Dealing with Dyslexia at University

ID-100103395Easyread mainly focuses on helping children in primary and secondary education reverse their reading difficulties.

But there are people with dyslexia (or reading difficulties not due to any intellectual disability) of all age groups. One of the most difficult stages of life for many dyslexics is university, especially in the humanities where reading hundreds of pages for one class is common. This often forces students to skim their way through text – and consequently lose quite a bit of comprehension.

Most universities around the English-speaking globe offer help through writing centres and student support services. However, the quality of that support varies widely. Read the stories of 3 college students here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-golden/learning-differences-in-c_b_5127165.html

Did you struggle with reading in university? Did you receive any support for it?

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for the Easyread System, an innovative online program for struggling readers with highly visual learning styles, dyslexia, auditory processing weakness, short-term memory weakness and more. www.easyreadsystem.com

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Enormous relief

As I mentioned to David when we last spoke, we are very pleased with how things are progressing. We have already seen a big improvement in Annabelle’s reading. She has moved up 3 levels in her reading books and is now able to decode words where before she would just give up.

She is still eager to do the lessons as they are fun and rewarding.

We look forward to seeing further improvements over the next 6 weeks. I have to admit, I was beginning to wonder if she would ever read and feel enormous relief to see her progress.

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Good news

Good news– A is using the characters to read words. He did great today with the lesson, sounding out the words using the characters instead of stumbling with the letters, and then surprised when he checks the letters and sees the strange non-matching letters. He is no longer guessing at all. He is starting to feel confident, too, and he feels that David is his friend. Crossing fingers that this program continues to be a great match for him!!

- A is on Lesson 7

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Famous Dyslexics: Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell, CBE, is best known for her two decade-long tenure as the leading lady of British ballet. More recently she joined the judging panel of Strictly Come Dancing.

And she is dyslexic.

498px-Darcey_BussellFrom a young age, school was a nightmare for Darcey. Dyslexia made reading and writing a constant frustration. She quickly fell behind.

“I might never have become a dancer had I not been dyslexic. I remember the desperation as a child that came with being unable to express myself. Teachers would say I was lazy and my mum would say, ‘She is definitely not.’ Then, when I was about nine, I was diagnosed and things fell into place. Expressing myself physically was always much easier – that is why I took up dancing.”

Coming relatively late to dance, Darcey fell in love with it. A life-long passion was born. She improved quickly, driven by her own desire to achieve and prove herself after so many years of difficulty in the classroom.

“I just wanted to impress my teachers. I only achieved anything because of gritting my teeth, being a bit stubborn and staying with it.”

At age 20, she began her professional career which has carried her to the top of the ballet world.

When she retired from the ballet at age 38 to focus on raising her two daughters, she returned to the reading and writing that had so plagued her decades earlier. She embarked on a new project: writing a book series! The Magic Ballerina books have been hugely successful. Have you read them?

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist at Oxford Learning Solutions, publishers of the Easyread System. Easyread is an innovative online course for struggling learners with highly visual learning styles, dyslexia, auditory processing disorders, and more. www.easyreadsystem.com

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Definitely recommend Easyread

Aidan has come on really well with Easyread. Although he has had his ups and downs with reading, he is now really motivated to do the lessons and he has spontaneously started reading food boxes, signs and picking up books on his own. He is proud of his achievements done with the Easyread program. The program has created a structure for us to keep at it and it is so much more interesting than books alone (particularly at this early stage). He loves the games. I have been amazed at his spelling ability, which we could not have known from his school writing exercises. We will definitely keep going all the way to the end. I really appreciate how it keeps us organised and on task. The help is perfect for us, not too much, not too little. I would definitely recommend easy read for any child learning to read.
Thank you!!

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Leaps and bounds

Aidan has come on leaps and bounds recently. A few weeks ago, he seemed to have a set back. I think it had something to do with a friend of his who was comparing their reading. But he seems to have gotten past that and is very motivated to read again and do the easy read lessons. He is spontaneously trying to read out on the street and boxes of food etc.
He doesn’t resist the eye tracking either. So all in all I think things are going extremely well.

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Starting to read signs!

H is now reading simple books by herself and is trying to decode more complex words as well. I tend not to notice day-to-day that things have changed, but she will suddenly read a word or a sign and then I realise just how much she has learned! For example, last weekend, we were driving and as we approached a roundabout, there was a small sign on one corner. It said, “Winter Obstacle Mud Race” and she just blurted it out. It took me a second to process that she had just read it and announced it to us!

Thus far, I think she is humming along pretty well. She is motivated to read a bit more on her own and is even beginning to read things to her 2yo brother more often, which is really nice for both of them. She is also writing lists for shopping trips, so it is transferring to her spelling too. The main thing is that she is no longer deathly afraid of trying to read and write – that is a huge change for her from even 6 months ago.

Separately, C is also making progress. He is not as advanced as H in his reading but is also attempting reading and spelling quite complex words. Minecraft and other games are helping his motivation level! Presently, his reading is ahead of his spelling, but yesterday he spelt, “detonashon” when he made a sign on Minecraft. Totally phonetic, but easily understood, so he is getting the idea of sounds and where they fit in a word. I expect the rest will come as he reads more.

- H (at Lesson 98) and C (at Lesson 102)

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