Living With Dyslexia — Essay From Kathleen

September 13, 2015 by Geoff Nixon

What I Learned About Myself Through Living With Dyslexia That Will Help In College And In My Future Career

My name is Kathleen S. and I am currently attending West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Having dyslexia has helped me to persevere and have empathy for others. On a personal level, being dyslexic has made me very determined to succeed.

I have found that I tend to work harder when people tell me that I can’t do things as well as others. I was once told that I would never be able to learn another language. I proved that I could learn Spanish, and I earned a B in Spanish 1 and 2.

In high school, I was not allowed to have an IEP because I was doing well in my classes and was considered to be “too smart” to have an IEP. This made me want to learn how to advocate for myself and others.

In college, I always met with each of my professors before classes started in order to get the syllabus early and to discuss any accommodations that I may need.

School is not easy for me, but I have learned that if I start my projects and my readings early, I will be able to get the most out of my education. Doing so reduces my anxiety and helps me to participate in class. Being able to use a smart pen and other assistive technologies to read to me has been very helpful. I will continue to use these resources going forward and let others know that these resources are available to them.

I have considered three different career paths, all of which revolve around my desire to help others:

  • K-12 school counselor,
  • Private advocate for individuals with dyslexia and other disabilities, and
  • Counselling at a community college where I can help students to be successful so they can pursue their goals and learn how to advocate for themselves.

Throughout college, I have worked for the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. Because I understand what it is like to have a disability, my students have often told me that I am the only person who truly understands what they are going through.

I never give up and I strongly believe in helping others to learn how to advocate for themselves. Students with LD’s can accomplish anything they choose to and I want all to know that it does not make you any less of a person. In fact, it makes you stronger!