More than 1 in 10 people have dyslexia but it is still often misunderstood. It is a learning difference which affects reading and writing but also has an impact on information processing and organisational skills. However, thinking differently can have many positive effects too. Many dyslexic people have strengths in creativity and reasoning.
Celebrating Strengths and Empowering Those With Dyslexia
Dyslexia Awareness Week (7-13 October) 2019 is designed to encourage schools and businesses to celebrate the strengths of individuals with dyslexia and empower them to achieve to their fullest. This year, the British Dyslexia Association is asking schools and workplaces to put aside half an hour to discuss and explore how to best empower those with dyslexia and to educate others around this topic.
In July, we shared Elodie Shemwood’s amazing video about her experiences with dyslexia and why we should see more characters with dyslexia in books at our Representations event. This would be a perfect video for sharing with pupils in assemblies or PHSE lessons as part of a discussion about the positive sides of having dyslexia. Thank you so much Elodie for this video and to Inclusive Minds to introducing us to Elodie through their Inclusion Ambassador Scheme!
Recommendations for Resources and Books for Students with Dyslexia
Barrington Stoke publish books that are super readable, meaning that everyone can enjoy a high quality story. The books are shorter than the average novel with double spacing, a dyslexia friendly font and good quality tinted paper which is heavy enough to stop the ‘ghost’ of the print coming through from the other side. Their books include those from award-winning authors, meaning that pupils can be reading works written by the same writers as their peers and the stories are unpatronising, aimed at the age of the reader and not their reading age.
Some of our favourites from the Barrington Stoke range are:
Norman the Norman from Normandy- Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Tom Morgan-Jones (5-8 years)
Shona, Word Detective- John Agard (8-12 years)
The Liar’s Handbook- Keren David (11+ years)
Grave Matter- Juno Dawson (14+ years)
Mind The Gap- Phil Earle (14+ years)
The Reading Realm app is designed to encourage a love of reading by immersing pupils in extracts from high quality literature. The app uses a dyslexia friendly font making it an accessible choice for use for individuals, classes or intervention groups. It’s a great way to get pupils to try a range of different books and get them hooked into wanting to read the whole text!
Maggot Moon- Sally Gardner
Maggot Moon is a great book for secondary age pupils. Standish Treadwell is bullied for the difficulties he has with reading and writing but he sees the world in a different way… and maybe this is what the world needs. Especially when the world you live in is a dystopian totalitarian led state with individuality and difference are crushed.
There is also an interactive i-book version where readers can see animated videos that replicate what it is like for some people to have dyslexia. This is a great article where Sally Gardner talks about her own experiences of dyslexia.
Let us know how you are starting conversations about dyslexia for Dyslexia Awareness Week.