Being dyslexic can make life complicated. This interview was conducted with one of the founders of BeatingDyslexia.com. It gives a very brief overview of what life is like with literacy difficulties. This frank account highlights not only the hardships that he faced but also the positive characteristics he developed to overcome his problems.
The way I describe it is like always being lost in thought. I'm constantly thinking about one thing or another.
It's become easier as I've got older and become more literate. However when I was younger the world was a very strange and confusing place. It’s very hard to look anywhere in the modern world without seeing words. There everywhere, books, computers, signs, letters, all day everyday.
It made me feel very insecure and lowered my self-esteem. I became very introvert and shy.
School was a very challenging time for me. It should be the happiest time of a person's life but it was seriously mired by my literacy problems.
Reading and writing are key educational skills. If they are not in place correctly from the start the rest of a person’s education can be stunted. School can be a very long and boring process when you can't really read properly.
Being dyslexic made it very hard to feel normal when I was growing up. As soon as people know you are dyslexic they marginalise you. I was never really a part of my peer group at school.
When I was at school I was afraid I would not be able to get a job. I was semi-literate when I left school so I went to Art College, as a lot of dyslexic people do. Having literacy problems made me scared to apply for things like office jobs where my dyslexia would have been exposed.
I wanted to change my situation and improve my chances in life. The first thing I started doing was regular reading practice. After a while I realised I was improving. This gave me my first boost of confidence.
No, I don’t really. Sometimes I misspell words but 'hey' so does everybody.
I’m even confident enough now to read aloud to other people and I rarely make mistakes. No one would think I'm dyslexic from hearing me read. If I'm tired I sometimes find myself losing concentration when reading but that's pretty normal.
It stopped me from enjoying my childhood fully and feeling like a normal kid.
It’s given me strength, determination and shown me the importance of never giving up. Being dyslexic has also given me the purpose in life of contributing towards this website and hopefully helping others.