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Life Through A Lens

Hi Im Nate And, I Have Learning Difficulties

Learning is a fundamental aspect of human existence. It is the foundation of our personal, professional, and social growth. However, for some people, learning can be a challenging experience. I am one of those people. Hi, I'm Nate, and I have learning difficulties. And in this blog post, I want to share with you my experiences and offer some insights into the world of learning difficulties.
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My Introduction

Nate Lansdell - Dyslexia Artist Of 2023 Finalist
A Smile A Day Photography - Dyslexia Awards 2023 Finalist - Artist Of The Year - Nate Lansdell

This blog post is deeply personal, and rather long but I really hope that by sharing my story I can help bring to life me as a person and encourage you to trust me and work with me, but also demonstrate and show to those who also struggle that by following your dreams you can achieve anything you want.

As a child, I struggled in school. While my classmates found it easy to grasp concepts and learn new things and embrace school culture, I found myself struggling to keep up. I found school difficult, it didn’t matter how many hours I would study, the information just wouldn’t stick, I also found making friends difficult because I acted different, It was hugely frustrating, and it made me feel like a failure.

I went onto college where I was diagnosed with Dyslexia, but as i grew older I found other areas a struggle and when I decided to return to education and work towards my degree, I was further diagnosed with dyscalculia and dyspraxia. 

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics

Dyspraxia is condition affecting movement and coordination

So, what are Learning Difficulties?

Learning difficulties refer to a range of conditions that affect a person’s ability to learn, process information, and communicate effectively. These conditions can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental factors, or brain injury. Learning difficulties can manifest in various ways, such as difficulty with reading, writing, or math, as well as challenges with memory, attention, and communication.

My Experience with Learning Difficulties

For me, learning difficulties have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I’m constantly battling it day in and day out. I notice in my business world that I’m often perceived as either childish or lazy, and I seem to lose work because emails and letters are full of mistakes and grammar issues and it looks unprofessional and as if I have rushed to reply or don’t care about the reply, and with the clientele I work with “accuracy and professionalism is important for my image”

My biggest struggles are understanding concepts of English, the difference between there and their, or remembering to put a comma. In my brain I am functioning normally, it cannot see the mistake, and if cannot see the mistake, you cannot fix it.

I often struggle to read and complete tasks, I am constantly mixing up letters and words, and writing is a daunting task because I am always misspelling words or leaving out letters. How many of my business colleges have noticed how I haven’t finished a sentence, its not from a lack of attention but its because in my head, I have done that sentence and moved on.

This struggle obviously puts a huge strain on your mental health as well, because your constantly battling this monster who likes to play tricks on you, making you feel inadequate and stupid, I am very open about my mental health and I suffer from both depression and anxiety, I recently did a big event at the Peterborough Biscuit and suffered horrendous panic attacks because I had an overwhelming surge of failure, that I was not good enough to have a exhibition stand or take photos. I went on to complete the exhibition and walked away proud of my accomplishments, but drained from the fight.

So How was I Diagnosed

My learning difficulties was picked up in college. My school was terrible, they just didn’t care, we were a number to them, it was a substitute teacher at my college who noticed. I hadn’t even heard of dyslexia, and I remember saying to her, “yes miss in thick don’t worry” She then told me off and explained about learning difficulties and booked me in with a disability psychologist to have me tested, from that test I was diagnosed with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.

To diagnose, your put through several rigorous tests, these are tests set out at psychological standards with a trained professional who specialise in learning difficulties, Ive popped a couple of snippets of my test results below. (Im open and happy to share)

Coping with My Learning Difficulties

Learning difficulties can be frustrating, but I always to to find ways to cope with them, even making fun of them. One of the most important things is to find a supportive environment, and to talk about the difficulties like in this post.

I always tell people of my difficulties not for attention but because I want them to understand that I am a professional person, independent with a relatively strong personality, and if they can just overlook the simple grammar issues and slightly overexcited nature of my personality then I am a perfect fit for their business.

In addition to a supportive environment, I found that breaking tasks into smaller pieces and taking frequent breaks helped me to focus better. I also found that using visual aids, such as diagrams and charts, helped me to understand complex concepts better, I don’t really read properly but I find watching videos and being hands on with a task lets me complete it easier.

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Overcoming Challenges

Living with learning difficulties can be challenging, but it is not impossible to overcome. For me, the key has been to focus on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. While I may struggle with reading and writing, I excel in other areas, such as my photography. By focusing on my strengths, I have been able to build my confidence and find success, I am also very lucky to have a great network of people surrounding me who respect my struggles, and help me push forward, encouraging me to never give up.

The Importance of Understanding Learning Difficulties

I wrote this because, well I want to explain to future clients to trust me and that although my correspondence is full of holes, I am still awesome, But I also wanted to highlight that learning difficulties are often misunderstood, and this can lead to stigma and discrimination. It is essential to understand that people with learning difficulties are just as capable as anyone else. With the right support and resources, they can achieve great things, I see it all the time, with companies misunderstanding a person’s intelligence because they maybe don’t read very well, struggle to complete task, or come across as lazy, we just need to understand that there are humans and everyone is different, just give those people time to nurture and they will flourish into amazing humans.

That’s A Wrap

Living with learning difficulties can be a rollercoaster of emotions. It can be frustrating, overwhelming, and discouraging at times. But it can also be rewarding, inspiring, and transformative. It has taught me to never give up on my dreams and to believe in myself. I hope that by sharing my story, I have inspired others to do the same and to embrace other and their unique abilities.

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