How I discovered that I’m mildly dyslexic and how it now benefits me

During my school years, I didn’t enjoy academic subjects. Although I understood the topics and would happily talk through ideas, concepts and problems, I was never keen to read or write about them. This was due to my slow reading and poor spelling abilities. These two attributes always led to embarrassing, repetitive errors. It was much easier and quicker for me to ask questions and talk through the concept. If there were ever the opportunity to illustrate an idea, I’d take that route over a written piece.

Once out of school, I put academic work behind me, choosing a more creative career in design and illustration. I worked through publishing and advertising, which meant I paired with editors and copywriters. These brilliant people not only taught me a lot but also allowed me to avoid the need to read or write in a professional capacity. I could leave that to the experts and concentrate on concepts, layout and typography.

Moving from graphic design to focusing solely on user experience (UX) I became interested in accessibility and inclusive design. This led me to learn more about reading abilities and how to design more inclusive digital products. Following my new understanding, I recognised several things that indicated that I might be dyslexic. I took a couple of online screening tests and found that I showed signs consistent with mild dyslexia.

While this was not a complete examination, it gave me the confidence to seek help and speak about my issues with others. I’ve worked hard to understand how dyslexia affects me, which has resulted in me reading more books and writing more since that discovery than in all previous years combined. I now love both activities. Being open about my dyslexia has also allowed me to support others in my team who also struggle.

My experience with discovering that I am mildly dyslexic illustrates that once we fully understand the ‘why’ of a problem, it can make it much easier to find solutions. Also, talking about these struggles helps make it easier to help ourselves and others.

It’s important for adults with dyslexia to seek out the support they need to succeed in their personal and professional lives. With the right resources and accommodations, people with dyslexia can overcome their learning challenges and achieve their goals. Below are some links to organisations that I found helpful.

Useful links for adult dyslexia

 

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