1. Tell me what it is you want to talk about and what it’s about or what’s going on?
I have dyslexia but was not diagnosed with it until the age of 52 as it was not a recognized condition when I was at school.
How do you feel about this?
When I was in school, I felt ashamed of the way I was because other people assumed that I was stupid but when I was diagnosed, it was a great relief and comfort as the struggles I have faced were proven to be a condition that I could be helped with rather than a fault or failing of my own that could not be properly addressed.
How did you get your diagnosis?
I went to the adult education centre in New Mills to improve upon my reading and writing skills. The centre manager gave me an assessment to fill out to find out what my reading and writing age was. I found it difficult to read the words on the page as they all seemed to blur into one and I found it very hard to understand what I was meant to be reading. I told the manager this and she told me she thought I may be dyslexic. She placed a piece of blue plastic over the assessment sheet which dramatically improved the appearance of the type on the paper for me, making it much easier to read and confirming that I have dyslexia. I was put in to the “Improving English” class which I attended for two years and achieved my Key Stage 2 English from this which gave me a massive feeling of accomplishment.
How has this changed your life and what improvements would you like to see made in this area for other people with the same problem?
I feel that my diagnosis has greatly improved certain aspects of my life and has meant that I can now do things that I could not before, such as reading stories to my grandchildren without having to make up the words! However, I think that there is still a stigma attached to dyslexia today and would like to see this issue addressed in a more positive way and for assessments to be made mandatory in schools for children of young ages so that less people have to face the same struggles and stigmas that I have, myself.