Dyslexia Action
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Why doesn't work understand me???


I am a 38 year old woman, who although had been advised by my infant teacher in my 1st primary school I have dyslexia and was reffered for extra one-to-one lessons etc with an educational specialist. This is the only time I had any real support, after leaving this school I was pretty much on my own and have been all these years apart from the help and support of my family and some friends.

I have had a number of jobs, some of which I had difficulties others I received all the help and support I needed, but have never actually received a formal assessment to find out which form or form's of dyslexia related conditions I have.

Recently at work I have been under a lot of pressure, as i have too many tasks to do which has led to me breaking down in front of one of my colleagues. She was very supportive, and told my boss who came over to me and said "I believe you are upset", and asked why I am upset. Although I now have another colleague helping with the tasks we are both barely coping with everything, he is not as the Occupational Health Dr who did my Occupational Health screening "an affected person" so he can do things quicker than me, but also finds it hard to get done every task we are asked to do.

I have been told that getting stressed is a characteristic of a dyslexic, which I can understand after going through it myself but HR are surprised to hear I am stressed out. My bosses are all too aware of this and that's why the other colleague has taken on some of my tasks.

I have to make a decision as to whether to have the assessment or to advise them some ways they can help me so they can make as they say "Reasonal Adjustments" for me in the workplace. If anyone has any advice for me reply to my blog.

Thank you for reading my 1st ever blog, but I needed to let off a bit of steam as I have kept things bottled up for years and years.

8 Replies

Hey there ya Nutter (bit of affection there for you) ;)

There is a major difference between having somebody help you as in what your boss and HR have just done, and actually talking to you and "training" you with your own knowledge and for them to understand how you see things from your perspective this in the end gives you power in your life and creates that switch for time management where you are then able to figure out what tasks can be done whilst you can deal with others and not create a newer problem by doing this.

SOUNDS hard . trust me from my writeup scribd.com/doc/97539169/Dys... , when i was in my 2nd and last ever job (which lasted 10 years) for the first i think 2 years during my awareness of what i was doing, ie before that i don't remember barely anything. after a while i started to understand things and i went into "show off" mode and found myself doing extra tasks. bare in mind that NONE of the staff or management understood dyslexia but i quickly became known for my hard work... some did how ever state that they couldn't believe how much rubbish i was taking and said i was being walked all over ..but this was said within the first year of being there.

Even when somebody is in management or owns a company, doesn't mean they have the skills to have empathy for every experience if at all, and most just go by the book and cover their ass's which sounds like this is what happened to you. It how ever is good that you have gained somebody , but clearly shows the world load is stupidly high if even the "helper" even find the workload high.

I would advise you to seek an assessment, ask questions and find out what it is you deal with. because even at 38 just like i was at before 30, i didn't have a clue what i was dealing with. but now i do which is detailed in the write up. it will be far more beneficial to you and the company if they take you as an example and you could actually help the company forward in their way of thinking on how to deal with situations like this.

If you or your work need guidance, im always an email away, or even skype via webcam if my webcam ever works lol


Hi! there, and I am not a nutter lol. Thank you for your comment, I do now feel after doing my 1st ever blog about my situation that I have people there supporting me and not just my family or friends.

I don't think hardly any of the companies I have worked for understand or have even dealt with someone who has dyslexia or any of the other conditions linked to it before. I find this in-excusable as we need help and support just like the so called "unaffected" people who I call Normal people do.

I do cope with a lot of tasks at work and normally without any problems, but just recently as they heaped more and more on me I was unable to cope and physically broke down in front of my colleague as I said in my blog. This is not good for me or my health. I do go into show-off mode, as I hate being different from other people, and can do a lot of what a normal person can, it's just that somethings I do struggle with not just to do, but to understand how to do something and how to make myself do that task that the normal person would do in seconds or be shocked or angry that I can't or don't understand such a simple action or task.

Even some of my colleagues say to me they don't know how I do what I do, not many of them know I have dyslexia so that makes it even more of a compliment as they have such faith in me. It's just that my boss doesn't, or if she does she doesn't show it to me. I applied for another internal job where I work came a close 2nd to getting it, and was advised in the feedback from the colleague who interviewed me that she gave me a glowing reference. I found that surprising as she comes across that she hates me.

I will see what happens, as I really don't have the £250.00 spare to be able to pay for

it even if they say I can claim it back in the usual expenses manner.

I hope things are going well for you now, take care and thank you for the comment.


I agree with the previous comment that an assessment will help you and others understand the particular nature of your difficulties and also your strengths that many Dyslexics can bring to their jobs. I also agree that is seems that you are not the only one that finds the workload difficult to cope with. See if your boss can arrange a work place assessment ask them to seek advice from the British Dyslexia Association or Dyslexia Action if they need to. Now that you have 'self-declared' your Dyslexia then it is up to them to respond rather than for you to work out what to do next. Well done for the courage it took to do this, and remember that you are likely not to be the only Dyslexic within your organisation so you could be taken as an example on also how to help others.

I hope this response is helpful to you.


Hi! Dyslexia-tutor, thank you for your comment. I kind of know some of my strengths and lots of my weaknesses from having to cope all this time without any kind of help or support. I do find it difficult to advise to "Non affected" people how it affects me, and what they can do to help me. I tend to start getting a bit upset when discussing it as it has been so hard for me from being a child and now an adult. And the way the emails HR have seemed, they want me to do all the work and they don't want to contribute to arranging anything or finding out any information to help me so yet again it is all on my weighty shoulders that have started to crack with all of the pressure.

I don't agree with them saying for me to pay for it then claim the money back and have the assessment outside working hours as I want them to see it actually being done so they don't think which they do now that I am making all this up and wasting their time.

I also have a husband, cousin, and best friend's daughter who are also dyslexic. I have had to fight for any help and support. My friend has had to fight with the school her daughter goes to in order for her daughter to get any help. So much so that she involved the local councilor to help her. Although her daughter is now getting the help, she is still behind, she is very good at football and plays for the local team. I am an insperation to her as I have gone through it. My nephew also shows signs of having it as he kind of runs out of steam when trying to write things down at school, he also had to have coloured glasses as when looking at the white board he can't read it properly. He's just got an award for his Kumo lessons (think it's that name not sure) I am so proud of him.

Once again thank you for your comment and support, it means a lot :-)


Just to let you know I have researched your issue and it is you (as the employee) that should get in touch with Access to Work (02920 423 291) who should be able to lead you through the process. Here is a help sheet from the BDA bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dy...


Hi! Dyslexia-tutor, I am aware it is me that has to get in touch with Access to Work or whoever can do the assessment. I have done that and this is why I am going to have to pay the £250.00 to get this done, as I pointed out I cannot afford to fund this in the first place let alone have to wait for the money to be refunded to me by my employer.this works out to be 1 weeks wage when I am on a low wage for the job I'm doing. Thank you for your comment.


Hi Yasmin74, I have read your posts with great interest, as my husband has just had a breakdown due to work-induced stress - he is dyslexic. However, he did contact the access to work team and got some help (although not a full assessment). However just to warn you, it made no difference to his day-to-day stress - they just expected him to be 'better' after 2 sessions with a tutor. In fact it slowed him down initially whilst he got used to the new methods of doing things. Stress is extremely common I believe and I feel for you - my 10 year old son has had dreadful stress at school too. My husband has taken the brave decision to leave his job after 10 years (being taken to hosp with a suspected hear attack finalised it!) and is re-training in something he has always wanted to do.

However, your work have to take action under the disability discrimination act I believe. In the meantime, if you could come up with a list of things that you feel might help you and try and get this across to the powers that be, that may be a start. Work would need to put something in place whether you have an assessment or not. They need to understand that it may take you a little longer to do work but that you are completely capable and as clever as everyone else. My other advice would be to try to say 'no' to extra tasks - you have nothing to prove to anyone, you are just as good as they are and don't let other people make you feel bad if you struggle with certain things. You are probably miles better than us non-dyslexics and loads of stuff. My son can't write but can work the computer far better than I can!!! My husband has a shocking memory but is fantastic at talking to and helping other people.

Oh, and take a few days off to unwind and give yourself a rest!

I wish you the best of luck. I hope one day the world will realise what amazing things dyslexics can do!


Hi! Rich72, Thank you for your supportive comment. I feel for your husband too, I feel like he does too and at any point could even end up in hospital. Even if I did have a full/half assessment like him it may not even help me, I have told work that there is not really a lot they can do for me and that they should be aware of my dyselxia and help me if I need any assistance.

The problem is with my bosses/HR, and even other places I have worked they do not know how to deal with a person who is different i.e. with dyslexia or a physical disibility, although they wouldn't discriminate against them as it would be seen as them picking on their disability.

I am as you say miles better than some non-dyslexics at loads of stuff. I am a whizz with a pc and even do things that "normal" users don't know how to do. I can also remember things other people don't, and am a natural with children. My family and friends are always amazed by the things I do and have always supported me in everything I've done.

It's just nice to have people that know what I'm feeling and going through that are supportive. I hope your husband re-trains and is happy in what he does, and your son gets all the help and support he can so he doesn't have to go though what we have been though.

I have 4 days holiday left and have booked them off so will have some chill out time in the next few weeks. Society should realise what us dyslexics can do as we are some of the best, hardworking people they could ever meet.

Thank you again for taking the time to comment on my post, I hope things get better for your husband and son. They are also amazing people too!! :-)


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