Q1 How old were you when you realised you had difficulty with reading and spelling?
1) I was about 8 or 9 when I realised that I had a difficulty reading. I found that I could read fine but could not retain any of the information. I had to read it about 4/5 times so I could understand what I was reading. I also found reading out loud difficult as I used to see the words walk across the book. Spelling was also a nonstarter, I used to avoid anyone seeing my spelling as I knew it was wrong.
Were there any other areas in your time in education that you found difficult e.g. maths lessons, daydreaming?
I day dreamed through most of my school education until I went to College of Food in Birmingham and did a business course. The tutor was supportive and wanted me to learn so he spent time with me so I could get it right. Learning to understand my capabilities and finding a different way of teaching helped me.
I went on to do a fashion course and met a beautiful teacher called Bob Manning he was a god sent. He knew I was struggling in lots of ways but supported me and encouraged me to take a dyslexic test. Bob then supported me through my BTEC and my degree in fashion making sure I had the support I needed as he explained that I was more than capable to do the course I just needed adaptations.
Q2 Do you have other disabilities along with dyslexia, e.g. dyspraxia?
2) I have Dyspraxia. I was also a clumsy child and suffered with hand and eye coordination which lead me to have a lot of bruises growing up. I had to train myself in a lot of ways and put coping mechanisms in place.
Q3 Did you receive a statement for your dyslexia, if so how old were you?
3) I was diagnosed initially at 11 years old but never had the support to be given the tools to cope. When I was 27, I was retested at university and given the support needed.
Q4 What support have you ever received for dyslexia?
4) I received support from a tutor at university Bob Manning and my late Dad who I use to ask for support when I was at work and could not spell a medical word , also my brother Simon Snape who was a big support and still is along with my partner Clive Loftman
Q5 Do you feel there is enough support within your communities for children and adults coping with dyslexia? if no why?
5) I feel there is not enough support and there is a real stigma in the black community with dyslexia. I also believe I should have had the support from school, I was deemed thick because I took longer to read and write. The school teacher wrote me off and I was lead to believe that I would never have a career in much and I never understood if it was because they did not understand Dyslexia or if it was because I was black or both, so by the time I was leaving school I felt alone lost and thick .
Q6 What would you like to see in the future for those coping with dyslexia?
6) I feel that Dyslexia should be picked up on a lot earlier so that the child can be supported and given the right tools for education and adulthood. This will give children an equality and balance throughout their education in life.
Educating others to enable others to understand what dyslexia means.
Q7 Name some of your gifts that has come along with having dyslexia, and what has it taught you?
7) I am intelligent.
Im good at thinking outside the box.
Putting coping mechanism in place.
I am creative.
I am also very patient and have empathy of people going through different situations.
I can do anything I put my mind to, but in a different way.