Hi Liz, I came across you on my newsfeed on Facebook and just wanted to share my personal story… in the hope that it may help someone going through a rough time.
I am currently 34 years of age and was diagnosed with severe dyslexia when I was in Year 2 (approximately 8 years of age). They couldn’t understand how I had gotten through school without my dyslexia and my inability to track test on a page being detected earlier. Subsequently, I commenced speech therapy, the Lindamood-Bell program, maths tutoring, serious tracking exercises, visits to the reading support unit at school and was fitted with my first pair of glasses.
My Mum supported me tirelessly through my school years and still does to this day. She has taught me that my learning difficulties aren’t a barrier – everyone is different in their own way.
I was picked on at school because I was seen as different; wasn’t as ‘smart’ as my peers, had rose tinted glasses, got coloured paper and had a reader/writer for exams. I feel that I chose my friends wisely, although sometimes I found myself straying with the wrong crowd. I left school when I completed year 10 and joined the workforce as school was such an academic struggle.
At the age of 19, I commenced a Diploma in Youth Services. I worked very hard with additional educational tutoring, was awarded first place in the region and was commended on my efforts at graduation with the Minister of Community Services attending the event.
After many years and some life changing events, I found myself studying to become an Audiometrist (Hearing). I knew that I had a tough road ahead, but was determined to succeed. As a single parent to my daughter, I wanted to show her that anything in this world is possible… as long as you try. I completed my 3 year qualifications in 18 months, while working and being a single parent. I came first in Australia with the highest marks on record and as a result was nominated Student of the Year for Australia and won ‘Most Outstanding Student’ along with an industry recognised award, ‘The Geoff Dickson Memorial Award’ through the Australian Audiological Society of Australia for my high achievement. After graduation, I was promoted to the NSW South & ACT Client Service Leader and managed 32 permanent clinics with up to 60 staff.
I have since been successful in opening my own business which is a niche clinic, providing specialised Audiometric Assessments for children, 3 to 18 years of age. I am in the process of expanding our service listing and geographical reach, with the goal to become a national franchise in the coming years. I am currently Studying Certificate IV Training and Assessment, as I have been offered a Marking/Supervisors/Teaching position at the college where I completed my studies.
I still live with the effects of dyslexia – I am seen as the ‘daydreamer’, still get headaches, and experience reading and writing difficulties especially when I’m tired. I spell phonetically, have issues with tracking and vision and my speech can be halted and I can jumble and mispronounce words. I am also ambidextrous. I write right handed, but use my left hand for a lot of other things. I lose track of time, am compulsively orderly, can’t read maps and have no sense of direction. I find sleeping difficult…
However…… I am also very focused, determined and driven and I believe in myself 100%. These traits are what make me, me. I do have dyslexia and I have to work very, very hard. I am a single parent and I now know after many, many years that you learn the skills to live in a way that works for you. I would like to say to parents and people living with dyslexia… you can achieve anything in this world… anything is possible and always believe in yourself xx
Director & Principal Audiometrist