We discovered that my son had “specific learning difficulties” when he was in his 5th year at High School. This explained a lot about the reports we had had about him all through his school life. I knew that he was a very bright boy ( I am his Mum – I would say that!) but his school achievements really did not reflect that. It took his English teacher to realise that what he heard from him in class and what ended up in written work did not match. By that time my son had all but given up on formal education and – not surprisingly – was looking for a way out.
Once we knew what was going on he got support from school and I sat in with the home tutor for EnglishÂ we also engagedÂ so that he and I could talk about his workÂ until he got toÂ exams. We know now that his specific difficulty is in processing what he has read and answering questions on or interpreting this. There will never be a prouder moment for me that whenÂ he got his results and he hadÂ got the grades which allowed him to go to University – something he hadÂ only recently started to consider.
He is in his final yearÂ now – reading ( yes reading) lots and writing his dissertation. This will be aÂ huge challenge for him. he has received great support fromÂ the university. He is studying designÂ andÂ I understand that many design students haveÂ dyslexia.
Now IÂ am aware that there is some dispute as to whether dyslexia actually exists. All I know is that once my son understood what madeÂ learning soÂ difficult for him he was able to take action.
Just out of curiosity I took the dyslexia test on the site – not because I have any difficulties which would lead me to believe that I had dyslexia – but to see what kind of questions were asked. Some are obvious I guess – eg do you have trouble telling right from left, do you avoid reading out loud. But others give an insight to how not being able ( or avoiding) doing some of the things that the majority of us take as everydayÂ actions could impact on life.
I am not a great fan of rolling out celebrity “sufferers” for any cause but in this case the range of people identified as living with dyslexiaÂ is very interesting – and if that inspires someone like my son to maximise their potential then so much the better.