I was diagnosed as dyslexic when I was six through tireless efforts of my family. I was very lucky to get support, to be taught processes and tools to help me adapt to the world around me. I felts a certain amount of shame about it when I was younger, that I wasn’t as good as my classmates. It took me longer to read. I have to study twice as long as everyone else. I don’t know at what point that change for me. At what point I stopped trying to hide it and spoke openly about it, started treating it like it was a strength. Since as I see it, I can honestly say I don’t see the world quite the same way as a lot of people. I adapted to the world.
That’s the extraordinary thing, I adapted to the world. I never expected the world to adapt to me. On Friday afternoon though, that is what I had someone ask me. My new amazing Scrum Master asked me, “is there anyway I can change my correspondence that will make it easier for you?”
I didn’t strike me until I left the meeting that I’ve never had a boss ask me that before. It was shocking, it was inspiring and it was astonishing. I’ve started working when I was about sixteen, and never once have I had a manager or boss ask me how they can change. I’ve been asked what do I need so they could comply with requirements by law, but never how they can adapt to me.
I have developed tricks and tips and some days my brain doesn’t like any of them. There are days were I feel like that frustrated six year old who can’t always see the different between a three and an e. I proof read all my emails before I send them, but I still apologize to people when I write me instead of my, or now instead of not. It’s something people don’t seem to always understand, you don’t “grow out of” of cognitive impairment, you live with it. You change your habit, you memorize shapes of word sometimes. Sometimes you use screen readers. On my really bad say, I still turn to my significant other and ask, “how am I supposed to say this word?” But the truth is, professionally, I’ve never had someone deeply recognize that it’s hard for me. It was so amazing. I don’t think I can completely express the depth this plunged for me. This helped heal some old wounds I’ve buried, simply by it being recognized. I hope for other adults who have cognitive disorders, they have open and honest discussion professional and are able to find a boss that will provide them with the a positive experiences.