Entry:  E101 Name:  Hayley  Age:  13 Champion: My Mentor (Mark)   I am going to be honest with you I don’t really like school and I hav...

My Red Letter 2017 - E101 - Hayley

12:13:00 Dyslexia Australia 0 Comments

Entry: E101
Name: Hayley 
Age: 13
Champion: My Mentor (Mark) 

I am going to be honest with you I don’t really like school and I have had to change schools this year in year 7. It’s not the easiest thing to do for someone with dyslexia and dysgraphia.

My new school is only minutes from home and my Dad thinks the new school is marvellous. You know what dad sometimes you’re over the top. Although the teachers are pretty good and encouraging.  I like writing plays and short stories. I have a number of OC’s that is an original creation and I love to draw.  

I would like to share a little about my dyslexic and dysgraphia journey. Hi, I am Hayley and I am 13-year-old in year 7.

I got good scores in NAPLAN for reading and writing but I still can’t spell that well, Thank you, spellchecker, and Siri. My memory kind of sucks at times but it’s better than my Dads. You know what my grades are pretty good.  

Yep, doing ok for the moment. But let’s time travel back to year 1 and 2. So some of the teachers and classmates thought I was a little strange and I had bits and pieces of items from my bag scattered over the school.  The year one teacher was great, the rest just didn’t know what to do with me. So, in year 2 it was lots and lots of drawing, not much school work, and year 3 I got to hang out at the sensory room (I was just sent there a lot because I think it was easier for the teachers. There was not much school work to worry about).

Mum and Dad sent me to a young psychologist named Aaron and he worked out I had dyslexia. It was great - I just didn’t feel so silly any more. I knew I was different but I knew I wasn’t stupid.  

Aaron told Mum and Dad I should change school so at the last term at the end of year 3 this really cool principal said I could try his school for 3 weeks. Then he said I should go back to my old school (to say goodbye) for a few weeks and come back in year 4. I wished I could have stayed at the cool principal’s school but appreciated it more when I went to the school.

So, I got to the school in year 4 and Mum & Dad are blown away that I am doing school work and can’t believe the work I was doing. This young man seems to know all my tricks. What, I say the teachers here seem to understand dyslexia, err! So, it’s a tough year and my grades aren’t great but I am working.

So, year 5 comes along and I get this really chilled teacher I’ll call him Mr Terrific (Mr T). Mr T is so laid back and great with ICT and he really support me with using my IPAD. He is always happy to meet with Mum & Dad. In year 5 this is my first crack at NAPLAN (didn’t sit the NAPLAN in year 3) and I couldn’t believe that I did okay with some great results.
Now I am in year six with Mr M his daughter has dyslexia so he gets me, YEAH. All of a sudden, I am working hard and getting my assignments in all little too early and using all sorts of ways to present my work. The class loves Mr M what a legend. So, at the year six celebration I am co-winner on the encouragement award I am pretty happy. Then I see on the award the name of one of my great mates who is a grade ahead won the award the year before me - I was pretty amazed!

Sadly, time to leave the school as there was no year 7 at the school. Let’s just say things didn’t work out that well for me at the big ‘high school’. Mum and Dad were really worried that I was so stressed at the new High School so they moved me. I started with a new school in year 7 term 3. You know what Dad offered me a day off tomorrow and I said sorry got to go tomorrow. Lots of work to complete. 
At my new school I no longer have an IEP and do a language. I take a bit longer with maths, but the teachers said I am doing well. 

I need to let you know school is still hard and I still get stressed and the dyslexia has a impact on my emotions (for example small things can get to me while bigger problems take a lot to upset me). My Dad got me into basketball and then we didn’t have the numbers at the school so we shared a campus and I played some games for the other school. So, I said to my Dad if you get the team back at the school I’ll play, thinking it can’t be done. Yep, next thing I know I am back at the school playing basketball. You know we played 10,12, U14’S in under 12s we lost almost every game over two seasons and then in the last game in the season we finally unexpectedly win and someone’s says can we go to McDonald’s, of course. You know what we lost all those games together and we finally won together, what a proud moment for the team and coach Dad. Team sports taught me how to lose and showed me you can win and have fun with your mates. Our team had a focus on inclusion which was great.

My Mum & Dad have worked hard for me given reports to my school and Aaron has helped me when I am feeling down. I have done a dyslexia program and have a tutor from SPELD.

When I was younger I got to meet this energetic and exciting young man – (pictured below). He goes under the alias of a teacher, counsellor and author, in other words he is a superhero. I did a program which was great. It was a social group for kids like me. Would you believe I have done it another three times through school? My social skills weren’t that great until I started playing sport and I met the man below (Superhero!)

You know how I told you I am doing ok now and how I changed schools this year without too many issues and have made some good friends. This enigmatic gentleman pictured below, well he is my mentor, and you know what, when the pressure was on early in the year he got Mum & Dad on track.  

This fantastic person (Mark) and Aaron helped me make the transition to a pretty big public R-12 school. You know what he has been with me every step of the way over the last few years.   I can talk to Mark about anything and he makes me laugh. He also listens and doesn’t judge me and helps me get things into perspective when it feels like the world is just too much…….he has a great smile, crazy hair, infectious laugh and has helped me overcome many barriers which I thought I could not jump over.  He jumped with and sometimes encouraged me to jump even higher!!!!

His name is the legendary Mark – he is a star and is my dyslexic champion. 

Thanks (Marvellous) Mark – you are an advocate and superstar for kids with dyslexia and social issues!

Mark is one of a kind!!!!
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