Yes, I do mean ‘dyslexic professor’ not ‘dyslexia professor’ or ‘Professor of Dyslexia’.
By my 19th birthday, I had failed all my A-levels and couldn’t see a positive future – school had been a nightmare. Fortunately, I had two things going in my favour …
Firstly, I had passed by motorcycling test!
Secondly, after failing my English GSCE (then called O-levels) twice with Fs, an experienced out-of-school English tutor recognised I had learning difficulties and recommended I went to one of the few specialist testing centres at Aston University.
After what seemed like a strange set of questions and tests (including the dreaded reading aloud), I was told I had a very high IQ and dyslexia. The former was a pleasant surprise and confirmed I wasn’t “stupid” and the latter both a new word to me and unspellable to boot!
There then followed 35 years of struggles, achievements and more struggles as I came to realise that dyslexia was not a learning difficulty but a learning difference.
This learning difference has shaped me into the person I am today … The Dyslexic Professor!
Could some of the coping strategies learnt in hostile environments actually be an advantage?
Watch 5:15 into this Ted Talk by Regina Hartley.
Why is 2017 the year I go public?
i) To highlight to anyone with dyslexia that you can quite literally achieve anything you set your mind on (regardless of what some teachers and peers say), ii) to start to compile useful links to University support for dyslexic students, iii) share ‘top tips’ gained from my own experience and iv) provide links to useful resources.
My 2017 New Year’s resolution is to write a weekly blog related to my experiences as a dyslexic academic.
A new journey for me begins with this blog …