‘It is how other people perceive you – that is the problem.’
This is a story about a lady who could not read or write but held a full time job and had an employer who believed in her.
J came to me 3 years ago, very shy and with no confidence. Her line manager came with her and we had what for J was a very emotional chat about her dyslexia and how it had affected her.
J had never disclosed her dyslexia at interview and her initial feelings when she applied for jobs was that she had to work extra hard to prove her worth before letting them know. Applying for her recent job she knew this time it would be different because it was working for a hospital and not in manufacturing where her previous jobs were. This time she had to let them know and this is where she felt that it was how she would be perceived as a dyslexic and not as a person applying for a job.
J has always thought that being dyslexic was something to be ashamed off. ‘I actually thought that my kids would be taken away from me because I could not read or write!’ ‘The problems started when they went to school and I could not help them read or write… How was I going to cope?’ I somehow managed and struggled through with the help from my husband and family. My children are grown up now and are themselves dyslexic.
Taking this job in the hospital completely turned my life around. I knew I could learn the job by using strategies I had developed but to do it efficiently? I was so scared but wanted to do this. My manager completely understood and supported me so much. Training was carried out in a big room and lots of information was given out. I always had someone with me to help me, my manager made sure that this happened so I was not on my own. They recognised the potential in me and believed in me. I learnt how to use a smart phone and dictate information I needed to remember.
Then I had an assessment and there my journey began. I had a chat with Lisa and she explained what dyslexia was and what support she could give me. I started and during the first session I had to copy my name down from a piece of paper I carried with me – that was how dyslexic I was. I have been coming for tuition for 3 years now – I can read and write and do so many other things that I never ever believed was possible. I feel like a different person now, I still get nervous but my confidence has grown as have my skills. My employers have been incredible in their belief and support.
This is my story and I am still learning – it is never too late to begin you just need the confidence and determination to take the first steps. With support you can do it!