Next week, 3 to 9 October, is Dyslexia Awareness Week – a time when the charities of the British Dyslexic Association, Dyslexia Scotland, Xtraordinary People, Dyslexia Action and more come together to promote issues relating to dyslexia.
This year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week is themed around the ‘Identification of Dyslexia,’ which had us thinking – how do you know if you are dyslexic?
Dyslexia is not only what is known as a ‘hidden disability’ but is also believed to be the most common learning difficulty and, while things have improved over the years, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about the condition.
As with any condition, dyslexia comes in a variety of forms and affects people to differing degrees, meaning that you could be mildly dyslexic and not have really even questioned it before. And what about the people around you – such as your friends and family – could it be that any of them are unknowingly struggling with dyslexia?
It used to be the case that children who struggled with reading, spelling or numbers at school would just be considered to not be very clever, rather than recognising that there was an underlying condition that was making these things difficult for them.
Of course, if the condition is not picked up and a child is marginalised in class there is every chance that they may decide school is not for them and start to play up rather than working. This means that many of these children were able to fulfil their potential and would have gone on to lead lives just believing they weren’t very good at reading (for example) without considering that they could have a learning disability – and equally importantly, doing something about it by getting the proper support.
Of course, things are much better than they were a few years ago, but there is still a stigma attached to dyslexia that would not be associated with other, more obvious, disabilities.
Recognising and understanding dyslexia is important and so it is good that there are a number of online tests that you can do to see if you may be dyslexic. A quick online search will locate several tests that you can do to assess if you may be dyslexic, which will then allow you to seek out the support you may need either at work or in your studies.
There are laws in place to prevent discrimination against those with dyslexia in the workplace, for example, but they are of little use if you don’t know you have the learning disability in the first place!
We are certainly looking forward to Dyslexia Awareness Week and seeing what advice and information is made available to us all!