Like most people, I’ve never been naturally smart. I have had to work extremely hard for what most would call ‘average’ grades. Throughout my life though, regardless of being intelligent or not, I have always thought that something was wrong and my mind didn’t work as efficiently as others. No matter how hard I tried or how many hours I spent revising or how much money my parents spent on tutors for me, my grades never seem to justify neither my hard work nor my intellect. This was not only overlooked by my teachers and parents but myself as well. I always thought that I just wasn’t very smart and lacked the ability that others seem to have in certain subjects. But that was not the case at all.
On the 14th of October 2016, I was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and ADD (attention deficit disorder). The first emotion to hit me was utter devastation when I found out after the 2 hour long test. I was absolutely gutted to find out that for 18 years no one had ever even thought that I might be dyslexic or have ADD, despite most of my primary school reports saying that I need to stop staring out of windows and concentrate more in class and the fact that I have never finished an exam, ever. I went through the hardest two years of my education at college, studying my A-levels, with no support whatsoever. No wonder when I was doing past papers at my own pace in my own conditions I was achieving A’s and then in the real exam I achieved C’s. Now I am left forever wondering what I would have achieved with the support I should have had. I know I would have done better and got the grades I deserved but now I am forever stuck with these grades holding me back and making me not as strong a candidate for things such as universities, apprenticeships and jobs that I dreamed of doing. I am literally writing this post in tears because thinking of how hard I tried and how my skills will never be recognised at first glance for places I dream of going to or working for makes me feel like I’ll never get to where I want to be. Just today I have actually had an email to say that my application has not been successful for an apprenticeship I wanted more than anything.
I’m writing this post because I do not want the same to happen to anyone else. If you have even the slightest feeling that you might be dyslexic or have any other kind of learning disability, I urge you to get yourself checked. Yes you do have to pay for it but it is so so worth doing if it could have a huge impact on your future. Here are the warning signs that I had incase you feel you can relate:
- I have never finished an exam in my life
- I often read words different to what they are e.g. cat and cot
- I have to read sentences at least three times before I can properly understand them as the words get jumbled
- I get my words muddled up when I speak quickly so that sentences don’t make sense at first
- When solving an exam question I feel like my head is racing at a million miles an hour trying to figure out an answer but I only seem to get myself more tangled up in my thoughts – kind of like a computer crashing with so much information.
- I don’t trust my brain, I have to type 11+13 into a calculator to be sure aha..
- I have a short attention span and get bored very easily
- I often misunderstand messages people send or the things that they say
- Words tend to move about or flash when trying to read them
- I have to keep track of what line I am on using my finger
- I struggle telling the the difference between left and right (Weird I know!)
- I tend to have ideas that others hadn’t thought of in an outside of the box kind of way
- I am a lot better at creative activities like art and music
- I can play the guitar, piano and sing well by learning from memory but I can’t read sheet music even after studying it for 4 years.