When I was seven, I was tested for a disorder called Dyslexia, which is Latin for Difficulty Reading. After that, I was practically abandoned in school; my teachers didn’t help me and refused to teach me how to read and write.
When I was eight, I met a teacher who gave me an idea. She told me to learn what words, letters, and numbers looked like when distorted. For me, 3’s turned into E’s; 9’s turned into 6’s, and vice versa; and every letter of the alphabet, when placed together – distorts into squiggles… It’s the only way I can describe them. By learning what they looked like, I could somewhat recognise them in a text, so I could somewhat read.
When I was nine, I was moved out of English classes to participate in extra math classes, which didn’t help my ability to read or write, at all.
When I was ten, I was gifted a dictionary by one of my teachers – she taught me what letters actually looked like and we wrote down the alphabet in letters and in how I saw them within a text. This gave me a reference sheet for writing. She taught me how to copy words out of the dictionary, but I still couldn’t read – why? Because the distortion is never constant for me. With numbers, the shapes are always the same, but letters swapped and distorted all the time.
When I was eleven, I started high school. My teachers were so impressed with my writing ability that they didn’t realise I couldn’t read.
When I was twelve, they put me in extra English classes because my pronunciation of certain words was off – because I didn’t know how to pronounce some letters or pairs.
When I was thirteen, I was informally diagnosed with Dyslexia – six years after actually being diagnosed – and was given even more extra English classes to help me learn how to read. I was given a green overlay so that I could read but was unable to purchase Dyslexia Glasses.
When I was fourteen, I began writing my first full-length novel called Forever Forbidden. It was on Wattpad for a while and ended up with around twenty thousand reads. I deleted it a few months ago after finding it and cringing badly. My writing was terrible back then.
When I was fifteen, I was put in for French Exams… Even though I’d only had one French class a week due to my extra English classes… Then they wondered why I came out with a Q, an X, and a Z for my three French Exams… I couldn’t really read English, let alone French!
When I was sixteen, I was, once again, formally diagnosed with Dyslexia – even though my school had been claiming money from the government for the past five years for me to have a reader (an assistant teacher) with me in every class, which I never had… The same year I had two English exams, but luckily, I had enough money to purchase a pair of green Dyslexia Glasses. They saved me! I finished high school with three B’s, two of which were in English, and three C’s.
When I was seventeen, my eyes changed and I needed new Dyslexia Glasses for my upcoming English Exam in college. However, the company I had previously had the glasses from, refused to do them again. This lead to me failing two exams and being kicked off the courses. I was lucky enough to pass Media Studies and Photography to a level of being able to continue the classes.
When I was eighteen, my parents purchased my first official pair of Dyslexia Glasses which I was tested for at Bradford University. They were amazing! They tested my Dyslexia to make sure I needed the glasses, checked me for the colour that I needed, then made the glasses – they basically saved me. If it wasn’t for them, I’m pretty confident I would have failed Media, Photography, and ICT. All of them were reading based and without my Dyslexia Glasses… I would have been screwed.
When I was nineteen, I went through a course to get a Merit in a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. It was cumbersome on reading, so my Dyslexia Glasses were essential! This same year, I published two novels and three novelettes after only being able to read for six years.
On too many occasions I’ve had people tell me I shouldn’t be an Author due to my disability – but my disability has given me more abilities.
I have a keen eye for design, which lead to me being a graphic designer; I know how to use where, were, and we’re – which most perfectly able people don’t seem to be able to grasp…
It just goes to show that a disability doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t do something – it may just mean you do something differently.
Written as part of the Daily Prompt: Snippet
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