Dyspraxia In the workplace
Dyspraxia in the workplace:
Rosie Edmondson’s story
“Over the last two years, I went literally to hell and back as I was trapped in an environment full of ignorance and old fashioned views.”
Rosie Edmondson was diagnosed with dyspraxia from a very young age but has recently opened up to speak about her story and experiences of living with the condition. The 27-year-old learning support assistant from London has had a torrid time as she has started out in her career and has uncovered how ignorant and discriminatory certain workplaces can be.
Originally from Burnley, Rosie attended the University of Cumbria, where it was also discovered she had dyslexic traits. Despite these conditions, she had her sights set on becoming a teacher. In her second year, she went out on a work placement and was bitterly disappointed and upset with how it went.
She said: “My employers weren’t understanding of my condition and there was no support in place for me. It really dented my confidence, but I wanted to prove people wrong and carried on to graduate and then get a Masters.”
Rosie went on to get a job as a teaching assistant in a local school where she worked for nearly two years. However, this was not the positive experience that she had been hoping for. During her time there, Rosie came under pressure from other staff and was put down for her spelling and grammatical errors. The workload was tough and she felt as if there were no positives.
“I was made to believe that I was stupid, worthless, couldn't do my job properly, a bad role model for the kids and that was only the ‘banter’ they said to my face – much more emotional bullying went on behind my back. It made me lose all my confidence and self-worth. I stopped doing things I was capable of because I was being told so much that I couldn't do things - I started to believe I was incapable of doing anything.”
“The emotional effect it had, not only on me, but with my relationship and my family was intense and terrible. I went from a positive person to someone who was in a dark negative spiral feeling trapped and completely worthless about myself and life in general.”
In October 2014, Rosie made the decision to move in with her boyfriend in London and found a job as a learning support assistant and is happier than she ever has been. Her current boss is dyslexic and is fully understanding and supportive of people working with these conditions.
It is clear from Rosie’s story that more needs to be done in some workplaces to raise awareness of those with dyspraxia. The Dyspraxia Foundation is doing sterling work to raise awareness and will be hosting a number of events and workshops that people can attend. This will start with a conference on the 6th March in Birmingham – at which Rosie will be talking more about her experience.
Rosie changed her negative experiences into positive ones and is now looking to help others in a similar situation. Using her creative strengths, she continues to write a blog about living with dyspraxia called ‘Thinking outside the box’ and it is well worth a read: