We have been through a lot, you and I. From the age of seven we have learnt to get used to each other. Faced challenge after challenge together, but now as I look back I think of everything you have taught me, and now I want to share those lessons with parents, teachers and the children who have still got a long journey to go on.
You are a part of who I am and who I have become, sometimes I have hated you and sometimes I have loved you. In exams you challenged the speed I thought at, the pace I wrote at, how I could remember details and spell every individual word. Whilst at other points in time, the way you have made me think has helped me see the world in a different way to others. We have become more creative and developed not just our academic skills like other children, but we learnt so much more.
Yes, we may have always been the bottom of the class, had extra ‘special’ lessons, have been teased for being slow and dumb. But, we did not let that bother us, we took our time and learnt ways that help us learn. The normal education system may not have been for us; no we could not learn lists, write quickly, spell ‘because’ and remember our timetables. But, we persisted and we had so many people that have helped us on our way; the teachers who realised that we could remember better if we wrote in colour; the SENCO who spent hours with us each week to help us learn through stories instead of just presenting us with facts; those friends that saw that we did not need to be conventionally ‘clever’ to be their best friend; the support and knowledge that our parents would be there for us even if we got an ‘E’ in a class test.
We made it through education, and we have excelled beyond our thoughts, and surpassed what our primary school teachers thought possible. But as I think back on our journey, I know that we are not alone, it is estimated that up to 1 in every 10 to 20 people in the UK have some degree of dyslexia.
They should know that every single person learns differently. It took us twenty-three years to learn how we can revise, read and learn. They should not give up, just because the requirements of the education system enforce us to pass specific exams. It does not mean that they are ‘stupid’ or ‘thick’ if they cannot pass first time or if they need extra time, a laptop, or other support put in place to help them pass.
As neuroscience develops we learn more about how humans tend to learn. We also gain more understanding of how individualized humans are, how they function in different ways at a neurological level. So to all those parents, teachers and children that have begun the journey of dyslexia, you can do it! Everyone learns in different ways and you will make it to where you want to be, just keep trying new ways of learning and learn about what you love and aspire to do.
Here are some useful websites: