Dyslexia Awareness Month: My story and experiences

My name is James Mills and I am a student on the Aspiring Prospects Programme.

In honor of Dyslexia Awareness Month I have chosen to share my story and experiences of living with Dyslexia.

Many thanks and enjoy.

My name is James and I was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 5.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects my spelling, reading, and processing information or interpret words, letters and symbols.

Dyslexia affects every part of my life, but I don’t let it define me. It affects my spelling and reading, and words can appear juggled on the page. I was bullied and teased at a lot at Primary school, I really struggled, the teacher would often pick me to read or write on the white board, I would refuse as I wanted to avoid being laughed at and teased. The school refused to put the resources I needed in place, and I found it very difficult.

Dyslexia I feel, affects me in day-to-day life when trying to process information, spell and read, and I feel it hinders me getting job as employers are looking for people who are experienced and don’t have disabilities. I feel employers don’t fully understand people with disabilities and don’t want to employ them, but I haven’t given up hope for a job.

I manage by asking someone to spell a word for me, help me read if I’m stuck on a word and I ask again and again for people to explain information to me if I am unsure.

The reasonable adjustments made to help me manage my Dyslexia, is using yellow paper so I’m able to read what I’m writing without the letters appearing jumbled on the pages which helps me spell and read.

Most negative experiences I’ve had were mostly at primary school, the teacher was so rude and laughed at me and told me off for spelling the word wrong on the white board, this made me really angry and I stormed out and I refused to come in to school the next day and after that I never went up to the white board to write again.

When I went into secondary school, I was still unsure and did not want to get up in front of the class when asked to, my teacher pulled me aside and asked why. I opened up to him about the past trauma I was faced with at primary school, she was so kind and understanding and helped me to build up my confidence. Everyone at secondary school was lovely and supportive of me, I went to a special school which made life with dyslexia much easier to cope with. Now I’m 23 now and I don’t let my dyslexia define me.

My hope for the future is to first get a job in an office-based role, then later on down the line secure my dream job, which is to be a train driver. This has been a dream of mine since I was a small boy. My dyslexia has not stopped me from giving up on my dream job and never will. The future is getting brighter and brighter for me, with the look to one day living on my own and gaining greater independence, this is something that I’m hopeful for in the future.   

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