I won't let dyslexia hold me back
I’m Jenny. I’m an Ofsted registered childminder and have been since 2000 I started childminding when a local authority worker said I would be fab at it. I’m still here 16 years later. Through the last 15 years I have taken various training but it wasn’t until 2009 that I was diagnosed dyslexic while starting my learning on a level 4 qualification.
Jenny, pictured with sons Sam and Chris
To study or not to study?
I have found that the most difficult question because I know to move forward in my setting I need to study. When I completed my Certificate in childminding practice (CCP) many moons ago I couldn’t decide what to do then so I moved forward and took the Early Years and Education level 3 course that was recommended. After taking this I hit the stumbling blocks of needing to have GCSEs before I could move on further. I had been told that foundation skills would be enough to move on. So I took level 2 maths and English only to be told later that they were not sufficient.
Why the wait? When the time is right.
I then spent six years helping my boys through senior school. One is severely dyslexic. Little did I realise but it spurred me on to take my degree. I had tried a few years before and failed. I started the journey again and again failed. This time it was suggested that I may be dyslexic. So I had an assessment and indeed I was diagnosed as being dyslexic.
Was that the answer to everything?
No it was not the answer to everything. But there was the support that came with it. The confidence that came with learning new techniques on how to spell and correct things when wrong.
I found when starting the degree that the support packages made such a difference - things like the spell check. Dragon – a voice-recognition app which you can dictate to and it would write it all down. I still use Dragon on my mobile. The package called read and write which read it back to me. All of these things combined helped me to move on.
I also found that Apple products like the iPhone and the Macbook do the same things for free. It writes down what I’ve said – sometimes everything I’ve said when I’ve forgotten to stop. Always check what you have dictated! Modern technology has assisted me in lots of ways including with my job.
I also use an online learning journal which all of my parents really like and add to themselves because it is very convenient to use, again working with parents and PACEY has helped me to be more confident with my writing and how I am able to convey myself online.
I still make mistakes but most people are more forgiving now days. I do still get judged for my spelling mistakes but I do not let it hold me back any more, as I know what I want to say and that is more important than not saying it.