So recently I heard some of my peers talking about this topic in a negative way. So I just wanted to share some of my experiences and how I feel are the best ways to help yourself. This is a topic that I was quite nervous about posting online as it can be very controversial, but I’m trying to overcome that and create some positivity when we hear the term dyslexia.
The word dyslexia is derived from the Greek word ‘dys’ meaning poor or inadequate. And this is a term that needs to be eradicated.
I have never been interested in science and maths and other academic subjects. I know my strengths are definitely more creative and imaginative subjects, but that doesn’t mean I love to learn and gain knowledge, because that’s the opposite. In year nine I had probably the worst teacher I could have. She was the one with the loudest squeal and would not be happy with you trying your best. I was in set five for English, if your not familiar with this system, its basically a class that’s aiming for a GCSE grade of a low C to a D, whereas in comparison set one aim for A* to A. Anyway, this teacher was determined to put me in set six, the lowest of the bands. I remember getting so upset about this; feeling like I wasn’t trying my hardest or that I was stupid. Eventually someone told me to come to the special needs department at our secondary school, and from there I took a test. No one explained what this test was for or anything that they might think, “I have”.
A few months later I was told I dyslexia. I was told like it was some kind of major problem, and it effected my confidence hugely. I had to go to the special needs class to do some spelling exercises once I week, and I hated this. I literally repulsed it. I extremely disagree that dyslexia is a learning disability; this term for me weakens the mind when in fact it’s just that our brains work slightly differently. Whilst trying to do these spelling tests I was put in a room with disruptive peers, and I knew I worked so much harder to not be in this position. I was also give overlays and glasses. Everything seemed to be making me feel weaker rather then making me feel stronger and better.
The mocks came around a few months later and I received a high C, the teacher I mentioned earlier took all the credit (when in fact she had been doing the complete opposite), but I didn’t care. I got a grade I thought I never could have. That meant that actually I went up a set, to set three. This was the best thing that happened to me throughout secondary school. I had a really good teacher, who was determined to make English as exciting as possible, and she regularly got us to use our imagination, and that really helped me. By the end of year eleven I had achieved a GCSE English Literature grade of C and a GCSE English Language grade of B. I couldn’t believe it and my confidence grew a lot. I decided that I wanted to carry this on further and I made the decision to take English Language as an A-Level subject.
The college that I went to was an amazing place for me to study, I majorly gained so much confidence as well as becoming an individual and finding my personality. I liked English, but I realised that my other subjects, that were much more creative, were really up my street. English was much more open to being suited to me in terms of the assignments, compared to secondary school, as I could create pieces that were interesting to me, like art, music or television programs I loved to watch. Skip forward two years; I gained a B. I was even more amazed and proud of myself as I worked so hard for that grade.
My foundation level was probably the start of my life where I began to understand that I had dyslexia, even though I wasn’t even taking an English class at all. But I became interested in essay writing. And I started reading for pleasure for the first time. Luckily, my first book was the best book I could have ever picked, Slam by Nick Hornby and that encouraged me to read more and more, and I began to find escapism through reading.
So what’s the point of this blog post you ask? I began to read and write for enjoyment, and this is the best advice I could ever give someone. Being classified or described as Dyslexic is a horrible term that makes you feel weak and creates this mind set that you cannot write that essay or read those pages, so why do it. But I beg you to do the opposite of what your mind-set tells you. Instead of avoiding it; embrace it. If your struggling to read a paragraph or book, buy some snazzy highlighters, go in the bath and read it. If you don’t understand a word break it down by saying it out allowed or underline it and look up its definition on Google.
I know everyone’s dyslexia ranges, for me my two main problems and spelling and when I read I miss basic words out, as my mind thinks it knows what will be there. But I’ve realised in the past two years that the only way these will be overcome and get better is when I read the hell out of books and I write enough essays for the whole of the world to read.
If you’re reading this post and you too have dyslexia, remember it’s not a weakness, it’s just our minds working in more of a unique way to everyone else’s. And so what if I have to spell check the word definitely in this post because my mind takes longer to learn how to spell certain words, it doesn’t make it any less important to read. Just remember, “People with dyslexia are usually more creative and have a higher level of intelligence”. Lets embrace it and make it a positive word, remember you’re not alone.
-Dyslexics often enjoy and excel at solving puzzles.
-Dyslexics have excellent comprehension of the stories read or told them.
-Most dyslexics often have a better sense of spatial relationships and better use of their right brain.
-Dyslexics have excellent thinking skills in the areas of conceptualization, reason, imagination, and abstraction.
-Dyslexics have a strong ability to see concepts with a “big picture” perspective.
-Dyslexics are adept to excellence in areas not dependent on reading.
-Dyslexics typically have a large spoken vocabulary for their age.
-Dyslexics tend to be more curious, creative, and intuitive than average.
-Dyslexics’ special mode of thought easily produces the gift of mastery.
–Dyslexia is not related to low intelligence.
-Some of the most brilliant minds of our time have been known to have dyslexia: Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and John Lennon, to mention only a few
… That’s right you just compared yourself to Einstein.
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