Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The contents of this post’s based on personal experience and opinion. Some of the content may be emotionally triggering. I received no payment or any other compensation for this post.
This Week is Dyslexia Week, and the theme for this year is invisible dyslexia. Furthermore, my son and I, my partner and my son’s dad are: dyslexic.
I’ll start the blog with my partner’s experience of being a dyslexic adult, and his childhood experiences.
“When I was younger, I struggled with maths at school, so I accessed extra help. I also took drumming lessons. I found that listening to drumming; I could play the best rather than reading music.“Ed.
“As a dyslexic adult, I always double-check everything, from emails and work. I find it difficult to process a lot of information when people speak to me.”Ed.
The Other Side.
I have written a few blogs now on my dyslexic experience; but, with the theme being Invisible Dyslexia, I want to bullet point what I still find difficult (as a dyslexic adult):
- I struggle with retrieving words when I have conversations. I mask this by using conversation fillers to allow myself time to figure out the word or topic.
- When stressed, I stutter my words and sometimes have difficulty pronouncing words.
- My handwriting is poor, and I struggle to write in a straight line without guided lines.
- I tire easily from reading lots of information and am prone to headaches.
- I re-read a lot of my work and must break down my content for the blogs; into smaller chunks when typing and editing.
- I still need more time to process information. (This does not disappear when you become an adult).
- I find it challenging to listen to conversations (when there is too much noise in the background).
I always credit doing well with my degree to having a dyslexic mind. Moreover, my blog focuses on positivity and strengths because I understand what it is like to be a child at school been called lazy and continuously put down.
In a way, it’s my way of putting my middle finger up at society. Although to have total transparency, I must highlight the struggles I went through too. It is not easy to write blogs on experiences you still have emotional pain from.
My diagnosis at university allowed me access to a quieter room for exams, use of a computer and extra time. I no longer had to copy from the board too.
Although I was, diagnosed in the first year of university, when I was at primary school, the headteacher thought I was dyslexic. (This was not acknowledged by professionals or taken further).
If I never went to university, I may not have been identified; as being dyslexic. Moreover, I acknowledge that not everyone; is identified and the difficulties in accessing support and finance to be privately assessed.
Although my parents were supportive and never limited me, my experiences of constant rejection at middle and secondary school made me internalise a lot of what I was experiencing. Thus, I became a perfectionist.
I am still trying to unlearn a few unhealthy coping strategies that I developed as a child, as perfectionism only leads to burnout. I have also been way too hard on myself.
I go through a cycle of self-belief and self-doubt. I know I can achieve a lot in life, but my past experiences still haunt me. Additionally, I have this niggling voice in the back of my head that makes me hesitate when I am successful in life and at work.
Dyslexic children become dyslexic adults, and being a parent to a dyslexic child who has complex needs, I handle a lot of paperwork (which involves a lot of reading).
I’ll let you into a tiny secret; I do not enjoy reading large amounts of paperwork.
Like my partner, I cannot read music and learnt to play the keyboard at middle school (amateur level) by ear. (Listening to music). After school, I thought I would never see a musical note again; until I became a parent.
My son asked me for help with reading the music notes, so I had to be honest with him and tell him that I struggle to read music.
As a dyslexic parent, when you have a child, all your insecurities come to the forefront. Although we have a mutual understanding of our struggles, but also what we excel at.
My son and I think outside the box, and in the end, find our own way of approaching tasks, work, and life.
Skills and Accommodations.
Although I am delighted to see more companies are becoming aware of dyslexic skills in the workplace, I still feel that we are not fully valued.
In my work experience, I used to settle for being accepted based on my skillset; however, we also require accommodations made for our needs.
Therefore, I personally would like to see more workplaces making reasonable adjustments and accommodations for dyslexic employees and people who make a lot of sacrifices to work in a way that is unnaturally to them to make a living.