Monday, 10 December 2012

Getting the help and support you need

This blog can be applied to so many different situations and contexts. But I often have often newly diagnosed younger people who come to me and say "Rosie help my school are rubbish they don't understand dyslexia." Or "I'm so scared of telling people, I don't want to be seen as different, none of my teachers know." Or more then often a combination of both.
So I thought I'd give some general advice on how to get the right support and help other people understand you. It won't be an easy journey, and I'm going to be honest in saying that at some point in life you will meet someone who is quite ignorant to your needs and doesn't understand why people deserve extra time and extra time, I've met many of them in my time. Unfortunatley society isn't an understanding society, and that can applied to so many things not just learning challenges, mental health is one area which still needs a lot of understanding and thinking out of the box.

Also teenagers especially will always be teenagers any sign of anyone standing out slightly different and they don't get it. I have talked to people who have been so self concious to use things like coloured overlays because of what other people have said, and let's be honest if you asked the majority of teenagers why a dyslexic person would need to use coloured paper or overlays they would be completely clueless. This is why I think there needs to be a lot more peer understanding about conditions like dyslexia, they need to be talked about in school assemblies and in other lessons so peers know why people lear the way they do, and that it isn't people being stupid or thick it's just them finding their own way of learing so that they could reach their potential.

This is why I admire so much what Mollie King talks about when she talks aout her dyslexia, not just that she's overcome a lot to achieve well at school but that she's open about the help she recieved and open that she used things like coloured paper and overlays to help her learn bettter. I know it may make you feel a bit self concious at first but if it helps you achieve your potential then it's deffo a good thing.

Even though there is a lot more awareness surrounding conditions like dyslexia these days there still needs to be lot to be done. It can be so hard aswell when you're the only one in your class who learns differently and everyone else is speeding off and can write amazing essays and get full marks in one evening, but remember you never are alone, there are so many others going through what you are and there are so many people in the public eye who have battled these things too. As you get older you will probably find more people who do, especially if you decide to go onto university.

Unfortunatly not everybody still understands dyslexia and other conditions even if you go to a school/college which has a really good learning support team, some teachers are still in the dark ages or are very good teachers but simply haven't had the training to understand it. Did you know on teacher training degrees and degrees in education there is no module on dyslexia or other conditions? In my time at uni we had ONE lecture on inclusion in general. It will probably always be a battle to you gettng the right support and understanding but keep figting, it's up to you to proove people wrong who may have put you down and thought you would never make it or achieve things. When I recieved my masters degree in May I really felt like I'd proved wrong the people in the past who had called me stupid It was a very good feeling. If I can do it so can you. The more we talk about conditions like dyslexia the more awareness there is and the less likely people are to hide that they have it. Also find other things that you are good at, that's one thing mollie always says, you may find you are talented in music or sport or art or in general a really understanding person but there are so many things that you are good at as well as the things you may struggle in. It will be a battle but YOU WILL get to the other side, you just have to have the determination to prove people wrong.

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