Blogging 101: Fairytales, Inspiration and Dreams with a Happily Ever After
All good fairytales start with a ‘once upon a time’, but this is a true story and despite my wings, I am no fairy. I’m also not a witch like Hermione Granger, though I was given that nickname for a while. Nor am I a superhero. I am just a normal person.
Once upon a time there was a girl called Hannah. She was a normal girl. She loved cartoons, music and TV documentaries. Her favourite cartoons of all time were Care Bears, Dogtanion, Thundercats, Spiderman and Powerpuff Girls! Her favourite music changed quite a lot, but she really loved Nirvana and had posters of them all over her walls. And she LOVED historical and archaeological documentaries on the TV. She loved to go to her friends’ houses to have sleepovers or going to the cinema to see the newest movie. But there was one thing she HATED more than anything in the world. Going to school!!!
“School is boring! I hate it,” she would say to her family. “I do love my music and history classes, but the others are just… Boring.”
What Hannah didn’t tell her family was that she had other kids in her class laugh at her when the teachers asked her to read out loud. Her best friend used try to whisper what the words were just to help her out, but it was of no use.
“Haha! You can’t read!”
“Are you dyslexic or something?!”
Hannah didn’t like reading at all! She was so slow at it and she couldn’t work out what the words said. Reading hurt her eyes even when she was wearing her glasses. It was like there were all these flashing lights and shadows around the letters that made her eyes go all funny! She was pretty sure she wasn’t stupid though. She always did well in tests, better that the kids making fun of her! Well, apart from in English classes. She never finished reading the books in time for the book reviews. When they got written work back from the teachers Hannah’s stories, poems and other work came back covered with spelling corrections.
“Oh no! I spelt with wrong again,’ she thought. ‘I know there isn’t a letter e on the end of it!’
One day she went to see the learning support teacher. She felt very embarrassed. Why was she having to go to see the learning support teacher? She wasn’t stupid!
Hannah and her mum went to see the learning support lady who asked Hannah a lot of questions. She gave her some coloured plastic sheets to put over a page of writing and asked if any of them made it easier to read. ‘Yes,’ said Hannah. ‘The pink one makes it easier for me to read.’
The lady said that Hannah’s answers suggested that she had Irlen Syndrome and dyspraxia. She was going to be given coloured sheets for reading in class and when she had exams in a couple of years time, she would get extra time. Hannah’s mum asked the lady, ‘could Hannah have dyslexia?’ The lady replied saying that she wasn’t qualified to assess for dyslexia and if Hannah’s mum wanted to have it done it would cost £500. The school said they wouldn’t pay for it, so it was up to Hannah’s mum if she wanted to pay £500, something she couldn’t afford as a single mum.
So Hannah did her exams and stayed at school for a few more years. She really struggled and she kept asking teachers for help, but none of them wanted to listen to her. They all said she was too smart to get the extra support she was begging for. Eventually, frustrated by the lack of help, Hannah dropped out of school and went to college. At college the learning support man told Hannah that she had 16 out of 18 of the classic signs of dyslexia!
Feeling like she had been let down, Hannah left college after getting an NC qualification and went into the big bad world of working!
Hannah still loved her documentaries on TV. She loved Time Team and anything that involved Vikings or Irish history. She realised after 5 years that she wished she could have had the opportunity to learn history at university. Her mum called the local college and found out that she could go back to get the qualifications she had missed out on when she left school! Hannah was delighted!
It was great to pick out a new school bag and stationary! But before her classes started she had an appointment to see the learning support lady at college. Hannah told the lady all about her problems at school and the lady smiled at her and said that she would make an appointment to see an educational psychologist!
The educational psychologist sat Hannah down and went through a number of questions before starting to quiz her on various things including reading, writing, memory and solving puzzles. After an hour the lady told Hannah that she would write-up a report of all her findings from the assessment, but that Hannah was definitely dyslexic!
The story doesn’t end here. In fact, this is where Hannah’s story really began. Her days at school had been a real struggle and she hated every minute of it (well apart from her history and music classes). Now she was receiving the help she needed and was thriving! She LOVED to learn! She LOVED college! Especially her English classes!!!!
She took her exams and impatiently waited for the results to find out whether or not she would get into university to study the thing she loved, history! When she got the paper through it said she had three A’s! She was so excited she called everyone to tell them the good news!
She went on to university where they were just as understanding and supportive as college had been! Hannah finally enjoyed going to classes and reading!!! Well, she enjoyed her computer reading the papers to her. She made load of new friends in her classes and contributed in her classes. No one called her stupid or laughed at her for not reading out loud.
After four years at university, Hannah graduated with a 2:1 undergraduate degree. She got a First Class mark for her dissertation she wrote on Vikings too! When her results came through she was at home with her mum and her friend. Hannah cried. She couldn’t believe after all the struggles she had been through that she had finally achieved her dream of having a qualification doing something she loved.
Hannah decided before she finished university to write a blog about her struggles with dyslexia through school. She hoped that one day her story would inspire other dyslexic people to follow their dreams into further and higher education to study the subjects that they wanted to learn. Achieving an undergraduate degree was MASSIVE, but she knew that if she inspired just one person she would live happily ever after.
“Help me find a way to move on, standing in the way of the sun
Help me find you, you, you, help you find me
Now who inspires you?” – Cave In