Dyslexia and The Support Available To You
If you have trouble with reading, writing, or spelling, you might have dyslexia. It’s common, affecting about one in ten people in the UK. But what exactly is dyslexia, and how can it affect you?
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can make it tricky to read, write, and spell. But here’s the important thing: it has nothing to do with how smart you are. It’s all about how your brain processes information.
If you have dyslexia, you might:
1. Find reading tough: words might seem like they’re moving around or all jumbled up, making it hard to read smoothly
2. Struggle with spelling: remembering how to spell certain words can be difficult
3. Have a bit of a hard time writing: getting your thoughts onto paper might take extra effort, and organising ideas can be a bit tricky
4. Find time management a challenge: reading and writing tasks might take a little longer, making it challenging to stick to plans and schedules, affecting things like homework or exams
5. Have difficulty remembering stuff: you might need to use special tricks to remember sequences, like phone numbers or a list of instructions
6. Think outside the box: solving problems in unique ways means you see the world in your own particular way
7. Be super resilient: many people with dyslexia have figured out ways of coping with these challenges without proper support, and that can be really hard
Dyslexia might make things harder sometimes, but it also gives you unique strengths that can make you stand out.
How do I know if I have dyslexia?
If you recognise some of the symptoms above, you might have dyslexia.
To officially confirm this, you’d need to go through a Diagnostic Assessment done by someone trained in dyslexia assessment. You may have to pay, and it can take time.
But even without an official diagnosis, you can still get help.
What kind of help is available?
If you’re in school, college, or sixth form, you can meet with someone called an additional learning needs coordinator (ALNCO). They might do some screening tests or checklists to find out your strengths and weaknesses, and then they’ll be able to figure out the best ways to support you. They won’t diagnose dyslexia but may suggest tools to help you read, using a computer or laptop, getting a notetaker, or having extra time for exams. You can talk to an ALNCO by yourself, with a parent or guardian, or with a teacher you trust. A Meic advisor can also help you contact an ALNCO to ensure you get the support you need.
At university, you should be offered support from the disability office, which can recommend equipment to help with your studies. You can also apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances to help towards the cost of this equipment.
At work, your employer must make reasonable changes in the workplace to support people with dyslexia, according to The Equality Act. This might include giving you extra time for specific tasks.
If you ever need to talk more about this or anything else that’s bothering you, contact us here at Meic. Our advisers offer free and confidential information, advice and support daily between 8am and midnight. We’re someone on your side.