When I was younger I loved to write, I would always be writing funny stories to make my friends laugh and I remember wanting to be a journalist when I grew up. However things changed dramatically when I reached high school. No matter how hard I tried I always seemed to get things wrong. Maths was a real struggle (it still is), reading was difficult especially when I was made to do it out loud and I found writing hard.
I struggled so much that I ended up trying to avoid reading and writing as much as possible doing only the bare minimum. My GCSE results weren’t great but I managed to scrape by and get into college.
At college our whole class was asked to carry out a dyslexia test and a few days after the test I received a letter through the post saying that due to my test results they believe I have dyslexia and to go to the student services for help. It was the first test I had ever past even if for the wrong reason.
I finally had the chance to get the help and support I needed so did I go and get help!
No, instead I hid the letter away ashamed and worried what people would think of me if they found out and I carried on without any help as I had all the years before.
I am 31 years old and it is only in the last couple of years that I have accepted my dyslexia and started telling people I have it and last week in the talk I did at a primary school for World Book Day was the first time ever I have spoken about having dyslexia. After receiving such wonderful feedback from the teachers on how my talk was an inspiration and how it will help children that have dyslexia in the school, I thought I would write a post about my own struggles to help others and build more awareness.
Although I find writing a struggle it is something I love doing and I have been recently been able to accomplish my dream of being a writer despite being dyslexic.
How Dyslexia affects me and how I overcome my struggles
As I now write a lot I know what mistakes I usually make so I can go back over and amend them without much hassle. My main struggles are ‘B’s and ‘P’s and ‘who’ and ‘how’s I will always get these the wrong way round when writing.
When I first write a post, rhyme or book I am focused on what I am writing not how I am writing and my dyslexia is automatic. I will mix up the words and letters but when I read back over my work consciously thinking about the words and how they are written I can see the mistakes and easily change them. I will read back over everything I write at least 3 times before sharing with anyone, even if it is just a Facebook comment I will still go back over and read it through a few times before posting.
The other way I really struggle with dyslexia is what I call a brain muddle, it is so frustrating when it happens and I still get annoyed with myself. A brain muddle is when I write a word that is normally simple and easy to spell and that I know how to spell but at that moment my brain gets muddled and I convince myself it is wrong.
A great example of this is when I was making my Powerpoint slide for my school talk. I put the title ‘World Book Day’ without any problems then I added some pictures and was playing around with the lay out when I looked to much at the title and suddenly the word ‘World’ was alien to me. I was then so convinced I had spelt it wrong I had to google it, even then I wasn’t sure Google was right it took me a few minutes for my brain to accept that it was spelt the right way. Although it is frustrating as long as I have google or a dictionary available when writing I can get through a brain muddle.
Years ago these struggles were enough to put me off writing but since I took the leap and started up a blog I have found my love for writing again. I have now found the more I write the less my dyslexia affects me and the better my writing becomes, unless I am trying to write when feeling tired then I have no hope. I have learnt to embrace my dyslexia and now since looking into it more I believe it is what has given me my creative side.
Dyslexia can be a struggle and frustrating at times but don’t let it stop you achieving your dreams.
There is lots of help available and ways you can work around dyslexia just don’t give up.
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