I was identified as dyslexic at the age of 49. It was like finding the missing piece of an unfinished puzzle. Finally, my life made sense. In the days that followed, I did what I always do: I wrote it out. Then, I published my story on my book blog Lost and Found Books.
“We deserve a chance…not to be defined by what we struggle with and what we are not, but to be seen as whole people with a mix of strengths and weaknesses. We deserve a chance to add to the narrative on dyslexia that historically had been dominated by (albeit well meaning) non-dyslexics.”
Sarah Fearn, editor’s preface, everything is spherical (2014)
I sense a change is coming. Our voices are getting louder. Whether it’s on social media or through storytelling or advocacy work, people with dyslexia want/need to tell their own stories.
This is no small thing.
This is an act of bravery, even defiance, in a world that presumes to tell us who we are and how we feel; that we are broken, where we are broken, and how we can (or can’t) be “fixed.” This comes from the strangest places. Not just from the trolls, but even the people who aim to help. So many labels, but very little real understanding.
“This much is clear: The mind of the dyslexic is different from the minds of other people. Learning that my problem with processing language wasn’t stupidity seemed to take most of my life.” ~Philip Schultz, My Dyslexia
My Dyslexia (2011) by Philip Schultz is on the top of my reading list for 2017. I’ve already read it a few times, underlining the good bits and reading it out loud to whoever will listen. And I will read it again, and again, and again.
The student panel at the 2016 dyslexia conference in Toronto blew the audience away with their eloquent and inspiring presentation (if Richard Branson is looking for future executives, look no further!). By sharing their stories, they are helping to empower a generation of children and youth. Thank you!Continue reading →
British health writer Roy Lilley is incredibly eloquent when talking about his struggles with dyslexia and school as a child, and how he went on to became a prolific writer (27 books on the management of health care!!) despite the low expectations of others.
To help improve his spelling, Lilley relies on spell check, and sends his articles for editing and proofreading. He still lets the occasional spelling mistake slip through, but he doesn’t worry about it anymore: “I write 700 words a day, and if the other 699 are ok I’m not too worried about that one.”
“It’s what’s in your heart that is important. If you are writing about things that you care about, if you are writing about things that are important…what’s a spelling mistake between friends? It’s not important. The important thing is if you’ve got the desire and the need (if you’re a student) to express yourself–you just get on and do it. Because, you know what, if you want to be a nurse or work in the clinical interface it’s how you look after people that’s important. So I would say, be like me, don’t give a stuff.” ~Roy Lilley
Watch the video
This is part of a series of videos called dyslexic nurses. The videos feature UK nurses sharing their unique perspective about neurodiversity in health care: watch Dyslexic Nurses.
Neurodiversity in the Workplace by Helen Bewley and Anitha George (September 2016), National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
The researchers conducted case studies at two UK employers, and identified policies and practices that can help integrate neurodiverse workers into the workplace. Research topics included: employee disclosure, recruitment, accommodation, and benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace.
“Neurodiverse” in this report refers to people with autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and dyspraxia.
“Adaptations do not necessarily have to be complex or costly and combined with fostering greater tolerance and acceptance of diversity will bring advantages to the employer as well as for their staff.” ~Helen Bewley and Anitha George, Neurodiversity In The Workplace (September 2016)
Read the report
Click on the image below to read the report:
The report was commissioned by acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)–a UK organization that provides information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law.