Education Matters, Tunbridge Wells

Expert, sympathetic tuition and educational consultancy.


Dyslexia is something of a catch-all term. Many educational psychologists even question the use of the word and prefer to talk about specific learning disabilities or SLDs

The classification of difficulties with literacy as a disability can sound alarming, but, if a qualified educational psychologist has assessed a student as suffering from SLD, it may bring significant advantages such as extra help at school or more time to complete examinations and assessments.

What is certain is that there is no single, reliable way of dealing with the problem - hence the use of the word specific. The range of difficulties experienced is enormous. Reading may be slow and arduous, but writing skills good. Equally the reverse may apply, and some fluent and avid readers have great difficulty with spelling or sentence construction

Since there is no magic wand, the only way to help is to apply patience and understanding, trial and error, sensitivity and experience. Success depends on identifying clues to what will help a particular learner overcome his or her difficulties. Then we can begin to release the potential which has previously been thwarted, not just by the dyslexia or SLD itself, but also by the inhibitions and psychological barriers which grow up around it.

I certainly cannot claim to have a cure, but many of my dyslexic students have gone on to do as well as or better than their peers.

With a combination of specific exercises, confidence building and careful guidance they can learn to develop strategies which allow them to apply their strengths to overcoming their weaknesses.

This is not a cure, but it does allow young people to fulfil more of their potential and, in the long term, lead much more satisfying lives.

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Watch this space - more coming soon.