Unaddressed dyslexia disabled me
I was assessed for dyslexia in my early 20s but not identified. This meant my dyslexia went unaddressed. Living with unaddressed dyslexia wasn’t easy or positive. I felt inept and blamed myself for my difficulties. This had a negative impact on me and the people around me.
Being assessed let me understand my dyslexia and address it
16 years later, my unaddressed dyslexia was causing me and others problems in employment. So I went to be assessed again. This time I was identified. Straight after my dyslexia assessment, I was given a Workplace Needs Assessment. The dyslexia specialist who assessed me recommended a set of reasonable adjustments which I asked my employer to make. My newly discovered self-awareness also let me start self-managing my dyslexia by addressing my difficulties and maximising my strengths.
Why did I delay going for assessment?
I only sought assessment when I could see no other solution to my problems. Here’s why.
- I didn’t realise that I might be identified the 2nd time round.
- I feared the irreversible step of being identified because I didn’t know what life would be like as an identified dyslexic.
- I feared discrimination.
- I feared dyslexia, and not being able to overcome it.
- I didn’t know how assessment might have helped me, or where to go for assessment.
Now that I know I am dyslexic, I can accept myself. This makes me feel more positive and confident. I still find it hard to fulfil my potential. But success is achievable whereas previously, it wasn’t.
Why be assessed if you’re not experiencing problems?
If you’ve not been assessed, and wonder what you’d gain from assessment, here are 10 things I’d say to you.
- Dyslexia might not appear to be causing you problems just now. But if I’d been assessed before I felt I had no other option, it would have avoided many undesirable outcomes for me and others.
- You might not realise the negative impact your unaddressed dyslexia is having on you and others, because this is what you’re used to.
- If you’re dyslexic, it’s better to know, because then you can do something about it.
- Each person’s dyslexia is unique to them. Being assessed let me understand how dyslexia affects me. It set me off on a journey of finding out how I think and learn. Now I can make informed choices on how I approach things. For example, I use street view when using a map.
- Your dyslexia doesn’t just affect you: it affects the people around you too. So they need you to understand and address your dyslexia too.
- 1 in 10 people are dyslexic. So you won’t be alone and support is available.
- You might lack faith in your ability to cope with dyslexia. But you have strengths which you’ll be able to use to overcome your difficulties.
- It’s never too late to be identified, to understand yourself and accept yourself as you are.
- You deserve to understand your dyslexia and fulfil your potential.
- I recommend Dyslexia Scotland’s information leaflet ‘Dyslexia – assessment for adults’. It is available in audio format and pdf at http://www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/our-leaflets
- Dyslexia Scotland has a helpline for anyone in Scotland. See http://www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/helpline
- There is currently no government funding in the UK for adult dyslexia assessment.
- ‘The Dyslexic Adult in a Non-Dyslexic World’, reviewed at https://alifelessordinaryds.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/book-review-the-dyslexic-adult-in-a-non-dyslexic-world/
 To find out about self-management, see https://alifelessordinaryds.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/hello-from-the-health-and-social-care-alliance
This blog was written by a Dyslexia Scotland member