One of the problems with being dyslexic is that “It”, Dyslexia that is, cannot be seen.
In the past, during school the difficulty of getting recognition and support was more or less non-existent. Simply because back then dyslexia wasn’t commonly known. Thankfully for school kids nowadays, the condition is more universally known which means that help and support can be made available and children can be given the right help if a motivated teacher is available, but that’s a subject for another rant on another day.
In the adult world it is much more problematical, even with a more general public knowledge of dyslexia. To avoid being branded, we dyslexics hide our condition (I prefer the word gift and not condition) as best we can. It is not recognised and fully understood, and it doesn’t really seem that important to anyone else.
Being dyslexic and trying to survive in the world can fall in two categories.
For the sake of this article let’s refer to them as “Living” and “Working”. You see out there in the real world, the world outside of school, one of the most intimidating moments can be when someone says…“Now, if you can please fill in this form”. It could be at the bank, post office or at any other place you might want to join as a member perhaps. It is an even greater problem if it has to be done in front of an audience or when you have little time to spare, or even just when it happens on a “bad” day (see my what I mean by “a Dyslexic Bad Day” by clicking here) – or a combination of all of them. Living these day to day problems with dyslexia can be challenging and I am sure you have your own story to tell on this subject.
When it comes to dyslexia and working, an even more difficult place is within the job market. Most employers would simple class the dyslexic as a bad speller and pass you by in favour of someone with a better education so to speak (I am not doing an Alan Sugar here and outing employers as being discriminating towards dyslexics!). I am sure the best way to fail an interview is to tell the panel you are dyslexic. Most of us are closet dyslexics because the last thing we want our potential employers to know is that we have a “problem”. A problem that they cannot handle or don’t begin to understand.
Dyslexics can feel very threatened in the cut throat atmosphere of large bureaucratic companies.
That is probably why so many dyslexics are self-employed. The smallest company of all is yours! You can create your own systems and can give yourself time – time to do things your way and get it right, just the way you like it.
It is amazing, when left to our own devices and with the help of technology, what can be achieved. You can always employ an accountant or solicitor or other professional to cope with the vagaries of bureaucratic departments and red tape.
There are many ways to earn a living. The technique for the dyslexic is to find a niche or activity that works for you so you don’t have to work for someone else, someone that is that will likely never understand you fully unless they have lived in your shoes.
In the present world where there are no safe jobs anymore, the dyslexic who is carving his or her own way may, for the first time, have actually got a head start on the rest. Hopefully the statement made “Dyslexia Cannot Be Seen” could be a thing of the past.