I began to notice my learning disability when I went up to Secondary School in 1994, I was 11. Although none of my teachers thought it was strange that I couldn't answer exam questions properly, I thought I had a problem. They all put it down to me having "to get used to exams". I began to believe this myself so as I went up to GCSE standard I worked hard on my course work. I also did extra exam questions to gain some experience and help me to get good marks at the end.
I assumed this was working until I did my Year Ten exams and then my mocks. I was moved down to foundation tier in English and English Literature because I was not coping with the questions that were being asked. For every subject I did I got an A or B grade for coursework, which was brilliant, I thought I was doing well, but when I was set an essay to write, in or out of class, I had problems. These problems ranged from understanding the question to planning the essay. These two things are combined to form a good essay and I had no idea how to properly plan an essay. These made exams hard ,especially written ones, and essays that I was given in or out of class confused me no end.
Only finding out now what my problem really is, is what I would call a failure on the education system. Them noticing my disability earlier would have got me much better marks in my GCSE's and could have helped me to deal with the change from GCSE to A-level. I have a form of dyslexia, which I don't let hold me back, but it becomes annoying when I know there is a history of it in my family and I know I have a problem. My Secondary School were ignorant to this fact and just told me to get on with it.
Sandra Shears, my Media Studies teacher, at Colchester Sixth Form College realised I had a problem when I did my end of Year One exams. I got an E for my final mark and she had predicted me much more. I had been saying to her and my other teachers that did not understand essay titles and I was asking for a lot of help comprehending what they were asking. She asked me if I thought I was dyslexic and I said I had a feeling I was, as it runs in the family, and my mum had just been diagnosed as having it at her University. So she helped me get noticed by the learning disabilities department where I was given a psychology test and started to have learning disability lessons in my second year.
I am very grateful to Sandra who has been nearly the only person to help me through this problem, which I am beginning to understand and cope with much better. I am now, at last beginning to get better marks especially in Media Studies, essay titles and questions are beginning to be less of a task but more of a pleasure.
There are many types of dyslexia and in actual fact your not meant to call it that anymore either. Every different problem has a specific name. Dyslexia does not even show on most people in every day life, it only comes out when they are writing, in someone like me for example. Other people have it a lot more seriously and it effects their speaking and reading skills considerably, making it a little too hard for others not to notice it (these are the people that get picked up the most). I only thing that I wish I could reverse was the fact that this was not recognised earlier. If it had been, I would have been a lot happier in myself and been able to cope with the change from GCSE to A-Level a lot easier. If you think you have a learning disability or something similar DO NOT let your teachers or peers say you haven't, go and get help, talk to you parents and see if any of their family has the same problem.