DYSLEXIA & DYSPRAXIA
There is no getting away from the fact that I have both Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Although I always knew I had certain issues with reading, writing and many other learning skills, it only became really evident what caused this when I returned to higher education to study Digital Media.
POSITIVE or NEGATIVE
Before this I had always learned to cope, this involved choosing a career that mainly involved verbal and visual communication with minimal written work. Though I knew my limitations in certain areas, I also quickly discovered I had a huge advantage over most people in others: I could ‘see’ things others couldn’t. I could solve problems in any walk of life wondering why everyone else chose to accept complex tasks and situations that could effortlessly be made easier. The ability to generate ideas or find solutions to tasks and issues, often by thinking so far outside the box, meant that colleagues and friends would often think I was insane (fine lines ‘n’ all).
PROBLEM & STRATEGY
Though lack of organisational skills and short term memory had an adverse effect on my younger years, I was able to create strategies and visual aids to help overcome these. Computer filing systems, spellcheck and internet word games became my new best friends, together with using and creating visual stimulants I found I could improve my memory tenfold.
CREATIVE vs ACADEMIC
Before finding out what my obvious shortcomings academically were, I still wouldn’t let them affect my ability to be creative, in fact I used my strengths to improve my weaknesses. For years, in different roles, I would write menus, create magazines/newsletters whilst helping others overcome their own issues through support and mentoring. Words and their spellings would slowly but surely find there way into my longterm memory and various strategies would arise (some great others discarded as quickly as they materialised).
STEADY EDDIE or CHARLIE CHANGE
I’ve been blessed in all aspects of my life and have been lucky enough to have held some fantastic roles with some amazing people. Especially with my conditions it would have been easy to play Steady Eddie but I have always had a desire to ‘better myself’ and take on new and exiting challenges especially through academia, an area I steered clear of as a younger man. I have always been a Charlie Change, often being the person to implement improvements or new strategies. My creative thinking and idea generation, together with my desire to assist and help others improve, has always held me in good stead and are the skills I love to use the most.