What do Orlando Bloom, Walt Disney, Keira Knightly and Albert Einstein all have in common? They’re all dyslexics.
It’s Dyslexia Awareness Week from 2nd to 8th October 2023 and the British Dyslexia Association is celebrating with the theme of ‘Uniquely You’.
Although attitudes and understanding of the condition have changed over recent years, there are still many who struggle with how dyslexia affects their lives.
Over 6 million individuals in the UK have dyslexia and may not have received a diagnosis.
Dyslexia is a spectrum disorder – meaning that everyone’s experience of it is different, and they develop different ways to cope and work with it throughout their lives in education and through careers.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.2009 Rose report
Dyslexia affects 10% of the population. And I’m a part of that neurodiverse statistic. I used to be weary of sharing the fact that I’m dyslexic but honestly I’m quite proud of my unique brain.
Looking back, I had quite classic signs of dyslexia, but having grown up in a bilingual schooling system in Wales I think my struggles with dyslexia were dismissed as laziness and dealing with the use of the English and Welsh languages which clash significantly in their structures.
I found this frustrating as a teenager, going through GCSEs and A levels as I felt I tried so hard and yet I was often told I simply wasn’t trying hard enough.
Despite these struggles I have made a living most of my life writing – I clearly love to challenge myself!
Teaching With Dyslexia
Teaching as a dyslexic can bring unique challenges (correctly spelling on the spot was one that got me!) but also means that you have a sensitivity and insight into pupils’ struggles with literacy. There’s a fantastic blog full of wonderful advice and insight from dyslexic teacher Matthew Friday here.
Dyslexic Teaching Resources
There are many fantastic resources available online to support students with dyslexia including seminars and advice.