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Dyslexia – two sides of a coin

16th October 2020

Friday again, hello! This week I have been looking at the two arguments of a debate (hear enough of that in the government at the moment), differing points of view, the flipside, two sides of a story etc.

In dyslexia terms, the age old debate seems to continue ……

To label or not to label??? That is the question

The answer, who knows? There are different points of view whoever you speak to. What is yours?

I read an article this week – The Guardian, The long read, The battle over dyslexia 17/9/20

This looks at whether ‘dyslexia’ should be a recognised thing at all. Should there be this name/this label? 

Have a look if you are interested. It goes into more detail about the hotly contested issue. I will highlight some views for you…..

“Bottom line is that if you know someone who’s really had an extremely tough time because of this difficulty … then I think they deserve to have a name,” Snowling said, pointing out that labelling helps people explain to themselves “why they seem to be so stupid”. Margaret Snowling, a professor of psychology based at Oxford University. 

Julian Elliott, a professor of education at Durham University, view:

“People say a dyslexia diagnosis is useful, so you can look a child in the eye and tell them that they aren’t stupid, and it isn’t their fault. But what about the kids who aren’t dyslexic? Are they lazy and stupid? What we should say to every kid who is struggling to read is that it’s not their fault. You shouldn’t need a diagnosis to say that.”

It seems, although they debate about the ‘label’, they agree what matters is that children believe in themselves and get support.

The article discusses the division of wealth and parent participation. That more special educational needs Tribunals are taking place. Parents fighting to get the best for their child which takes a lot of cost and effort. Now, most parents would do anything for their children but not all have the finances to carry on with the battle. What happens to the children who can not afford the private tuition, private diagnosis and legal battles? The ones that don’t get the diagnosis and therefore the support?

Helen Boden, chair of the BDA, argues for the provision of specialist dyslexia teachers in all UK schools, and screening all children for dyslexia.

Please look at this link and sign the petition for a very good cause.

I would say, whether there is a ‘label’ or not, there needs to be support for all children who have difficulty in learning to read and write. 

An understanding of the difficulties by the teachers and the individuals themselves. Even if you were diagnosed a ‘dyslexic’, you would have different strengths and weaknesses to other diagnosed ‘dyslexics’. 

Getting to know the individual/yourself is THE most important thing to help develop a person into what they are supposed to become. Become the best version of yourself, why not?

There will always be academic arguments and personal viewpoints but don’t let them get in the way of simply getting to know the individual and doing it their/your way.

Here he is again. Never can have too many inspirational quotes!

Back to the two sides of a coin thing, your weaknesses can also be your strengths.

Our world is 3D, its full of objects which are tangible and have different sides to them. But in school it does seem a more 2D world, full of flat words and numbers on a page or screen. 

It has been found that a recognised advantage of some dyslexic brains is the ability to think in 3D to have good visual spatial awareness.  To have an idea and see it in their minds and ‘walk around it’ even before they put pen to paper. 

Einstein saw his theories in his mind whilst ‘daydreaming’, how many times has a person been gently reminded not to ‘daydream’ whilst in a class.  There is a time and a place for everything.

Apparently (not that I am an expert in this), I hear we are all born also seeing the mirror image of things which helps to make sense of the world. Seeing things from all perspectives.

A duck is a duck when seen in mirror image. 

Robinstyle photos

BUT certain letters and numbers seen in mirror image lose their meaning, b and d for example.

Even the mirror image of left and right hands and feet, gloves and socks can cause a problem.

Robinstyle photos

Most people through experience, tuition and repetition learn to discard this mirror image and recognise the true image. However, some find this more difficult and can result in the continued reversal of letters and words. 

What is a barrier in the 2D world is an advantage in the 3D world. Enhanced visual spatial skills, being able to see an image in your mind and rotate it. Not everyone has that ability. If you do, celebrate it, it will come in very useful.

Learning those 2D words still need to be done though to make more sense of the world. Think about making those letters 3D, for example foam letters or magnetic letters. Physically get hold of them, turn them around, see what happens. Making individual personal connections to words always helps in remembering them. Associate them to your interests or add humour. Visual prompt cards, colour coded, using little rhymes or pictures. Get to know what works best for you. Although its tedious, repetition is the key. But make it less tedious by adding fun different elements each time. 

Remember aways allow time to do more of what you are good at, reap the benefits of feeling great about it. Then tackle the harder stuff with more confidence and do it your way.

Any comments, questions or feedback are greatly appreciated. Take care, see you next Friday.


5 thoughts on “Dyslexia – two sides of a coin

  1. thank you I found that very useful. I too had read the long read guardian article and felt it missed the point that in the end there are 28-30% of people who dont just see the 2d and learn to read and write like the rest of the class. so we really must cater for both types of learners and not make it such a battle for each kid and each family.

    I will enjoy reading your other blogs! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. I think it’s so important to build confidence and to do that we need to be positive. Sign up for the blogs, I will be posting every Friday. If you have any questions or wish me to discuss anything in particular please let me know. Enjoy your weekend x


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