When I was only 7 years old my parents found out that I had dyslexia, immediately they sent me for numerous tests to see the extent to the diagnosis. They were told that I had a 15 mark discrepancy between my verbal and non-verbal IQ. I never understood what was wrong with me until I reached Grade 2, where concentrating, reading and understanding became a problem.

My parents immediately got me on to the NILD program, where my life would change completely. At first I thought I was being punished, but soon realized that it was completely the opposite, I was being taught in a whole new way. The battle to keep up with my school homework and the NILD homework became overwhelming at times, but I knew that it was preparing me for something more, something greater.

Through NILD I gained a fighting and determined spirit, as my confidence had wasted away in class.

I soon loved all the activities and exercises I was given, and only later on would realize the extent of it all.

After 5 years of NILD, working hard to overcome the odds, I was forced to stop. It was a sad day, as I had grown to love and respect the program and of course my teacher. From then I started to consciously put into practice what I had learnt, which got me through High school. I remember having to memorise paragraphs in Therapy to help my short term memory and improve my listening skills.  My maths improved in high school and I was miles ahead of my class due to all the shape building activities I had done in NILD. My reading didn’t improve drastically, as I hated it and couldn’t stand public or private reading, because I couldn’t understand anything that I was reading. I didn’t see the point. My main problem was articulating myself clearly, or even at all. As soon as the teacher asked a question I knew the answer to, I went blank – I couldn’t explain myself clearly or in time. This was a huge problem, and only improved through practice and building up my confidence, which NILD did for me.

As I look back on the time spent doing double the work of my classmates, I realized that I had grown strong in areas where they were weak, and throughout high school was reminded of the strength that I had gained in my earlier school days. NILD equipped me for life. I matriculated with 4 B’s and 3 C’s, with English language and Literature being in the B category. Soon after I left school, I discovered my love for reading and have fallen in love with reading and writing. I have started to write a children’s novel and a book empowering women facing challenges.

I am not defined by my disability, my disability has not conquered me; I have conquered it.  

Thank you NILD and many more thanks to my teacher and encourager, Leone Jenkinson.