This article is one from my heart as I am dyslexic and also work as a dyslexic hypnotherapist. I personally find it so sad that dyslexia is still defined as a learning disability. The problems with our modern day schooling is that it is a "one size fits all" and doesn't take into account that children (and adults) see and experience the world in different ways and to me that's a wonderful aspect of life as we all have our own unique talents and gifts.
School was not a positive experience for me - teachers ignored me, despite being in a small class they had little time or inclination to sit down and help me with what I was doing wrong. Tests came back with notes "do better or must try harder" or huge red cross on them - without any assistance or advice. I was labelled "stupid" or "lazy". I remember going to a teacher once to ask for help and try to understand what I was doing wrong and the response was to go away and stop wasting her time.
It's fair to say school was a traumatic experience for me, and impacted my self esteem, self confidence and self belief into my adult life. Work was difficult for me, I found jobs which at times were below my capability just so people would not discover how "stupid" I was. So much energy was put into hiding my lack of spelling and writing skills which resulted in a lot of anxiety and hiding the person I was deep down.
The label "stupid" stuck with me for a long time and was a block in my life. However, it also gave me inner strength and courage never to give up - just who were those teachers to call me stupid or lazy - I wanted to prove them wrong and I did, even if it took quite a few years to find my courage.
One day a person suggested that I maybe dyslexic - my immediate response was no - my reading is okay, I am just stupid! After much research and some tests I realised that I wasn't stupid or lazy I just experience the world in a different way - in a dyslexic way!
My schooling suffered not because of my dyslexia but because of my treatment and lack of understanding by my teachers (and sadly this is still continuing today).
Because of that it has created the person I am today, I now see being dyslexic as being a gift. I am compassionate, empathic, understanding, view things visually as many separate parts but also as whole. And what perfect skills and innate qualities these are for my work as a hypnotherapist and counsellor.
I am able to step into some one's world and see and feel their emotions - and to me that is a wonderful gift that I can be with my clients in that way. Many times clients say to me “you have great intuition”, or “how did you know that".
Most of the time people focus on the difficulties of dyslexia and fail to see and capture the benefits. There are no difficulties in being dyslexic - our society and teachers make it that way.
Many dyslexics make wonderful teachers, nurses, carers, writers, therapist, or enter into the creative field and because of their innate problem solving skills, visualisation and ability to interconnect relationships with things make fantastic engineers and architects - just to name a few.
If you have suffered at school and found it a difficult experience, start to focus on all your wonderful innate qualities you have because you are dyslexic - as these are the things you cannot teach or learn people.
And here's some quotes from some well-known dyslexic people:
It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was . . . an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day. Agatha Christie
He told me that his teachers reported that . . . he was mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in his foolish dreams. -- Hans Albert Einstein, on his father, Albert Einstein
And my final note:
Thanks for reading this post, it's a personal one for me and from my heart. I now work with some people who are dyslexic on building their confidence and enhancing and developing their own unique innate abilities.
So yes, I now see being dyslexic as a gift and it has helped me evolve into the person I am today, creative, intuitive, skilled at problems solving and hands on learning - and it allows me to work in a job I love and am so passionate about.
Dyslexia no longer holds me back, in fact it drives me forward!
Linda Connors is a London Hypnotherapist and Coach for dyslexia helping people access their innate qualities and strengths associated with being dyslexic. If you wish to speak to Linda please call +44 (0) 753 421 3557 appointments are available via skype and in Harley Street and Hampstead