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What is dyslexia?

Design engineer Mamta talks about what dyslexia is, and what living with this difference means for her.

Dyslexia is often misunderstood because the signs can vary widely from person to person. Because of this, engineer Mamta Singhal has shared her knowledge on what dyslexia is and how it manifests.

What dyslexia is and what it isn't

The NHS defines dyslexia as a common type of learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. But it doesn't mean that people living with dyslexia are stupid or poor performers. Yes, my spelling is poor, my phonetic skills may not be great, and I have trouble reading certain words. But many people still don't understand what dyslexia actually means.

How does dyslexia affect someone?

I realised I had dyslexic symptoms when I was about 12. It always felt like something didn’t quite connect. I had to work very hard to pass any language-based subjects. On the other hand, maths, science, art, drama, design and sports came naturally. People with dyslexia may:

  • confuse the order of letters in words
  • have poor or inconsistent spelling
  • understand information when told verbally, but have difficulty with information that's written down
  • find it hard to carry out a sequence of directions
  • struggle with planning and organisation
  • have good skills in other areas, such as creative thinking and problem solving.


Perceptions in society

Many people view those living with dyslexia as incapable, which is a very dated perception. Times have changed, and many well-known dyslexics are talking about how they have excelled not despite their dyslexia but because of it. There is a negative stigma in society about dyslexia.  But it’s dated, hurtful and holding back some very capable people in reaching their full potential.

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What is dyslexiability?

Living with a learning difference like dyslexia can have its challenges but it also allows people to think outside the box and see solutions where nobody else can. Engineer Mamta Singhal calls these personal strengths her dyslexiability.

Succeeding with dyslexia

People living with dyslexia often have a unique set of personality traits and ways of thinking that allow them to succeed in their chosen career. From actors and artists to well-known entrepreneurs, dyslexia can help on the path to greatness.

Growing up with dyslexia

Early diagnosis of any learning difference, including dyslexia, is important. It allows a child or a young person to better understand why they learn and perceive information differently from some of their peers. 

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Ben had to miss out on activities, and it began to affect his day to day life. Unfortunately, a FES device is not available on the NHS in our area, so we’d need to fund it ourselves to keep Ben mobile. I could not allow Ben to return to pain and be reliant on a wheelchair, so we began to look at other options. Thankfully Foothold were able to help. View story Read Jon’s story of finding disability support for his son