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#MyDyslexiaStory: Rachael Colclough

Thursday 14 October 2021

My Mum knew there was something not "quite right" about me from a very early age. She felt very frustrated and didn't know where to turn. That all changed when there was a knock at the door of our house. Two ladies from the Rugby BDA came to talk to my parents and they encouraged my Mum to bring me to a workshop. They spent some time talking about what might be wrong. I was 7 when I received my diagnosis, from then on I attended the workshop every Saturday for many years. Right up until I was more keen to play hockey on a Saturday morning than extra school! The help I received from both my school teachers and the BDA have been instrumental in shaping my career and ability to face each day with confidence.

The workshops were such a positive experience for me. I could see I am not on my own with this jumbled brain. I learnt how to work hard to succeed. I learnt to use colours and patterns. I learnt that learning could be fun. I learnt that being different is ok. Not everyone finds life easy- and that's ok. I learnt not to be afraid of failure. In work we are now opening up conversations about diversity and inclusion, and I now feel like I have a voice.

“Dyslexia has shaped me to think outside the box”

I am a respiratory physiotherapist, and right now my daily job is vital to support the patients on the front line of the NHS. Being a respiratory physio is such a privilege and so rewarding. Dyslexia has shaped me to think outside the box. I see problems differently to others and that is my talent. Right now being practical and having emotional intelligence is vital to enable me to help my patients.

My greatest achievement…

I am really very proud to have been awarded a distinction in my MSc advanced practice physiotherapy from the University of Birmingham in 2010. I completed this whilst still working in the NHS full time and bringing two beautiful children into the world. On my graduation day I was surrounded by my wonderfully supportive Mum and Dad, and husband and his family, and our fabulous two kids

My advice for someone who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia:

I hope it feels a relief. I hope it gives you a reason to stand up and be proud. I certainly am very proud to know I am not on my own. I would seek advice through BDA to learn strategies to face the challenges, and to understand what sets you out from the crowd.

It's my superpower! But you might need to ask what support would help me to ensure I can give of my best for you!