My Dyslexia Diagnosis
Mickie tells us how her dyslexia diagnosis made things make sense
Aimhigher Plus Assistant, Mickie, tells us about her journey to being diagnosed with dyslexia whilst studying at university.
I struggled with spelling, grammar, and speech from a young age, I became more embarrassed about it as I got older. I felt like an idiot, and this massively impacted my education. I was put into SEN classes for a while, I would avoid reading aloud at all costs, often getting into trouble for it. There were times when I wouldn’t hand in my homework because I didn’t want anyone to see it, I was labelled naughty and lazy. Looking back, all of this pointed towards dyslexia, but I wouldn’t get diagnosed until I started University.
I had heard of dyslexia before I entered higher education, and even recognised that I had many symptoms associated with the condition, but I’d always thought that if I had it, I would have been diagnosed by now, right? During Fresher’s week we visited the Student Support Centre where we were informed they offered dyslexia assessments. I decided to book one, and immediately after I started to feel that familiar sense of embarrassment. If it wasn’t dyslexia then what was it? Am I just as stupid as I always feared, or is dyslexia the reason I find words like necessarily or guarantee impossible to spell correctly? Turns out it was! It also explained other things that I struggle with, like time management. People always laugh when I say I take at least an hour in the shower, but I really can’t help it! Because of my issues with working memory and time perception, I end up forgetting what I’ve done so I repeat things, you know, just in case!
Once I’d been diagnosed, I flourished academically: I started getting grades that I never imagined I’d be able to achieve, all thanks to the various support I received. I was provided with equipment and 1:1 support to help me overcome the issues associated with dyslexia. I was given extra time in exams, and a sticker I could attach to my assignments to let lecturers know that any spelling or grammatical errors were due to my learning difficulty.
I still struggle because of dyslexia, this article has actually been checked by a few of my colleagues because spelling and grammar will always be an issue for me (yes, even with spell-check and autocorrect!). I still mix up words when talking and tasks may take a little longer for me to complete. So getting diagnosed with dyslexia didn’t change my life, but it did make it make sense. I know I’m not lazy or stupid, my brain just works differently, and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Visit bdadyslexia.org.uk for more information on dyslexia.