When I was younger, I didn't want to be a rock star when I grew up. I didn't want to be a teacher, or a zoo keeper or a princess ( although the Princess Diaries did make this seem appealing). No, I wanted to be a child prodigy. I obviously didn't understand that it's not quite as an impressive when a 32 year exclaims "I'm a child prodigy." Instead, I was fascinated with the idea of excelling in a particular field.
I would devote my time between homework and bedtime to watch the documentary channel, my birthday and Christmas wish lists were compiled of encyclopaedias and I lived for fun facts.
I also worked hard to succeed in school. But no matter how hard I paddled I seemed to get nowhere. I was always in the lowest math group. The lowest reading group. I struggled for the first four years of primary school. Until finally, a teacher recognised that I might have a learning disability.
I was soon booked to complete a diagnostic assessment which concluded that I did, in fact, have dyslexia as well as dyspraxia. Finally, it clicked. Being able to put a name to the barriers which prevented me from achieving my goals, helped to tear down these barriers. I was soon enrolled in SPELD and made great progress. I also used coloured plastic overlays but found them infuriating as I could not write below them and they interrupted my learning as I'd have to constantly readjust them to cover the page. This sparked the iBrite.
I did not tell people that I had Dyslexia, however. I found that unfortunately people immediately thought of you as incompetent. Even teachers were mistaken in thinking that Dyslexics are unintelligent. In have had several teachers redesign my lesson plans so that I was being taught at a much lower level. Dyslexics are not unintelligent or incapable, we can achieve we just see the world differently and sometimes need to reach achievement via a slightly different track (e.g the iBrite, Tutoring.) I began to give up on schooling, and once, hungry for knowledge, I now dreaded going to school.
Fortunately, there are many amazing teachers in New Zealand. During my final year of intermediate, I had one of these teachers. He pushed me to pursue my passion in writing and to challenge myself academically, all the while working with me to find a learning style which works for me.
Today whilst there are days where my dyslexia leaves me frustrated, I am proud to say I'm dyslexic. I believe that Dyslexia is a gift. It allows me to see the world differently. Now in my final year of high school (year 13) I am back on track with my education. Next year I'm hoping to study law and commerce at university.
I am also proud to be CEO of Brite. And look forward to helping fellow students with dyslexia to achieve using the iBrite.