‘DON’T LET IT STOP YOU’: Apprentice of the year conquers dyslexia
WHEN Terease Wallace looks at a word, her head only sees a jumble.
Mrs Wallace has severe dyslexia, meaning she can spell words backwards and not even know it.
Only being diagnosed with the disability well past her school years, the classroom was never her friend.
“It knocked around my confidence, if you looked at me against someone who was normal, I didn’t even come close to them,” she said.
“It didn’t mean I wasn’t as intelligent.
“I have an incredible memory and I work incredibly hard but they didn’t understand.”
The experience left her so disheartened she swore she would never return to school again.
Yet, years later, when her husband encouraged her to get a trade certification, Mrs Wallace conquered her fears and re-enrolled.
“I was very transparent and they said it was different now. And they were right,” she said.
With the help of teachers who accommodated her learning disability, Mrs Wallace blitzed her courses, scoring 100 per cent in her capstone project.
She was named TAFE Queensland’s Outstanding Apprentice of The Year.
“If you asked me five or 10 years ago, it wasn’t even on the radar,” she said.
“The goal does mean a lot to me and has given me, academically, confidence I would never get to.”
Mrs Wallace has a message for those who halted their education journey because of disabilities.
“Don’t let it stop you from bettering your skills,” she said.
“Even if you’ve never gone back to get additional skills, don’t let it stop you from trying.”