I had a free video chat with a potential student the other day. While chatting to her I asked if she was dyslexic. It turns out that she is. As I diagnose dyslexia and ASD in children, I find it frustrating how the education system still maintains either a great deal of reluctance to even acknowledge dyslexia or just ignorance of the subject. As a result, many otherwise bright kids are being left behind and often feel alienated. It is truly heart-breaking, as this can often lead to mental health problems, such as depression as children feel rejected. I have had to battle with LEA’s on behalf of desperate parents. Even when searching for learning resources online for dyslexic children, most of the so-called experts remained ignorant of dyslexia. I had to explain to them that not all dyslexics are the same and that the materials they were providing neglect to grasp that dyslexic children cannot read, so the material was invalid. There still seems to be this outdated stigma of treating dyslexic children as stupid. It would be interesting to hear what other tutors have experienced? I also have some resources to share if anyone would be interested.
I’ve worked with a lot of dyslexic kids, and I’ve found the main problem seems to be people lowering the bar, rather than supporting students os that they can achieve their potential. I’ve had so many students say ‘I can’t do that, I’m dyslexic’ but in reality, with the right structure and support, they can. Our head of English was dyslexic, which really helped too, to be fair! She understood it well and students saw what they could achieve.
I think a lot of the problem is that teachers currently have way too much going on to provide the best support for all needs. I’ve taught classes in school that have 34+ students (I heard of 40+ too), and each class with such a huge range of needs that the teacher just can’t realistically support efficiently. One of my classes before I left schools had 32 high ability students. I had 5 dyslexic kids, 4 autistic, 1 narcoleptic, 3 EAL and 3 SEMH, all with varying needs, all in one room. All those students needed adaptations to the lessons, and I also had to stretch and challenge throughout the class. I did my best, a most teachers are, but it just can’t be done thoroughly and well and consistently with large class sizes, no matter how well educated teachers are about different SEN needs.
I had one low ability class of 18 and 1 dyslexic girl managed to go up to the next set because I was able to really help and support her, raising the bar to her potential. It was amazing. It was only possible because I had the time to do it well.
Educating is always useful (so definitely share any resources, it’s always great to learn as much as possible! Thank you! ) but I try to keep in mind the current challenges for teachers in schools. The whole system needs a good shake up really.
Yeah, it’s definitely true that teachers don’t have the time or resources they would like to have to spend on individual students. It’s too easy to blame them when it is the system that’s at fault. It must be equally heart-breaking for the teachers at times. The scenario you describe demonstrates the incredible pressures on teachers. But, as you indicated, it’s also a matter of self-esteem and helping individual kids have more confidence in themselves. If a child knows that someone has faith in them, they’ll carry that with them throughout their lives.
Totaly agree I am mother to a dyslexic student and have taught many and have been frustrated by our education testing system because these are intelligent kids. My son has now achieved but a struggle to pass formal exams, What I like about teaching langauages is every one started at Year 7 - sorry primary languages - and sen and dyslexic studets were on same level with everyone else and their confidence grew which is why ALL students should learn MFL. It is difficult to meet diverse needs but we shoulsdalways aim to do so.
That’s right. As you said Manda, many dyslexic kids are very bright. They are denied their potential just because they are dyslexic. I always believed that nature creates balance, so whatever anyone be lacking, nature compensates for it, eg. a blind person may have sharp hearing or be an excellent artist. What do you think?