Nigel Gasper

Dyslexia is just a condition, not a handicap.

I was diagnosed by a MOM psychologist as dyslexic in primary 4. I was enrolled in DAS until secondary 2. I chose to pursue the N-levels academic stream although PSLE results qualified me for the express stream. In my secondary school days, studying was not easy for me. I would always get borderline passes even though I had put in my best effort. Thankfully, I managed to achieve the top 10 per cent of the cohort and was thus able to qualify for the Poly foundation program (PFP)

Things all changed when I entered Polytechnic. I started to do well, and this inspired me to work harder. Through my years in Polytechnic, I managed to get the Director’s Roll of honour every semester since year 1. Besides that, I was awarded two module prize and two scholarships. This is all thanks to the teachers and lecturers who supported me from my primary school days till now.

During my time in Republic Polytechnic, I had the opportunity to participate and lead in a few service-learning projects. It gave me a chance to apply what I have learnt such as perseverance, and I used my knowledge to help others. One such project which I led was an Amazing Race event for members of Care Conner, a children services organisation.

I have not let dyslexia hinder me in learning new skills, by taking up an opportunity to learn AutoCAD during 2015. It was a new experience for me, and even though it was not easy, I knew that I could apply what I have gained from the course to my future.

Besides focusing on academics, I was also involved in the bowling CCA. I joined the Bowling CCA in 2013 and have been a member until I graduated from Polytechnic in 2016. Bowling is an interesting sport as even though it is played individually, it is considered a team sport. During my time in this CCA, I competed in a few competitions. This sport thought me many values such as perseverance and courage.

Since 2012 till now, I have been helping in my church’s Sunday school, which caters to primary levels students. I help in organising activities for children and assisting in the teaching of religious classes. I helped with the Christmas pageants, once as the pageant director and once as the logistics coordinator. After I had graduated from Sunday School as a student, I gave back by helping in their youth camps as a facilitator and handling logistics. I have also taken on the role of person-in-charge of a camp with over 100 participants.

All that I have done thus far seemed impossible for me when I was a young boy struggling with dyslexia. I never dreamt that with my “disability”, I would be able to do all that I have achieved so far, and I look forward with courage and confidence to do even more. The most important value I have gained is the belief in myself.

I now have a passion to pass on what I have learnt to others who are suffering from the same challenges which I went through.

Dyslexia is just a condition, not a handicap.

Read Nigel’s story here