I am a Dyslexic, Dyslexia Tutor currently working at The Working Men’s College and The Central Royal School of Speech and Drama both of which are located in London. I knew I was dyslexic from junior school but at the time there was not much understanding or support for dyslexic students and by the time I left school my confidence in my abilities were so shattered that that it took me until my 40’s to build up the courage to embark on a fulltime degree. There are two labels that are often associated with dyslexic people, that they are stupid and lazy. I have been in some form of education since leaving school on 1979, which I think puts pay to lazy and I am sure my drive to educate myself and be the first in my family to embark on a degree was in no small part to the other label, stupid.
Many of the students I now work with have had the similar experiences to myself and were labelled as I was, but it does not have to be this way. With an understanding of what it means to be dyslexic and how this can impact processing detrimentally it is possible to not only succeed but to excel in any environment you choose. A key to this is a systematic support structure in education that has an understanding of the difficulties dyslexic people can experience and encourages the use of dyslexic strengths to mitigate against those difficulties. Where these systems are not available the next most effective strategy is for the person with dyslexia to arm themselves with the understanding of their strengths and weaknesses so that they can advocate for themselves and others. Knowledge is power and with dyslexic people over-represented in successful careers as entrepreneurs, artists and architects ect. and at the other end of the scale in prison it is time for us to raise our collective voice. We need to pull together to raise the dyslexic profile so that we can all achieve our potential.
Cheri Shone: Specialist Dyslexia Tutor ADSHEQA30
BSc Hons Psyc, Dip Counselling Skills, PGCE Adult Dyslexia Tuition