Author: Anne Walsh
Dyslexia: My story
In February 2000, I was on a welfare studies course at the time. I knew that the course was way out of my depth but I have always wanted to gain my education. I have been trying courses all my life hoping that there was some think out there for me that I could do, I knew it was going to be hard.
I was 27 years old at that time I thought that if I did not do a course now then I will never do it again, so I gave it one last go and yes as usual it got hard for me with essays, reading and writing, also thinking because you had to analyze the work, trying to copy off the board, well by time that I had finished the first line the teacher was rubbing it off to star some think new.
One day the teacher looked over my shoulder and said to me you might have dyslexia Anne, have you ever been tested for it Sorry I said what is dyslexia. I had never heard of it so she bucked me into have a test on dyslexia. I packed my things and off I went to the learning centre to have this test. I was told that I could receive extra help if I had dyslexia so after the test I said what's wrong with me now I was told there and then that I had dyslexia, of which I probably had from school which was never detected and now we can help you.
They asked me about when I was a child and about my school life what had happened. I did not want to talk about my school life because I had so much anger about the school that I went to. That's ok they said take your time we need to build up a picture of what happened when you was younger did you have any health problems and what happened when you was at school so I had to tell them, so I went into my childhood and school history.
My earliest memory of childhood I have is one Christmas time when I was three years old, I was at home on the sofa poorly with my ears and my cold sores playing up again, my mum and dad had brought a Santa to come and see me to cheer me up. As a child I was always in and out of school sick, with cold sores because when I get one my whole mouth swells up and I have always suffered with my ears they got very bad, always classed as a sickly Child.
When I would go back to school the kids would take the Mick out of me because I never could understand the lesions that we were taught, the kids would call me thick, stupid, lazy, Dom, and say I would never achieve anything in my life, some adults thought this to.
As the years went on I believed them, I thought and acted like I was stupid, thick, lazy, Dom, and thought that I would never achieve anything in my life, if only I could understand the educational system, what did they want from me what did the teachers want me to do.
They asked me did you get exams. Exams I said they would not put me in for exams because they said that I would not pass any of them, so I let it all out. All the things that I did not want to talk about like I sat at the back of the class, they did try to put me in the middle or at the front. I just got laughed at and picked on because when it was my turn to read out loud I could not do it very well and the teacher was making me do this every week.
In Math's I just sat looking at plastic money, I had to try and count it every other lesson I went to I sat next to someone who I could try and copy from. Even P. E was a joke because the only thing I could do was run so I got picked all the time to run in the 1500m even on sports days because that is what I could do but then got told off for not doing my theory work.
I also had another presser at school which was my oldest sister but the teachers loved her, she got on with everyone and new lots of kids, all I ever got from the teachers was I am telling your sister. I had an older brother who was there too, but he just got on with it and did his best. I was so jealous of my sister all the time it felt like whatever she wanted she got and I just got told off all the time.
I remember that one teacher said that I could go to what was called a special school, so I had to go and have a look at the school. I was so scared I did not like it at all so my mum said no way she is not going anywhere you know Anne has a problem so find out what it is, she is staying here with her brother and sister.
In my last year at school they put me on a course it was called a D. E. S course the kids called it a dunces course, in a small class where I could go at my own pace Whereas before the School reports where saying Anne is lazy, disruptive and so on I got the best school report I ever had that was fantastic but the only thing there was on the other hand I got picked on the kids called me thick and stupid and so on and said that I was in the slow class I could not wait to leave school.
At home times I had to run home, if I never saw my brother to walk home with, because I had kids or someone waiting to get me after school, I also got attacked by a man and some boys once, so it was never just a nice walk home I was always wondering what was going to happen next, until I asked my boy friend to walk me home.
The best bit about school for me was I went home one day I was 14 years old to find that I was looked out of my house. My mum and dad had gone out so I stud on my door step and looked across the road to see a lovely young lad looking over at me from the flats. He was drop dead gorgeous so I started to take more interest.
I got myself a boy friend he was 18 years old and I was 14 years old, that did not go down to well at home as you can imagine, my aunties told my mum and dad that he was going to get me pregnant and leave me, so my mum and dad did not like him, so I got grounded a lot, he was the best thing that ever happened to me despite the groundings.
The year soon came around and it was time for me to leave school and get a job, I did not know what I wanted to do, because I did not have any education, Who would employ me I thought, my family came from a working class attitude I had to work. I went on what was called a Y. T. S. training course, where I could learn hair dressing, brick laying, cooking, and different things that you could try, and I was getting paid for it.
After that I went to work in a care home where my mum worked for a pound an hour it was long hours, but it was hands on work that I could do, after that I went on a few more Y T S courses over the years, I still had my boy friend, my biggest break was working for Watford Gap Services on the M1 motorway.
I loved it there, I worked the 3pm till 11pm shift then at the age of 20 I got pregnant with our first child, so I stopped working to bring up our child, then two years later we had another child on the way.
I am still with that same man now 26 years later, we got married and we have two lovely children. I have a lot to thank him for as he helped me so much though my school life and becoming an adult.
Diagnosed as having Dyslexia Understanding life and myself better
When I was told that I had dyslexia I came home to tell my husband Tony, that after all these years I was not stupid and lazy I had dyslexia. I have a problem with my education and it's not my fault. He held me in he's arms I started to cry and could not stop crying I cried for the hold day, I cried with happiness, sadness and anger relief if I could not understand the educational system and what they wanted me to do, how could I tell other people what I needed when I did not know myself, there should have been more support.
Later that week I told everyone I have dyslexia and I am proud now all I wanted to do is learn the dyslexic way finding out how I learn. I can achieve things in my life, I just need to learn a different way. Then I decided help myself to be able to help others to understand that it's not their fault, and don't let anyone tell you any different get a dyslexia test.
Starting to understand myself and life better began at that point at 27 years old finding out about dyslexia I am so grateful to Tile Hill College and the people who supported me. I did not know who I was and what I was capable of I just always felt in my heart that I Anne Walsh could do more.
From there I started a dyslexia course at Tile Hill College which was going to help me, it was just what I had been looking for other people who could tell you the same or a similar story, it was so relaxed on this course no pressure, there was other people like me and you could take your time I loved it and the people around me that I will never forget.
I got on so well with the tutor that I ended up working in a school where she worked it was called a Montessori school. I would recommend Montessori education to any person with dyslexia it was fantastic, and my confidence was on top of the world, nothing could stop me. I was finding out that there were other people like myself, and I found a brilliant way for me to learn. I was supporting kids who had dyslexia and there were teachers to who had dyslexia, I was working my way towards a Montessori diploma I could not believe my look.
One child in particular will never leave my mind, at that time he was a lovely little boy call Mathew, who did not want to read, he kicked me, and tried to bite me, ran away from me, so I would leave him alone, but I could not do that, I had to get him to trust me.
We played games, and we eventually got around to reading, secretly I think he liked it to, I just kept going every day to get him to read. Every think was going so well, but yes as always some think kicked me in the teeth and I had to give it all up, I could not, and would not get out of.
My mum came to me one day and said she had cancer, I could not believe it, has you can imagine, our hearts dropped to the floor, we was so close my mum was my best friend, we would go everywhere with each other my mum loved and lived for all her grandchildren, she was the best. The doctors gave her a year to live, she was a fighter to, she struggled on every day and never complained, my mum wanted to plan her funeral, my mum wanted all the boys in the family to have watches, and all the girls to have rings, we planned the music that mum wanted at her funeral, it was all the kids from Holly Family School in 2005 choir, my
daughter was in it singing, my mum loved to hear the kids sing, she would all ways join in and be lauder then anyone, where ever my mum went and there was singing she would all ways sing lauder, and make a party, she did not need a drink. I loved her so much, and still do, my mum lasted five years, and passed away peacefully at home with her family just how she wanted it, and every think went exactly how she planned it.
After she passed away she was in the front room of my brothers house, I sang all the songs that she wanted me to play at her funeral to her, and kissed my mum on the head and said good bye, we did not know what to do, we had to wait for the doctors to come, they did not come till two in the afternoon, this was on the 2nd of February 2006, another hard thing was telling the kids. We miss you every minute of the day mum, God Bless love you x.
I would like to say a big thanks to all the nurses and Macmillan nurses, and friends and family, everyone was fantastic, and if this ever happens to you, or your family, god forbid, you will need a lot of support, so make sure you receive this support, because we could not have done every think without it. Thank You.
My MUM'S RESTING PLACE
My dad god love him finds it hard sometimes, as we all do. It has been six years now since my mum passed away, and because I feel my mum is with me in spirit, she would want me to go on, as hard as it is so I have started a new dyslexia course at Harp Place Coventry and I will have to start all over again now I am looking forward.
I want to set up my own dyslexia centre, because not only did I get left out as a child without my education, the education system was trying to do the same to my daughter, who was is in her last year of school, and I was not letting this go, on the 5th of October 2010 my daughter had a dyslexia test, would you believe it, I have been saying this for years that she has dyslexia, but people who are supposed to know better than me said no she has not got dyslexia, don't pass your stuff down the line. The test said that she did not have dyslexia, but she was lethargic because she does not eat breakfast, so what was they saying, was my daughter lethargic when she was younger, and eating breakfast, why do we have to go throw this, all over again, I thought I will fight this to my death and never give up my daughter is at college now and guess what she is high risk of dyslexia and is now receiving dyslexia support. I can spot it a mile away now.
I cannot believe that children are still being left with out there education in this day and age.
- Life is a journey so take the good and the bad and never give up on your dreams, yes you will fall but just remember to pick yourself back up, and never let people put you down.
- Have a dyslexia Test so you will be able to receive the support you will need.
- Remember Quote I once read: A problem is like a weed in the garden you can chop away at it for years and it grows back. But put the right stuff on it the first time and it won't grow back.
- If you believe you can do it. Your probable right do it.
- Remember: if you don't have an education you need to fight to get it because Education can bring: Self Confidence: Peace: For filling your full potential: New Job: More Money may be: support:
- Keep Calm and Carry on.
- Try and get on a dyslexia course at your: local college: Community Centre:
- Look within yourself to see what you want out of life and go for it. Yes it will be hard but has life not already been hard fight for it and never give up no matter how long it takes.
- If you do have an education or you are at UNI make sure you receive the right support for dyslexia if you have it.
- Never be afraid to say you have dyslexia
- You can find me on Face book.
By Anne Walsh
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