suzefricker@mylifeaccordingtome.org Available all the time, just send me an email and I will get back to you.

I’m invisible

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.

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To, too, two be or not to, too, two be

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 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:

  1. Dragon Software (or any other speech to text software)
  2. Read and Write Gold (or something Similar)
  3. 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.

Reading – Important for Autistics and Dyslexic

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
  • Mythologies
  • War
  • 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.

“You must be dyslexic, you can’t spell”

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.

Being Different is not BAD

One thing I needed to get myself together to understand what it is that is “wrong” with me. However, it was not till I understood that there is nothing wrong with me I am just different to everyone else around me.

I get very emotional over some things. That isn’t bad, it just means that I can get really sad. The thing that I am sad most about is when I see an animal who gets killed in the middle of the street. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with me. It means my mind deals with this kind of things differently. Same for TV shows. There are certain episodes of shows that I can not ever watch again because they make me so sad that I cry. The logic side of my brain knows that its fiction but I just can’t deal with what is being shown, example, the episode in Criminal Minds where Hotch’s ex-wife is killed by the Reaper… I can NEVER watch that episode ever again.

I have uber senses (if only my eyesight was one of them). It’s not bad, it just means I avoid situations where I am likely to be affected… It’s not bad, just means that I am different.

Differences make you who you are and that is something that we all need to accept. If we were all the same, we would not have the breakthroughs that we have in art, science, music and many other things… If we were, all the same, we may as well be wearing gray jumpsuits and all have numbers instead of names.

My Autistic Super Power – Hearing

Since my Autism Diagnosis, I have been doing as much research as I can possibly do and honestly, one of my superpowers is my hearing.

It is something I am proud of. Even though I can’t handle really loud sounds for example if someone has the television up too loud, I can hear things like both sides of a telephone conversation from another room. I am proud of this fact. It is something that is special to me and I take great pride in it.

This autistic person has a superpower! Like with my Dyslexia I choose to consider my differences as superpowers. It means that I feel less like an oddball and more like someone who has special talents.