Wondering whether you have clocked on to what this article is going to be about by the title, please let me know if you did.
I am dyslexic. This is something I struggled with prior to diagnosis to the point that I needed a lot of support to get me to a standard where I could even get A levels. To give you an idea. When I chose my A levels I had only been diagnosed for a year and had already had to redo my GCSEs once. One of the courses I chose was Sociology which was a brave move as this subject meant LOTS of essay writing.
I don’t know if you know but sociology exams (the essay part) are graded out of 20. When I started the course my homework essays were getting 3s,2s or 1s out of 20. On one fateful day, I had really struggled and I got a 0 out of 20. My world seemed very dark when I got that assignment back. I thought, “you know what I shouldn’t be here. I am dyslexic what made me think that I could do this, I just can’t do it, I’m so dumb”.
But, I got help. This help came in the form of my teacher who knew I was trying so hard but just could not seem to improve. So, he offered me a solution. Every time I got a bad grade on my homework, we would go through it during a free period that we both had at the same time and he would show me where I went wrong. He would then give me a 2nd opportunity to rewrite the assignment. This was not to change my grade but to make sure that I had an opportunity to stick what I needed to learn in my head.
Slowly I started seeing my grades go up. I went from 1s, 2s, and 3s, to 16s, 17s and 18s out of 20. This gave me so much of a boost that when I went to sit my exams I was able to sit them with confidence I had never had in any exams previously. My end result was a B in Sociology. I could not believe it. I was so happy I went and thanked my teacher for my result.
Learning disabilities don’t mean that you can’t do something. It means that you need to find a way to deal with it and work around it to get the best out of yourself. Some suggestions for you to do:
- Dragon Software (or any other speech to text software)
- Read and Write Gold (or something Similar)
- Spider Diagrammes for things you need to learn so that you have a visual map of what is needed.
Don’t give in to the Imposter Syndrome. I ask anyone out there with a learning disability to challenge yourself to find ways to make things easier for you. I did it and I can honestly say at the age of 16 when I was diagnosed I couldn’t even imagine getting my GCSEs let alone a B & 2 Cs in A levels. You are not alone, ask for help.