My Neurodiversity journey by Maisie age 10
Hi I’m Maisie and I am 10 years old and in year 6 at Primary school.
As it’s neurodiversity celebration week, I thought I would share my story about my struggles with literacy and processing (Dyslexia) – or my super powers as I like to call it.
To me being Dyslexic means that my brain works differently to lots of other people’s brains. I don’t see this as a bad thing it just means that I am like a Macbook and most people in my class are more like an Xbox. Both are great devices but if you try and play Xbox games on a Macbook they just don’t operate the same. My brain will let me play Xbox games most of the time but only when the programming is right.
My neurodiversity means that I can struggle with reading, spelling and remembering what I have learnt on the first try . Before I knew about Dyslexia and got support, my eyes used to go blurry when I tried to read or learn from the board. My mum took me to the Opticians… TWICE! I was told my eyesight was fine but things were still blurry to me. Then a few weeks later my mum took me to see her friend who is a great teacher and knows lots about difficulties with reading and writing. She is also trained to do assessments on children and young people and she really understood what I was saying.
I did lots of assessments with her in one day and at the end I got my results back and it was a bit of a surprise to me just how much I’d been struggling to hold it together and hide it. She said I had some great and amazing coping skills which had made it hard for teachers to notice just how difficult some activities were for me. Also some of the ways I used to get help meant the teachers didn’t always realise how much help I was needing because I would often ask my friends or use books to help me.
The things I mostly find difficult now in school are spelling, reading out loud ( I dread it if the teacher asks me, and have to read my section over and over again in my head before it’s my turn) and taking notes when someone is talking ( dictation – I just can’t do this!). Although I know I can write some excellent pieces of work, the way my brain operates means I can’t always do this very quickly and it can take me 10 minutes to complete some writing when it might only take some of my classmates 5 minutes.
Since finding out about my neurodiversity my school has put lots help in place for me. Such as working on the Chromebook, checklists, small group work to go over learning to help it to stick in my brain and I use different platforms online like Nessy. Also when I am doing tests I get extra time to finish the work and sometimes someone will read the questions out to me too ( but not on the reading test!).
My neurodiversity has also meant I have learnt to do some skills much better than other people. For example everyone tells me I am a great problem solver and can find a solution or a way round ANYTHING! I am also super creative and I love to dance and perform. People also tell me that I’m good with people and a great talker!
Luckily the support I get means that I am doing well in school and am reaching all the targets I should be for someone my age… although my spelling is still a struggle for me and I have to work extra hard with this.
I hope people who are reading this who have reading or spelling or learning difficulties don’t see this as a bad thing (although it can feel hard work and frustrating at times) and I hope they remember that having a different brain is a good thing and it’s really a super power!
For more information on Neurodiversity and the support available in Portsmouth, click here. click here.