I’d always had what I called ‘a directional problem’ – confusion between left and right, latitude and longitude, east and west – and I never became the film director that I wanted to be, worried that I might direct ‘pan left’ when I meant ‘right’, or spin the film the wrong way in the edit suite.
But I seemed to get along OK, even got a managerial job. It was the arrival of the computers that brought about the crisis. I just couldn’t make simple templates on the computer: younger colleagues were doing this in 5 minutes. It was taking me hours, and even then it wasn’t right. HR sent me to a doctor, who said it was all to do with getting older, which was doubly depressing!
Then someone said, ‘You’re doing a part time degree! Get the university to send you to an Educational Psychologist!
There was a form to fill in, a ‘group test’, and then a one-to-one with the Educational Psychologist – more tests. They lasted three hours. She said, ‘Go and get a cup of tea while I sort out these results.’ When I came back she said, ‘You are a dyslexic thinker.’ I said, ‘It explains so much…but…I don’t have a reading and writing problem.’ ‘Well,’ she said, ‘dyslexia is to do with memory, how you retain learning, but I can tell you that you read and write at half the national average speed.’
So there it was. Identified as dyslexic a week before my 62nd birthday.