Guess who's back? Back back, back again, tell a friend!! #SpeakUp is back! We took a break over the last couple of months because I was finding it hard to keep up with the posts, Twitter chats etc. However, now I am on summer holiday, I have more time to run the project and take it to new levels. This month, we have three posts coming from very talented girls, talking about three very important issues that affect young people. At the end of this month, keep your eyes peeled for a post all about the changes I am going to make to the project, which I am very excited about and I hope you are too!
The first post this month is about Dyslexia from the lovely Róisín, I really hope you enjoy and find out more about what Dyslexia and how it really affects someone with it. I know that I really a lot from this post about Dyslexia.
Hi, I'm Róisín (pronounced Row-shian), I am dyslexic and also a blogger, you may think it is unusual for those two words to come together, I think so too but that's because nobody really says they are dyslexic. I don't want people to pity me just because I love to write and I am dyslexic, I know those things don't really go hand in hand. *Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is characterised by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence* Source: Wikipedia
Whenever I tell someone I am dyslexic, their first comment is "You don't look it", which confuses me a lot as people with dyslexia don't have any physical similarities. Someone doesn't *look* dyslexic, they *are* dyslexic. You are born with it, you don't wake up one day and decide to be dyslexic. Not all difficulties can be seen, dyslexia can't be seen by looking at someone. Without going into loads of science stuff, it is believed to run in families, so it's in your genetics or environmental factors. Around 10-20% of the population are dyslexic.
Before I go on about what it is like to be dyslexic now, I am going back to a confusing time, when I was eight years old. I kinda always thought I was different but I never knew it could actually lead to something. Well, that's a slight lie, I was a naive 8-year-old. I didn't really notice it except at times when I couldn't spell words like 'took', which at the time was slightly soul destroying to ask a fellow classmate how to spell it in fear of their reaction. I found reading hard too, not as if the words were worms wiggling on the page but I would think of one word and say something else and I was slower than everyone else. It wasn't fun with spelling tests either as in my primary school, it was deemed 'bad' if you got less than 15/16. In Ireland, Irish is compulsory to learn unless exempt, which in primary school I qualified for but my parents wanted me to do it. I found and still find Irish hard, every word feels foreign. I would cry trying to understand it but no matter how hard I tried it still felt like random letters on a page. I'll go more in depth later.
I had to do an assessment which was different tasks from listening to instructions to spelling tests (I know it sounds great! *Sarcasm*). I don't remember much of it except that I didn't really know why I was doing it.
When the report came back, my mam and dad sat me down and told me I was dyslexic and all I thought was that I was a monster as all I wanted to do was fit in and be 'normal'. With this report, I got resource hours in school and I got to go to a dyslexic support group. I was also enrolled into speech & drama which I still do to this day and love.
Over time, with a lot of work and effort, my reading and writing became more manageable. I pushed myself to read (another hobby I found), also I would start writing short stories as I had a vivid imagination. I have tonnes of notebooks with little stories in it, I remember in one school report I got, it said my stories were 'childish' (I think they meant imaginative), I was nine years old! I laugh at it now as that teacher is horrible and I would love to back slap her with an essay I got 93% in.
It can be hard at times. I get frustrated when I kept getting things wrong or when teachers pointed out my terrible spelling mistakes to the whole class Last year, I had my first set of state exams, unfortunately I didn't qualify for a spelling or grammar exemption (not graded on spelling or grammar), which I was really upset by as it would have brought up my grades in Irish, English and French but I was mostly worried about Irish. French for some odd reason I can understand but Irish is a different story.
For some reason, even though I have been doing Irish in school for nearly 12 years, I still find it hard, I had to do lots of revision while also failing the course for two years. I don't understand it and it doesn't understand me. French, on the other hand, I love it, I can understand it with the accent and all, which is really odd. Also, there is this hatred towards the Irish language as in the course you have to learn depressing poems and essays, which doesn't help my case either.
I consider myself lucky as I can manage reading and writing as I know some people who hate school because they are dyslexic as they feel like they are always behind everyone else. For years, I didn't tell anyone I was different as I never wanted to be different. I decided when I was thirteen to embrace my uniqueness and just not care what others thought of me. I started telling people, joking about it, not really caring about what someone would think about it. I am glad I started to embrace it as it is who I am and I don't want to be fake or follow the crowd. I am Róisín, I am Dyslexic and I embrace it. If you have any questions, or if you want to contact me. My email is email@example.com and my twitter is @totally_ro or comment below.