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Living with Dyslexia: My Story

As a child things were particularly difficult. School was really hard for me more so because I was never diagnosed with any kind of a learning difficulty. This meant I had no support from anyone but was constantly told “You’re thick”, “You’re Stupid” “You can’t do this”. It came to a point where I believed I was all these things and at times to this day I still feel like this. I question my own ability all the time, I know that I am more than capable as an adult to complete tasks but sometimes I brought right back there to a place where I believe “I am thick” or am incapable of doing something. This limited my access to education due to the fact I got into a lot of trouble in school for acting out. little did they know that was a coping mechanism for me to ensure I was protected within the school environment. I was kicked out of school at 16 and to be honest this was the best day of my life!

As I went into my adult life I struggled with tasks such as helping my children complete homework and reading them bedtime stories. My children effectively educated themselves because I wasn’t in a position to offer any help. I constantly lived in fear of someone asking me to read something for them for example when my granddaughter was a toddler I was minding her one day and I spent the majority of the day reading and learning her bed time book to ensure that I would not disappoint her at bedtime. This is not something that has overly changed for me and I still struggle with this.

Things began to change in 2013 when I was diagnosed with dyslexia. I returned to education no longer with the fear of being stupid, instead with my head held high determined to complete the course and ask for the relevant support necessary to help me to do this. I am always learning to live and get by with dyslexia but its something I struggle on a daily basis to this day. It hinders me in every day tasks but I have learned that people are very understanding and are a great support to me once they are aware that this is an issue for me. So my advice to you is to speak up, don’t hide away, ask for help and most importantly NEVER GIVE UP!


Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that causes problems with writing, reading and spelling. Dyslexia is very common, and it might be diagnosed when a person if very young, or it might take longer. Having dyslexia doesn’t mean you are less intelligent than other people. People with dyslexia tend to very creative and good at ‘thinking outside the box’. 

The signs and symptoms of dyslexia differ from person to person. Each individual with the condition will have a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Here is a sample of problems people with dyslexia may experience:

·        Getting letters mixed up

·        Getting left and right mixed up

·        Mixing up the sounds of words and numbers

·        Mixing up words and letters that sound alike, e.g. cat/act

·        Difficulty copying notes from a whiteboard or screen

·        Difficulty remembering words

·        Difficulty with writing

·        Difficulty with spelling

·        Difficulty with numbers

·        Difficulty with memorising things

·        Reading very slowly

·        Mispronouncing or misusing words

·        Problems with recalling certain words

·        Finding it hard to scan documents or skim-read

Support is available  – For more information on managing dyslexia, we would suggest visiting  Dyslexia Association of Ireland website or Dyslexia information on the HSE website