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DYSLEXIA SUCCESS: A Survival Guide for Dyslexic Students studying in Higher Education

‘Dyslexia’ has nothing to do with your intelligence, your diet, lifestyle, the colour of your skin or your family background – It is just how your brain works. Your way is not the wrong way, just different. 

Too many people wrongly assume that being Dyslexic means that you just have a ‘reading and writing problem’, that Dyslexics are lazy, stupid or just don’t work or try hard enough.

This is simply not the case at all!

– Being Dyslexic is only a ‘problem’ if you allow it to be!

The traits associated with each and every Dyslexic are entirely unique and you will therefore have your own individual challenges as well as a range of strengths that will not only allow you to thrive at university, but your many strengths will also make you a force to be reckoned with in your chosen professional career!

It was monumentally revealed that GCHQ anti-terror chiefs actively recruit Neurodivergent people such as Dyslexics and Autistics for their exceptional ability in cracking codes, analyzing complex data, deciphering facts from patterns or events and for their unflagging creativity and perception.

Reaching graduation will more than likely be tough – Just don’t give up on yourself! You’ve got this.

What makes me so sure?

Simple – Neurodivergent thinkers have not only become world leaders in business, been monumental to political history, film and literature but they have also made significant contributions to the creation and development of innovative technology in society.

Just look at the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, the amazing Kelly Hoppen and Theo Paphitis, chef Jamie Oliver, designer Sir Paul Smith, businessman Charles Shwab, Oprah Winfrey, inventors Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison to name a few.

You can quite literally be whoever you want to be

– Carve your own path, be successful in your own right using your amazing brain, your own innovative ideas, and put that innate ‘graft’ of yours to work until you reach the top of your game!


According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency there are currently in excess of 100,000+ identified dyslexic students in Higher Education in the UK so you are not alone! Often not picked up until university when faced with the demands of HE study. 

Some students can struggle with:

  • Organising and prioritising workload
  • Clearly expressing ideas in writing and structuring essays
  • Working quickly under pressure or even getting started!
  • Concentration (especially with background noise)
  • keeping up with reading and navigating the library index
  • Interpreting written instructions or remembering spoken ones
  • Maintaining focus whilst reading research journals
  • Taking useful notes
  • Retaining and recalling information from lectures and often from books
  • Proofreading assignments
  • Confidence and self-esteem

Sound worrying?

You have made it this far so don’t stop now!

Many of these difficulties are experienced by all students, Neurotypical and Neurodivergent alike. Being at university in itself is a learning curve for all students in many ways. You are studying in Higher Education to get a degree, of course, but you will also develop a range of skills that will allow you to hit the ground running as you begin your professional career.

Give it everything you have got, dig deep, and even if it does mean working that little bit harder than your peers, making a few more sacrifices, pulling a few more all ‘nighters’ to hit your deadlines, take up the challenge and look forward to that immense feeling of pride as you walk across that stage during your graduation ceremony!

Written by Sarah Chapman, Founder and CEO, Operation Diversity

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Sarah Chapman’s Story…

My name is Sarah Chapman. I am a neurodivergent 36 year old mother of four, Founder & CEO of Operation Diversity (my

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