Dyslexia at work is making meals stupid mistakes!

Hi, thanks for reading!

I'm 27, I was diagnosed as dyslexic when I was 12 and when I was 19 at university to assess if I need support with dyslexia.

Problem is I loose things all the time so I don't know where these assessment are! That's besides the point anyway.

I read slowly, but I'm used to that, I've learnt to find a way scan for key words on a page to keep up with everyone else. It's 90% accurate.... Sometimes I don't get enough imformation but dyslexic or not if I tell them I'm still reading they loose patience so I have to do that. I'm not all that fussed about it.

My spelling and handwriting is kinda the same, I write slowly and make mistakes like put on the wrong letter or write words twice. My spelling isn't too embarrassing to me because if I write at my own pace and not get rushed I spell probably as well as most adults! It's the weird mistakes (writing words twice etc) which embarrasses me.

This still isn't the main issue!

The main issue is numbers, I never remember pass codes/PIN numbers. I have to use this tablet in work, and I have to remember a 4 digit code to get on it! But no matter how many times I'm told it I forget it! But even that isn't the worst part!

The worst part is I have targets to hit each day I'm in, and hats crap but the problem is my dyslexia literally stops me. I have to manually type in my personal till number each time to do a sale. I know my till number, but I have his thing with mixing 5 and 2 up. In my last shift I lost £200 in sales to someone else because I typed in a 2 when I should of put in 5. I don't know what to do anymore with this, I'm humiliated everytime when I explain what I've done. Non of them know I'm dyslexic because I fear it sounds like an excuse. I come across as intelligent and all my life when I make dyslexic mistakes people *always* say I'm being careless or lazy. Even when I say it's my dyslexia.

How can I stop this damned 2 and 5 mix up!!!!!

Thanks for reading,


11 Replies

  • Damn even made a mistake in the title I meant to say making me make!

  • Hi Amanda

    My husband is dyslexic and he has the same problem, especially with remembering his passcode for his tablet. It is very important that you tell your employer that you are struggling and the reason why. It was hard for my husband too but like I said to him, if they don't know, they can't help you. If you want some reassurance as to how to approach your manager ring ACAS for some advice first. My husband found it easier to put it in writing, he told me what he wanted to say and I typed it up- get someone you trust to help you.

    Regarding the mixing up of numbers, my husband finds it easier to attach an image to a number so he remembers the sequence. That may work for you.

    Good luck

  • You are not alone. Many people with dyslexia have similar difficulties yet no two people are identical. Our specialist teachers at Dyslexia Action will be able to help support you by giving you advice on strategies that you can use to help aid your memory. Contact them for free advice in the first instance at dyslexiaaction.org.uk/find-us

  • Hi Amanda

    Can't you use your phone or have some sort of electronic small device with pass numbers all on one page.Do when you need to check one out you can look it up really quickly. Or glued on the back of your watch?

    Good luck.

  • Hi

    Just wanted to thank you for you question.As I tend to have similar problems with passwords and numbers.

    It just makes me feel better to know you do too.

  • hii i don't know if this will work for everyone and it does require a bit of effort but why don't you try sticking a piece of paper with the numbers in a different font. I'm severely dyslexic but because i was only diagnosed when i was 17, i kinda learnt to work around it. I prefer to use comic sans but some people like lexia more (you can download it for free) because of the hate against comic sans :') The font has been specifically designed to help dyslexics. So print it it out (large font) and stick it on top of the keys? I know it sounds silly but it might just work or decrease the confusion :) hope that helps

  • Hi I used to work as a waitress, and I couldn't add up the customer's bills - so I would under charge them. I often ended up paying for mistakes - going home with no money - sometimes owing the restaurant money!! I It was hard so I totally understand what you must be going through. It helps me to do things slowly - very slowly. Als, I ask people to help me when I have to deal with numbers. In your case I would say something like 'hey I can't see the screen (or whatever) properly can you please check that my number is right, only one time it was wrong and it cost me £200!!' In my experience people are only too happy to help. Blame it on your eyesight if you feel embarrassed. The tips other people have written here are great!

  • Hi

    Maybe 3 options?

    1) Change codes and passwords to dates in history you might remember?

    2) Draw out the numbers as Animals or find a photo/illustration where numbers have been changed into animals with colours added - to help you not mix up 2 and 5. Write out the sequence of numbers say it was 128357...as 1 snake 83 tiger 7, then just remember snake before tiger or snake first as it could kill the tiger, create a story.

    3) Another idea which might help is pick a corner of a room at home, say its the kitchen, stick the first number written out large on the fridge, the next on the sink the next on the window the next on the cupboard. Look around the room in sequence so turn your head and body to read each number.

    Now when you go to work all you have to do is imagine the kitchen, look from the fridge to the sink, to the window etc. maybe even turn your body.

    You need to disassociate number values (because when they are used as a code/password they have no value and start seeing them as symbols, images).

    When you see a Stop Sign or Danger Sign no one needs to tell you what it says its in bright red and you know to take care, you dont need to read or memorise the message.

    Build associations, tell a story, get your body involved and I think some maybe not all but some of this stuff can be rerooted into your long term memory where it needs to be.

    I hope that helps, it has helped me before now. If you need me to draw you the two animals I will but it will take time as I have a shed load of homework at the moment.

    Good Luck XX

  • The mix up in the numbers 2 and 5 is probably to do with orientation. Sometimes your minds eye spins around the numbers so that they are being processed as three dimensional objects, from many angles at once. You need to be grounded on the flat surface. I do this by tapping out the numbers on the page or screen in patterns of dots. It is a bit like counting on your fingers but less obvious to on lookers. I also speak the words under my breath at the same time which helps to hold the calculation in your mind. People without dyslexia will probably never understand your troubles, but there are ways to get by by using other paths in your brain. Think about trying coloured glasses they can help some people with keeping their eyes on the page while scanning the information.

  • You are most likely correct, the pass codes I do manage to remember I recall where the buttons are rather than the number. I know I mix 5 and 2 up because they look alike, and I forget 7 and mix it up with 4! Because if you look at 7, turn it upside down and put a line through it it's a 4! I also mix up 3 and 8 because they look similar.

    I tend to remember codes if I see someone type it out, rather than if they just tell me it. It's probably why I'm good at typing but aweful at writing by hand. I remember where the letters are positioned on the keyboard , when I write by hand I have a billion problems! u and n, b and d, i and j, e and a, B and E. And so on, I visually remember them like an object.

  • Thanks for the offer, but I'm an artist myself haha. I think the fact I think in ways of "how it looks" it makes me really good at drawing.

    I think rose tinted has hit the nail on the head, you wasn't too far off though. I remember my own post code in a sorta weird way like this's for example the last two letters are LJ, I remember this because it's my brothers initials reversed haha!

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