Zahra Qureshi joined our Graduate Leadership Programme after studying International Relations at Leicester University. Here she shares a brief snapshot of her experiences living with dyslexia.
Please tell us a little bit about you and living with Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a language based learning disability, sometimes caused by genetics. I struggled with reading, spelling and numbers, which was passed down from my father.
What were your first experiences in struggling to learn?
In the first ‘test of intelligence’ in primary school, I was conscious that the other children were reading effortlessly whilst I was struggling to read .This was frustrating as I was working hard, but my grades wasn’t reflecting this.
What are some common misconceptions about Dyslexia?
Lack of intelligence is a common misconception. Interestingly, people diagnosed with Dyslexia tend to have higher IQ levels and be likely to excel in engineering, architecture, entrepreneurship and the arts. In fact 50% of employees at NASA are diagnosed Dyslexic.
Have you found any benefits to living with Dyslexia?
I have built up a personal resilience which has given me a great attitude towards hard work.
If you could say one thing to society about Dyslexia, what would you say?
Understand that people with dyslexia are very capable and we should embrace the differences, instead of regarding it as taboo.
What would be your advice to anyone who is Dyslexic?
Embrace it as a gift! Being dyslexic allows for alternative thinking patterns which help with problem solving and thinking outside of the box.
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Louis Jameson, Group Disability Programme Lloyds Banking Group