I have a dirty secret… I have Dyslexia. Why does this bother me? Because I don’t believe dyslexia exists. All it means is I have to try a bit harder, put in a bit more effort and tailor my career path.
If I had come forward and confessed this when I started university, I would have been provided with a brand new Macbook and iPhone to make my studying “easier”. Who pays for these freebies? The tax payer. I guess the thing that bites the most, is that studying architecture somewhat necessitates having a laptop. It’s a pre-requisite. So why should someone with dyslexia skirt around the $2000 everyone else has to spend?
On top of the gifts, dyslexic students are granted more time in exams – I’m sure that for the most part, a bit of extra time is relatively insignificant, however I can’t understand how those studying medicine can be granted such extensions. It is not exactly representative of a real life situation.
I struggle to understand why society feels the need to label everything and give people a foothold to provide a level playing field. I am not a natural born physicist, so I didn’t become a physicist. I can’t run 100m faster than Usain Bolt – but that doesn’t mean I should be given a 90m head start. I have played to my strengths. I struggled with writing and reading, but that hasn’t stopped me being published in multiple journals and magazines, as well as having written several 100,000 word thesis papers and successfully sat multiple exams. It has taken a lot of practice and determination to reach this point. Providing people with a leveler only serves to devalue the achievements of everyone involved.
I’m sure I could have beaten Usain with my 90m head start, but that doesn’t mean I am suitable to run in the next Olympics. An A* in English from a dyslexic student with a 30 minute time extension is not the same as an A* from a pupil with no time extension. I would rather be proud of achieving a C in my English paper knowing I am being measured honestly against others… And let’s face it, dyslexia never stopped Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci or Thomas Edison from becoming great people.