/ Dyslexia - causing work problems - update II

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kipper12 15 Feb 2020


al while ago I put up a thread about work difficulties related to my suspicions I had dyslexia/S came to a head before Christmas, in both a bad and good way.  I had a difficult discussion which resulted in my being offered a workplace assessment by an expressly contractor.

this has just come back with some signs of dyslexia and DCD.  Both of which I had long suspected.  It feels as if a weight has been lifted from my life.  I am not sure of where I go now, but it can’t be anything as bad as the last year/18  months of anxiety.  It had felt I had been catapulted back to school, with all the crap memories.

I suspect there may well be others of a similar vintage to myself who have been struggling through, feeling different but not really knowing why.  The system in place at the time wasn’t geared to pick us out and help.

now I know, I feel mighty relieved, and to others in the same boat, you are not alone.

Name Changed 34 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

How ironically that your post has all reddy received likes,  when a grammatical slip  wood normally unleash  a  torrent along the lines of you can’t speak or spell, QED I’m better than you.

marsbar 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

I'm so pleased for you.  I think I remember your first thread.  Onwards and upwards

kipper12 15 Feb 2020
In reply to marsbar:

Cheers, I’m also lucky that as a government employee, I got an assessment paid for and they will put in place the recommended adjustments to make my working life easier.  

tjdodd 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

Someone was talking on tv a couple of weeks ago about having dyslexia.  They were really strong in their view that it was a blessing and a key part of who they are as a person.  They very much embraced dyslexia as it gave them a different way of thinking and seeing the world.  They saw it as a strength.

I forget who it was who was speaking but they were very successful and their positivity was very inspiring.

HighChilternRidge 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

I was assessed some forty-five years as a result of an amazing teacher noticing something was not “right”. As a result I was a lucky one of my generation, school had challenges both work and bullying, and but my teachers never let it hold me back. It has always been a comfort that the only place I have never had any hassles about being dyslexic has been within the climbing community. Take what ever help is offered but don’t let it hold you back. HCR. 

MarkH55 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

I was labelled as lazy and stupid at school in the 70s.   My peers all went to Uni whilst I joined the army, during this time I often wondered why they were so much more intelligent than I was.  Ten years later I'd learned how to learn and went to Uni and eventually got a 1st.  Ten years on my son, who was a 'mini me' in many ways, was diagnosed as dyslexic. 

During my differnt careers I was always careful to avoid situations where I had to spell or do any form of mental maths in front of others.

In my 40s I trained as a primary school teacher in the full knowledge that I was probably dyslexic, it was possible to disclose this info on application to teacher training but I didn't, in the event no one with reported dyslexia got on the course.

As a teacher I was always given the children who needed something extra or who were a bit different.  I was open with my classes about my difficulty with spelling and mental maths and tables recall.  My way of working though these difficulties was to openly use the same strategies that I taught the children.  I was often asked to take dyslexic children in my class to meet with new year 3 children who were disagnosed as dyslexic so that we could share the ways we dealt with difficulties and what extra skills we had because of our dyslexia.  I really believe that having my own difficulties helped me to be a better teacher, I hope I was able to see the potential in every child regardless of their difficulties.

As for my son, he could hardly write at the age of 10.  He had to battle through every stage of school, as well as attending the Bristol Dyslexia School every week for additional tuition.  He did Ok with his GCSEs, really well at A levels and brilliantly with his degree.  Many of his peers who found school easy fell away as the academic challenge increased.  He's now half way though a PhD.

I'm now in my 4th career having retrained in my 50s.  I say without being dyslexic I wouldn't have  many of the skills I use every day.   I still can't spell for toffee.

I would say embrace the skills you have because of your dyslexia.  You're probably a good people person with a heightened level of empathy and able to see the best in others.  I bet you are able to visualise problems in unique ways and come up with novel solutions.  You may well be fantastic at reading maps with the ability to transfer a 2D problem into the 3D world around you with ease.  You will definately have a thick skin and know how to battle through difficult learning situations.

I work in web development now., you wouldn't believe how many of my colleagues are dyslexic.  All the best, Kipper12, keep pushing on, I think you will be OK.

Post edited at 22:17
wintertree 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

I remember your last post.  Thanks for the update.

My view is that dyslexia isn’t a disability, rather it’s a different mix of brain skills that’s in a minority.  Apparently I have a very intuitive way of teaching things using words and picture - it’s never seemed intuitive to me so much as just explaining things as they are - but other people say they find my “unusual” way of explaining things really helpful.   I think the brain capacity that other people use to rote memorise legions of illogical, one-off rules on reading, writing and pronunciation declared “f—k that shit” and spent it’s time drawing mental pictures of maths.

The problem is that most of the systems you and I interact with were built by people without dyslexia and without an understanding of it.  That makes dyslexia a disability - not intrinsically but because of an unsympathetic environment.  The times are changing and I’m glad they’re changing for you.

Anyhow, you now fall under a “protected characteristic” of the Equalities Act 2010 and your employer has to make reasonable adjustments.  If anyone on UKC or at work lays in to you over your spelling of grammar just remind yourself you’re the bigger person and you’re defined by your life and not by your ability to rote memorise thousands of special cases of a fundamentally broken language.  I approve of the equalities act putting those of us with dyslexia on an equal footing but I vehemently disagree with it being defined as a “disability”.

subtle 15 Feb 2020
In reply to MarkH55:

I left school at 16 in the mid 80s after a torrid time with spelling and handwriting - I am now a professionally qualified person with an OND, HNC, Degree and and LLM as well as my professional qualification - I still need to use spell check constantly and my handwriting is atrocious

School was shit, I hope it is better for kids now struggling with dyslexia issues - life does get better once you leave school though  

kipper12 16 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

All, thanks for the kind words of support.  One thing I would say is that at the end of my assessment, I was told I had managed to achieve well, in spite of my dyslexia/DCD. It does feel as if I now know me properly for the first time.  

tew 16 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

Being (just need to check the spelling) dyslexic myself. I think the best way to describe it is as if you're a cider in a beer competition.

The rules are not really written for you but when you realise that you can knock everyone else on their ass.

Embrace it. I'm normally the one in my team pushing new ideas as I'm looking at problems differently.

marsbar 16 Feb 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I'm a great believer in the social model but I don't like the disability label either.  I have used it to get what I need though.  (I'm not dyslexic but I am autistic and ADHD and very probably dyspraxic).  I consider neurodiversity to be a difference not a disability but the protection given by the equalities act is needed.  


marsbar 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tew:

I love that description. 

jethro kiernan 16 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

Hope it goes well, I’ve not been formally diagnosed but have always struggled with spelling and processing of numbers both through school, uni and work.

I've always managed but it has caught me out a few times and I’m sure it’s left an unfavourable impression sometimes with employers. 
Good luck with going forward with it and I hope you get some support and understanding within your work group.

BnB 16 Feb 2020
In reply to kipper12:

Many of the members of my and my wife’s families exhibit some form of spectrum behaviour, from my sister’s dyslexia to both  sister-in-laws’ moderate autism to our daughter’s dyspraxia.

However, they are also very high-achieving. Once you understand yourself and recognise the positives, it becomes a superpower, not a disability. Good luck.

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