What helps?



Fostering Success
I believe all people with Dyslexia who work hard and are given the right help should be able to learn to read and spell at the very least to a level where they can get by. Most of us who have Dyslexia will never be super-fast readers or brilliant at spelling and grammar. Much help is available in the form of various apps; for instance, spell checkers, grammar checkers, text-to-speech programs, etc. Many people with Dyslexia are gifted. However gifted, or not, everyone deserves the opportunities to make the most of their abilities.


A Matter of Confidence
  • It is of paramount importance that child with Dyslexia has their confidence built up through positive encouragement. An enormous amount of damage can be done to a child's confidence when a teacher/parent/etc. makes careless, frustrated or ill judged comments. It is all to easy to destroy a child's self-esteem. It can take a very long time for a child or adult's self-esteem to be rebuilt.
  • I find describing my Dyslexia is often the best way to create mutual understanding and respect. There are some advantages to being Dyslexic for instance many of us have very good design and spatial skills. Like everyone, people with Dyslexia need to find what they enjoy and are good at so they can build on the positives.


Coping with Dyslexia
  • Get official diagnosis as soon as possible (through the child's local education authority). By the age of 8 or 9 years old it should be clear if a child has Dyslexia as opposed to 'just' being a 'late starter'. Children who have not attained reasonable literacy by the time they reach secondary school are most likely to have a very difficult time.
  • Find a way of getting the special educational help designed for Dyslexia; this is usually the quickest way for a person with Dyslexia to learn. It is never too late to start to overcome Dyslexia; even adults can significantly improve with the right help.
  • Do not give up trying to learn to read and write. Although it is hard work eventually all the effort should result in success.
  • Join a local society/group for people with Dyslexia and get the latest news and advice in your area.
  • Do not be afraid to ask people to repeat verbal instructions, write things down for you, read things to you, etc.
  • It maybe worth investigating whether the Dyslexia is being compounded by another condition, these commonly include Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Asperser's Syndrome, ADHD.


Practical Tips - things which help me
Note: not all of these relate to everybody who has Dyslexia
  • Being taught in a systematic manner to read and spell using phonetics and related rules.
  • Extra time in exams to read questions and write my answers.
  • Realising that I suffered from Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome
  • I cannot block out extraneous noise therefore I need to be in a quiet place while working.
  • I sit at the front of classrooms where I am less distracted by the people around me.
  • Using a computer helps in so many ways:
    • it is easier for me to type than write
    • spelling and grammar check facilities are invaluable
    • using emails rather than struggling with the telephone
    • various computer games have improved my typing skills and eye-hand coordination, etc.
  • Being encouraged to achieve despite my difficulties.
  • Lots and lots and lots and, ... , ... , lots of hard work!


Things which did not help me
  • Being shouted at, laughed at, or called stupid by my school teachers did not improve my literacy but instead destroyed my self-esteem.
  • Trying to read using the 'Look and Say' method was completely hopeless (my parents eventually taught me about phonetics which enormously improved my reading/writing).
  • Being taught in remedial classes which were aimed at pupils with a lower than average intelligence; the remedial classes I attended did not account for my Dyslexia.
  • Trying to learn by rote is nearly impossible for me because I only remember the concept and do not remember the actual words!
  • Similarly trying to remember how to spell words for a school test was also a complete disaster. In search of patterns in the letters I would create artificial patterns which had nothing to do with 'reading' or 'spelling' in the conventional sense!