So at the young age of 20, I travelled the world, lived in the UK, fell in love, came home and (more irony) got into a bachelor degree in Speech Pathology. And yes, I was still oblivious to the fact that I was dyslexic. I started the course and hated it from the beginning. I constantly failed subjects, but again found the right group of people that helped get me through. We would laugh at how I couldn’t pronounce the names in neuroanatomy, but did I feel smart telling people I was studying neuroanatomy, audiology and physiology! So I struggled on, either just passing or failing and re-sat many exams. My stress levels were always high, but I kept going. I didn’t want to let people down, or for people to think I was dumb and couldn’t do it. Stubbornness is a useful (and common) trait for dyslexics!
And yet still not one lecturer stopped to ask me if I was ok, why I might be having so much trouble grasping basic grammar concepts that I should have learnt in primary school, or why I couldn’t count out the syllables in a simple word. This was a faculty of experts who were training students to help people like me!
In the final semester of my final year, while I was on placement, my supervisor stopped me and said that there was something wrong with me.
“I don’t know how you got this far, how you even passed secondary school but I can’t pass you, you can’t write. I think you’re dyslexic”.
I was shocked and so distressed. At this point I wasn’t thinking about the disability so much as here I was in final placement of my last year and they weren’t going to give me my degree. I had worked so hard to get to that point and I was crushed.
That stubbornness came into play again. I was not going to allow the university who had failed me as a student by not identifying earlier that something was wrong, to do this to me. So I took on extra work over the summer holidays and they finally passed me. So now I’m thrilled, I’ve got my degree, but also scared —something was wrong and I didn’t know what I was going to do next. I wanted to give up on everything, bouts of depression haunted me, but I kept persisting.