March 15, 2024

Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024 – Steven’s Story

Neurodiversity Celebration Week Share Your Story Steven

To celebrate Neurodiversity Celebration Week this week, we asked colleagues to share their stories with us. Today we are honoured to share Steven’s story. Steven Ryles is an Associate for Design at Concertus.

What type of neurodiversity do you have?

Severe dyslexia

How have you found navigating the workplace as neurodivergent?

I did not realise I had dyslexia until I started university and got a formal test and diagnosis. Turns out it is more common in design-based jobs. This helped me to not only work through the general challenges I was facing with my university work but helped me to identify the coping mechanisms I have used through school to just scrap through my A-Levels.

By the time I finished university and started working in construction, it was clear that I had managed to find ways of working through the hurdles dyslexia poses, with very few people ever really noticing, apart from my odd smelling!

What strengths and skills do you feel your neurodiversity has enhanced for you in the workplace?

Dyslexia is just the gap between your knowledge/thinking skills to your reading/writing skills. It just means that our brains are wired differently but it means we can sometimes think outside the box on logic or spatial problems others may not see.

Are there any common misconceptions or stereotypes you would like to address?

People with dyslexia can’t read or write! We most certainly can (otherwise I wouldn’t be able to put this answer together) we just go about it in different ways, and it may take a few more attempts than others. Technology and the software we use have gone a long way to make this much easier for everyone.

Do you have any advice or insights you would like to share with others who may have a similar neurodiversity?

People class dyslexia as a disability, I do understand this (although it doesn’t qualify you for a blue badge, I tried!) but I don’t see it that way. If you know that you have it, there are so many systems and people out there who can help you to understand it. I find ways to work with it and not against it. It’s boring being the same as everyone else!

Thank you for sharing your story, Steven!