. I have constant reminders to manage my working day (as well as lists at home).

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

I went to university at 28 and got my BSc in Applied Psychology, and in 2020 aged 35 I got my MSc also in Psychology. My aspiration is to be an Educational Psychologist - to ensure no child / young person falls through a gap.

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

Don't despair. Keep going you can do whatever you set your mind to, dyslexia does not mean you cannot achieve. Always ask for help.

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

We, dyslexics, have the ability to do anything a non-dyslexic person can - it just might take us more time and effort to do it.