A Helicopter View

This year, Dyslexia Week gives us a chance to celebrate some amazing success stories. Debra Charles is one of the many entrepreneurs who have dyslexia. Her time at Newport Girls’ High School was not happy:  ‘People used to say, ‘For goodness’ sake, you’re so thick sometimes’, and I believed it.’ Nevertheless, she had the skills and determination that led to a successful career working with Westinghouse in robotics and with Apple technology.

She is now CEO of her own smartcard technology firm Novacroft. The big breakthrough came in 2002 when she won a contract with Transport for London.  Here her skills have made a tangible difference: ‘In the early days it would take a student 48 days to get a card to travel round London. We have reduced that to 24 hours.’

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“Creative, Successful, Dyslexic” new book by Margaret Rooke

Jessica Kingsley Publishers have produced a book by Margaret Rooke providing inspirational real-life stories of successful people who just happen to have dyslexia. Twenty-three well known people from the arts, sport and business worlds describe the effect of being dyslexic on their lives, from difficulties and challenges at school to leading them to discovering their potential in other areas of life. Darcey Bussell, Sir Richard Branson and Eddie Izzard amongst others, talk openly about the challenges they have faced and overcome and the help and support they needed and received along the way.

Dyslexia Action’s Dyslexia Awareness Week Events 2015

Dyslexia Action are marking DAW this year by sharing useful information on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages to raise awareness. You can see what they share by visiting their website www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DyslexiaAction  or follow their Twitter feed here https://twitter.com/dyslexiaaction
Dyslexia Awareness Week (DAW) 2015 will be held from October 5-11 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland it will be held from November 2-8.
They are also running their No Pens Wednesday on 7th October with The Communication Trust.
The day encourages schools to put down their pens and run a day of speaking and listening activities to develop students’ speech, language and communication skills. To find out more go to http://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/projects/no-pens-day-wednesday/

Child back at school. So, how’s it going?

‘Back to school and now the meltdowns will start every evening,’ so says the mother of a 12 year old boy with dyslexia and dyspraxia. School can be a sad and lonely place for a child, especially for one who is in any way different. When this mother put her comment on the web, many parents suggested changing schools. That is certainly one option worth considering but change can be stressful and in any case most children have friends they would have to leave behind.

It is vital that children find their feet socially otherwise their academic work will suffer. Unfortunately children with dyspraxia and dyslexia often take longer to process ideas and may have poor co-ordination. In the competitive world of school they may feel the outsider, the last to be picked for sports, the one who slows down the team in quizzes.  Sometimes children with dyslexia get put into a lower set and may ‘get in with the wrong crowd’ and then struggle to escape it. If you suspect that this is the case, talk to teachers and see if your child can be moved to other groups

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Singing From the Same Song Sheet

Everybody loves a freebie and the good people at the recent special needs conference and exhibition in Bolton were no exception. The event, known as nasen Live, is an annual fixture at the football stadium and attracts teachers, Sencos, trainers, learning support staff and a considerable number of dyslexia specialists. It is a two day event run by the National Association of Special Educational Needs and its intention is to make sure that professionals have the information and contacts they need to make sure their school, college, academy or university is up to date with legislation changes and developments in good practice.

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Dyslexia not linked to eyesight?

Today on the BBC News website there was an article that researchers claim that Dyslexia is not linked to eyesight.  After carrying out eye tests on more than 5,800 children, they did not find any differences in the vision of those with dyslexia. That is good but then it went on to say that

This raises doubts about the value of using coloured overlays or lenses to help dyslexic children with reading.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-32836733

Somehow they have missed the point. This is what Moira Thomson MBE the Educational Director of CPD Bytes has to say.

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How to support pupils with SEND

Are your teachers and TA’s up-to-date on how to support pupils with SEND in the classroom? If not, then you need to know about CPD Bytes. Learn online at your own pace, in your own home, the time and cost efficient way.

Alasdair Andrew tells us more about the company he helped to found and what it can offer you and your teaching staff.

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