R u A diSlxic addult

My name is Simon Hodges and I am a dyslexic adult.
I was diagnosed seven years ago at the age of 40 when
I started an education course.
Was it that awe inspiring eureka moment? Well not
quite.
‘The square peg trying to fit into the round hole’
All my life ever since I can remember I have always felt and been different from others
as I was growing up and through the stages of my life, as a child, a teenager, an
adolescent and an adult.
The story is an all too familiar one I am afraid, and I am no exception. I am sure that I
could, like many others write a book about my experiences relating directly to the
effects of dyslexia.
Just to throw a bit of flavour into my point, I remember the fairly constant and relentless
comments of ridicule, being called an idiot, stupid or thick amongst others and of
course the older I got new harsher and more descriptive words were learnt and they
were added too.
Another particular instance was at secondary school in an English class (where else)
the teacher had been reading a passage from a chapter in a book that the class was
reading. The reading stopped and I was asked to comment on what had just been read.
Although I had been listening I was now frantically looking at the book trying to find
what had just been read but I of course was looking at pages full of words, some of
which I was familiar with and others which I was not and none of it made any sense.
But of course it wouldn’t, unbeknown to me my reading age was very low, my short
term memory retention was virtually nil and of course my cognitive processing skills of
any kind were nonexistent.
Then came the words “Haven’t you been reading you stupid boy, or are you just
thick?”. Of course the class erupted into laughter including the teacher.
Did it hurt? Yes it did and I can remember that as if it had happened just yesterday.
I have had countless instances like that throughout my life and still do on occasions and
I have to say, that sometimes comments are from those that you would think should
know better.
At an age in your life when the holistic development of characteristics and
personalities are vital, the degeneration and corruption of self esteem, self worth and
confidence that are borne out of instances like that can be and are often immeasurably
damaging.
The feelings of incompatibility and isolation that often begin to immerge can continue
and have troublesome effects on your life.
I am sure that we can all relate to the above, but let us turn to something a little more
positive.
I began this article by stating “was it that awe inspiring eureka moment, well not quite”.
That is true it wasn’t but, what it did was start me on a journey, slow but none the less a
journey of self discovery, a journey that still continues today. A crucial key and part of
that journey has been to align myself with other people that have dyslexia and with
those that really understand the condition and I feel that is important and this is why.
There are many thousands of people out there with dyslexia of varying degrees just like
you and me.
I have found that being able to talk and listen to other
people naturally in a relaxed unforced environment
has had enormous benefit to me.
When you start conversations with other dyslexics
you immediately strike a connection discovering
many of the things that you have done all your life to
disguise and cover up certain skills areas that you
have been lead to believe you are sorely lacking in.
The point is that you are not nor really lacking or deficient but that your learning needs
to be met in a different way.
I have been very fortunate in as much as I have conversations face to face with some
very high profile celebrities and professionals really ‘top draw’ people as well as
ordinary folk just like me, and you know what, the stories and the tales are all just the
same.
The feelings of isolation and awkwardness seem very much to take a back seat and the
realisation of not being thick or stupid very quickly come to the forefront of your
thinking.
We at the Hampshire Dyslexic Association are looking to start an adult dyslexic group
which need not be formal but just somewhere that like minded dyslexics can perhaps
meet on a regular basis, maybe in a setting that will encourage your confidence to grow
or to help others see that being a dyslexic has hidden treasures and possibly alter the
way you think about yourself for ever.
If you are reading this and you are dyslexic or you know someone who is and think that
this might be of benefit then please do contact us. Simon Hodges
Please contact Simon by email: simonhodge63@tiscali.co.uk or phone: 07919035569