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Dyslexia Week 2021: Your Stories

T - Further Education Lead Tutor at a Creative College

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 got my diagnosis in college when I was 18, in the 90's via my local MP who got in contact with the Dyslexia Association to arrange the test. I had experienced issues all the way through school from a very young age.

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

Dyslexia is my best friend, but they like to distract me a lot.

I have faced many challenges over my life from being considered stupid, and feeling stupid as a result, to understanding how I could use its barriers to help me overcome its issues and others.

I had had a heck of a time in school and was bullied for being thick, but I got really good at art and that shut some of them up. As computers got more powerful, I found I could use them well instinctively and found learning software easier than most, so I turned this into my career.

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

I didn't get any real support until my formal diagnosis. But then it got quite good. I got computer equipment and this helped overcome significant barriers (MS Word is a gift).

Later I did a PGCE and got amazing support from the local college where I did this. One support tutor Carol was absolutely amazing and spent goodness knows how long proofreading my work.

Work life has been more difficult to get support in and even now I have to fight to get adjustments, but various organisations have helped along the way along with the Access to work scheme. I am very grateful for the support of many of my managers, employers and others over the years.

The best support of all was from my Mum and sisters, always cheering me on and being there when it got too much for me.

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

I am a teacher and have worked in software development. Honestly I was written off by my teachers in school, but that was a different time. Educators are so amazing when it comes down to supporting students with dyslexia and other needs.

Getting my Degree, PGCE and then becoming an educator who can help others like me is an amazing privilege, even if my slides have spelling errors on them.

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

Don't get disheartened; you now have a starting point to work from.

Talk to others with dyslexia about how they live with it and use it to their advantage. Get the support you need and don't take no for an answer when it comes to getting what you need to help.

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

Its real and people with it are amazing and can do anything, apart from spell business or necessary.

Anything else can be overcame with a little money and time.