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Believing in Yourself

I May have dyslexia, but it doesn’t have me…

Dyslexia Week is an annual event to raise awareness of dyslexia – to highlight and share with everyone the issues that dyslexic people face daily. 

This year, Dyslexia Week is taking place from 4 – 10 October and focuses on the invisibility of dyslexia. Everyone with dyslexia has a unique story and the power to create positive change.

So here’s my story… 

I was about 8 years old, having just started junior school when teachers thought I may be dyslexic. I remember struggling with schoolwork especially reading and writing and feeling a little worried that I was finding everything harder than my friends at school. I felt like everyone thought I was being lazy – but things just took me a little longer. 

From an early age, I really had to work at both skills. By the time I was ten, I was diagnosed as being dyslexic and was lucky enough to have a ‘one to one’ support lesson each week with a lady I still remember fondly as ‘Mrs Brown’. We got on famously in particular when I received 20 smiley faces for good work and a tube of chocolate smarties! 

I remember my parents being told that unless I got the support I needed, I wasn’t going to do well in my GSCE’s, especially in English. I was obviously one of the lucky ones, having parents that could afford to get me the help I needed, of which I am very grateful for.  

I went on to achieve two A’s in my English GCSE’s and then chose to study English Literature at A-Level and after gaining 5 A-Levels I went on to study politics at the University of Birmingham and achieve a 2:1 BSC. Throughout my studies I received support in the form of tuition and extra time in my exams.  

I find it quite ironic that I wasn’t very good at reading and writing at school, for my passion for both has most probably led me to my current job role as a communications officer. I’ve never let it hold me back – I’ve set up this blog – My World and I ’d love to have a go at writing a kids book one day. 

Mum and dad put it down to sheer determination to prove myself and I put it down to Mrs Campbell, my headmistress at junior school who always told me that there was no such word as ‘can’t’ only ‘can’ if you believe in yourself. 

Dyslexia has and still does impact my everyday life in both positive and negative ways. I must work hard at everything, some tasks can take me a while to complete and I still make mistakes but thankfully with the help of colleagues/friends and proof reading, I can spot them and quickly put them right! I also struggle with my confidence and my self-belief.  

The positives are that I have a fantastic memory because when I need to learn/remember something it’s ingrained in my memory for life. I still remember my Latin verbs from school! I’m also very creative, hardworking and determined – all skills which my dyslexia has driven and ones which I’m grateful for because without being so, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

Currently, I face the challenge that both my children could be dyslexic – something Alfie (aged 7) is undergoing tests for. If he is, I will help him overcome his own learning difficulties and I hope to inspire him that dyslexia doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your dreams…  
 
Claire-Marie Lamport, Communications and Engagement Officer and mum of two 🙂 

Useful Links:  
Dyslexia Week 2021 
Dyslexia Week 2021: Your Stories 
British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk) 
Helen Arkell – Dyslexia Charity

 

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