Produced by Amy Potts
BSc (Hons) Archaeology
My name is Amy Potts and I am a dyslexic.
Dyslexia is, unfortunately, different for a lot of people. There are so many variations, to the point where it can be really hard to spot. I am not your “stereotypical” dyslexic. I don’t have trouble reading (although my spelling is atrocious), and I am pretty “smart.” But I have a horrendous short term memory (seriously I was moving my washing across to the dryer, walked out of the room for a moment and forgot about the washing for over an hour until my housemate mentioned it), I suck at keeping an order to things and some days, when my dyslexia is really bad, I struggle to find the right words.
Why am I bothering to tell you this? Well it has a point, just bear with me. I started university in 2013. Now, having been diagnosed with dyslexia in year 5 I had spent a life time of having additional learning support (special needs as many schools called it). And I had had a bad time of it at some places, with trained professionals refusing to accept my diagnosis (basically telling me I was a liar) even after two physiologists had diagnosed me, and being called a cheat in front of a class because my written English was “too good to be something a dyslexic could do.”
So starting at Bournemouth I was expecting more of the same, a tutor talking down to me and treating me like I was thick. But let me pause for a moment to explain what ALS at BU is, and who it is for. ALS stands for Additional Learning Support, and is a dedicated team of people who help everyone who needs it: people with learning disabilities like me, people suffering with mental illnesses and those who get sick or injured in the year who need help. The point is to make sure you can do the best you can, by offering support and services. Sometimes all you need is extra time in the exam, and the team will sort that out for you. Other people, like me, have regular meetings with a dedicated tutor who will help you in areas you need.
Jack, the Additional Learning Support dog. He is a very sweet natured dog who is there for anyone who needs him (and does cuddles).
To say I was pleasantly surprised by what actually met me would be a massive understatement. I was introduced to my tutor, who I have worked with for three years, and we got down to business. The beauty of ALS at Bournemouth is that you lead. If you want regular sessions, help keeping organised and revision and coursework support (like I do), then that is exactly what you get. It is entirely up to you. And no, no one ever talks down to you.
By Amy Potts