I am invisible. I have been invisible since I was in school. Not one of the 3 primary schools and two secondary schools picked up on the fact that I was dyslexic. The medical society refused to recognize women with autism unless they were seriously on one end of the scale so we just got labeled problem children.
I am invisible. That’s why I can’t be seen by people.
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.
You never know how run down you have gotten until you actually stop and take some time for yourself. This is something that I have learnt the hard way. I was soo low before I went on holiday. Even with some of the people who I was penpalling with all I could write about was my up coming trip. This is not a good sign for anyone. When you are that run down you have pushed your body to beyond the limits you should have… It doesn’t help with your mental health or your physical health.
You must always remember that you are important and no matter how much good you do for others, you will never be able to continue if you run out of energy or steam.
For people with disabilities, we all know that we have the added pressures of managing our disabilities as well as everything else that we do and so it is important to know what your limits are. If you want to try and push beyond the limits to do it in a way that you are not going to hurt yourself.
I emplore everyone to make sure that they make time for themselves as often as they can. You do not need to be left in a position where you are unable to continue. Look after yourself and then you will be able to look after others x
Yesterday I watched a Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) movie called Skyscraper. It was such an awesome movie because he played an amputee who has made a life for himself after his injury and then has to fight to save his family during an inferno. Obviously, those of us old enough to remember the Towering Inferno would consider it similar to that movie.
Now the reason why I found this amazing is how well he did at playing a person with a disability. It really shows that you can do anything despite your disability. I am not saying you can scale the side of a burning building but, what I am saying is that you can use your disability as a strength. This movie also had an inspirational background as an AMAZING Paralympian helped The Rock learn what it was like to be an amputee.
Even if you do not like the idea of taking inspiration from a movie, you can take the message which is that we are all the same, just some people may struggle more than others. Definitely, a worthwhile movie to watch.
This sounds like a bizarre post to put up but there is a reason for it. I went away on holiday which in itself was great. Unfortunately, the airline and the airports let me down in a big way both getting out to Italy and coming back. I honestly never felt more isolated in my life and I was traveling with a group of people.
The thing is, I decided that I would not let that define the holiday and I decided that I wanted to make sure that the people involved are actually held to account. As such I have made complaints to the airline and the airports.
The lady I spoke to today reminded me that, most people who have a bad experience will choose only to complain to the people that they know. They will accept the negative experience as something they should not question. When you have a disability it can also feel embarrassing. The question I should put to you at this point is, how can anything get better if the person or company who has done you harm, do not know that something has happened.
So, I encourage everyone with a disability, if you experience service in any form that has made you feel isolated, out of place or discriminated against then please raise a complaint and make sure that your voice is heard.
So, something I have come to learn is that my Autism can help my dyslexia. As a dyslexic I really struggle to read books. I find it very hard to get into a book and as such I live by the rule, if the 1st chapter does not capture me then I do not read the rest. Why struggle with a book that could take you over a year to read when you have no interest in it.
Since my Autism diagnosis I have been thinking about my special interests which are:
- True Crime; – specialists in serial killers and profiling
- Super Natural
- Native Americans
As such, I am focussing on reading books around my special interests. Whilst, some of them I would consider the short end of the stick in having I find that focussing on these areas with the books helps keep me interested in what I am reading.
My autism is helping my dyslexia. You have heard of disabilities affecting each other negatively however, in this instance, it is a very helpful and beneficial impact.
I have spoken a lot recently about my autism and the struggles I have with it and the challenges I still face. Today, however, I would like to talk about dyslexia. I was diagnosed as dyslexic in 2002 when I was 16. This was a good 16 years ago. Hopefully, that will give you an idea as to how old I am.
One thing I have noticed is that it is something that some people still live in the archaic times when being dyslexic was akin to being dumb or illiterate. This view is something that I have found is seriously dwindling thankfully. Just because you are dyslexic, it does not mean that you are illiterate or that you are dumb. In fact, one of the most famous people in history was dyslexic, Albert Einstein.
If you are dyslexic, do not let people badge you in a negative light. Let your dyslexia be your superpower and you can do anything you would like to do if you put your mind to it. It may take a little longer than some but you can do it none the less.