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Dyslexia and stress
by Sue Bell, copyright.
Basic Skills Curriculum Development Worker

 

Contents Menu
Dyslexia and stress (introduction)
School
Fatigue
Literacy failure & self-esteem
‘Learnt responses’ and the biological symptoms of stress
The ‘hiddenness’ of dyslexia
Stress in the workplace
Basic skills/Adult literacy classes
Personal implications and recommendations
References
Chorlton Workshop

 

Dyslexia and stress

Within the field of dyslexia, Hales states that,

‘Over recent years, an increasing number of workers have begun to suggest that the emotional and personal element is more important than we might have thought’.

My own experience as a basic skills tutor working with dyslexic adults in a community education setting has allowed me to consider and discuss the impact of these personal and emotional factors on the lives of my students. The stresses associated with the experience of being dyslexic are a common discussion point for us and so the essay will look into the reasons behind this stress and also consider the implications within my own teaching and any possible solutions and/or recommendations to be put into place.

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School
 
Morgan and Klein (2000) describe the wide range of responses dyslexic children experience within school. Case studies illustrate feelings of difference, inferiority, loneliness and isolation. (2000, pp52 – 53). If we take a general definition of dyslexia as a starting point, perhaps it may help us to gain an overall sense of possible sources of school stress. Lindsay Peer’s definition of dyslexia as,

‘A combination of abilities and difficulties which effect the learning process in one or more of reading, spelling and writing.’ (2000)

Clearly speaks of the difficulties in acquiring the three skills which school and our society regards as crucial in a child’s education. Her definition also brings in accompanying weaknesses in speed of processing and short-term memory. Both of these will, for example, create difficulties for the child when trying to remember what the teacher has just said and also in taking slightly longer to perform seemingly straightforward tasks. Further weaknesses mentioned by Peer include sequencing, spoken language and motor skills, all of which will have an impact on a child’s ability to easily acquire knowledge of the alphabet, be able to read aloud in class, and/or be able to master fine-motor skills such as handwriting and gross-motor skills such as kicking or catching a ball in sports lessons. Peer’s definition also recognises the positive aspects of dyslexia in stating that,

‘Some children have outstanding creative skills, others have strong oral skills.’

Unfortunately, these frequently go unrecognised within school and Fawcett (1995) speaks of the standard teacher’s response to the dyslexic child as,

‘One of exasperation – why should a child who appears to be verbally able show such inordinate difficulty in grasping skills that other children acquire with relative ease?’ (Fawcett, 1995, p13)

The child’s abilities may not only be ignored but underestimated and be,

’Coupled with access to a restricted curriculum within the Special Needs class’. (Fawcett, 1995, p13)

 

Fawcett (1995), in writing about the varying effects of stress on children and adolescents, comments that they will react to stress in a variety of ways, dependent on their personality or temperament. Case studies include examples of hair and weight loss, blinding headaches, a ‘devil may care’ response and confrontational behaviour used as a smoke screen to mask their difficulties. As well as the factor of individual temperament influencing how an individual responds to a stressful school environment, socio-economic circumstances will have a crucial influence on the young dyslexic’s chances of success. Joy Aldridge (1995), in drawing a small ‘pen sketch’ of her dyslexic background, illustrates this point.

‘Due to my social/class background the teachers expectation of my ability and performance was low to say the least… I went through my school years and early adult life with a poor self image and low self-esteem and being extremely shy. That I left school at fifteen with no academic paper-work was of little surprise or concern to anyone but myself. What followed was low paid work and latter marriage.’  (Aldridge, 1995, p107)

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Fatigue
 
In Jean Augur’s Guidelines (1985) for teachers, parents and learners, her 21 key points included an awareness of, ‘excessive tiredness due to amount of concentration and effort required.’ Fawcett (1995) cites this as one of the earliest acknowledgements of the amount of effort dyslexic children need to put into all areas of their lives. She goes on to describe research carried out by herself and Rod Nicolson, which included balance tests. Test results showed that dyslexic children achieved a near normal performance on these tests after age 9-10, however Nicolson & Fawcett argued that this performance was simply obtained by working harder than the other children (Conscious Compensation Theory). Further testing, this time on dual tasks, revealed subtle deficits and a subsequent long-term training study showed that,

‘If skills take around 100 hours to master, it would take a dyslexic child around 1000 hours (10 times as long) to reach the same level.’

The strain of having to work so much harder than your peers must inevitably take its toll on the dyslexic child and may manifest itself in extreme fatigue and exhaustion. Ryden (1989) speaks of the strong connection in dyslexics between stress, health and the emotions and their ability to read effectively, stating that,

‘Even when a dyslexic has achieved great progress, stress, fatigue, or a particular emotional state can have a temporary effect on the quality of written work.’ (Ryden, 1989, p37)

This susceptibility to fatigue will continue throughout the lives of many dyslexic people. A dyslexic’s own awareness of his/her tendency to over-tiredness may motivate them to have regard for their diet/lifestyle and overall general health and help to alleviate some of the more severe symptoms of stress-induced fatigue.

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Literacy failure & self-esteem
 
The effects of literacy failure on an individual’s sense of self can also impact on their future life experiences. Peter H. Johnston (1985), in his examination of three case studies, notes that all three adults felt they would be regarded as stupid if people learned of their reading problems. (p159). Biggar and Barr (?) state that,

‘Literacy is highly valued in our culture and, as the medium for a great deal of the school curriculum, it has a prominent role. The rate at which children learn to read sometimes appears to be used as a measure of their overall ability to learn.’

Given that most dyslexics fail to learn to read easily and all dyslexics have a spelling problem, it is hardly surprising that early school experiences erode self-esteem and set up subsequent ‘triggers’ in later life around everyday scenarios requiring literacy skills. Biggar and Barr (?) describe the unavoidable interactive effects of self-esteem and the development of skills within school and then go on to consider the findings of a study undertaken by one of the authors (Biggar, 1993) on twenty dyslexic schoolchildren. Those children in the study with specific difficulties in the area of reading reported,

‘Becoming aware that they were not learning things which their peers seemed to find easy, and their first response was almost always to conceal it.’

There were also cases where children attempted to conceal their difficulties from themselves by avoiding circumstance they were likely to fail in and by adopting diversionary behaviour. The children spoke of their embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety and guilt. Feeling stupid, frustrated and angry, they lost confidence in themselves as learners and often lost their friends. Biggar and Barr argue that,

‘It looks as if becoming trapped in this desperate, private and lonely emotional state can delay the possibility of more useful learning.’

Not only has the stress of literacy failure taken its toll on their self-esteem, but their confidence in themselves as learners in general has been severely wounded.

 

Fawcett (1995) sums up;

‘The suffering that is endured by dyslexics in the current school system and the attendant psychological scarring is hard to quantify, but it impacts on the motivation, the emotional well-being and possibly the behavioural stability of the dyslexic. In many ways, it seems to me that dyslexics are working constantly at the limits of their endurance.’

 

The personal experiences of one of my students, M, reflects well the stresses of being dyslexic in school,

‘I remember everything looked the same, the corridors, the class rooms, everything. At about six I went into the wrong class. I can remember it like it was yesterday because it was the first time I was punished at school. Punishment became the norm throughout my education. Looking back though I didn’t do things on purpose. All I seemed to do was struggle. One reason I could not keep up was due to my short-term memory, a major factor in most dyslexics, because I could not remember information. It was as if my memory was in a race trying to keep up. More than anything I think it has been a constant battle to keep ahead.’

 

Moving into the adult world does little to alleviate the stress of dyslexia. Morgan & Klein (2000) point out that,

‘The status of adulthood incorporates multi-faceted roles, each involving a multitude of responsibilities, the demands of which tend to increase stress for the dyslexic person.’

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‘Learnt responses’ and the biological symptoms of stress.
 
By this point the adult dyslexic may well have emotionally ‘learnt responses’ to potentially stressful situations, based on his/her past life experiences. Aldridge (1995) speaks of this ‘unconscious baggage’ which will reveal itself,

‘When experiencing a problem especially if comments are made by observers I can at times experience a kind of emotional flash-back of particularly painful and fearful classroom experiences.’ (Aldridge, 1995, p110)

Pumfrey & Reason (1991) write of Gentile & McMillan’s (1987, 1988) focus on the concept of stress in relation to the physiological responses it engenders. Drawing on the work of Selye (1976) this is defined in terms of ‘fight or flight’ reactions which range from hostility to subdued behaviour. Nosek (1997) focuses on the way that continued stress could have a long-term effect on the brain. She argues that the brain’s chemical reaction to stress can become so over sensitised that responses become more and more extreme, leading to,

‘Muscle tension, intestinal disturbances, headaches, and rise in blood pressure signalling the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, which can then trigger extreme episodes of fear leading to a loss of self-control.’ (Nosek, 1997, p41)

She describes a sensitised brain mechanism which has gone awry from a lowered thermostat set point, brought on by years of continually high levels of stress. Gellatly (1998) explains the physical brain process which occurs when a person is placed in a potentially stressful environment. Information from the eyes and ears travels first to the thalamus, but from there it may go directly to the amygdala (part of the limbic system which is sometimes known as the emotional brain) to evaluate whether something should be approached or avoided. In other words, rather than going directly to the visual and auditory areas of the cortex, information is processed through the emotional brain and a '‘fight or flight' response is initiated, during which heart rate and blood pressure increase and large muscles prepare for quick action.

 

This physical response to stress by adult dyslexics will occur in any situation which they know has previously caused problems for them. Working memory difficulties mean that a seemingly simple everyday task such as taking down the details of a phone message will be highly stressful and so trigger a physical response. Many dyslexic adults speak of everything ‘going blank’ and, in some cases, of aggressively defensive behaviour, which is in reality a natural human response to the need to protect oneself from the repetition of a painful experience.
Johnston (1985), in his case studies of three adult dyslexics, vividly describes the debilitating nature of anxiety and stress on one,

‘The most severely reading disabled of the three discussed here, is a very fit and healthy forty-three year old who had been taking medication for high blood pressure since he was thirty-two. ’

Johnston describes this adult’s severe anxiety during their initial meetings and argues that this stress actually hindered his ability to reproduce the literacy level he was capable of. Another of Johnston’s case studies, describes his emotional and physical responses whilst trying to work out a word and how his long history of stressful associations with school experiences are never far away,

‘Something triggered me off before this that I was starting to get tense … I could feel myself shutting down. Like when I get this way I can feel my whole self tense … it’s the old feelings … something will trigger it. Like when I was a kid in school and they would ask me the first day, I would be in a new class and they would ask me to read, and the teacher didn’t know that I couldn’t read. Well, those feelings still can come back to me, and it’s like a feeling … I can’t even begin to explain. It’s like you feel completely isolated, totally alone.’

In a moving letter to Tim Miles, Sheena Harrison (1995) describes stress as ‘a permanent companion that swiftly overwhelms at times.’ Her undiagnosed dyslexia and dyscalculia have resulted in a range of physical or ‘nervous’ ailments throughout her life.

‘When I stop awhile and reflect, I have been offered treatments for conditions that have been ascribed to stress most of my life, by the medical profession.’

She is in no doubt about the impact this stress has had on her life, stating,

‘I personally believe today that the overwhelming levels of anxiety created by the daily ignominies and embarrassments of being a dyslexic person functioning in society, fuelled my abusing myself with prescribed medication and alcohol. The verbal beratings for unexplainable errors to parents, teachers and peers, the constant ‘showing ups’ in shops, on public transport and in other public situations as the dyslexic dysfunctioning outed eroded my self-worth and self-esteem. A psychatrist once described me as having a ‘slight’ inferiority complex.’

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The ‘hiddenness’ of dyslexia.
 
Hales (1995) states that,

‘People with all types of disability often say that their real disability is other people and their attitudes, and in this respect dyslexic people are no different.’

Dyslexics, it could be argued, represent an even greater challenge to people and society in general due to the hidden nature of their disability. No one would dream of becoming impatient with the visually impaired person who took slightly longer to read text on a screen. Physical adaptions appear much easier to perceive and understand than the need to make allowances for differences in the way dyslexic brains manage certain tasks. A general lack of public awareness about the true nature of dyslexia and general misconception that any difficulties are confined to the areas of reading, writing and spelling means that,

‘The onus for containing the difficulty and doing what is necessary falls on to the shoulders of the dyslexic person.’ Hales (1995)

When considering where her experiences of stress come from, Aldridge (1995) states that she is,

‘Frustrated by the hiddeness of the handicap, of other peoples lack of knowledge and understanding of what I am struggling to cope with.’

Ironically, Ryden (1989) also highlights the difficulties many dyslexics also have in being able to clearly convey their own dyslexia,

Under the heading ‘Attitudes, Counselling & Teaching’, Ryden bullet-points key emotional responses common to dyslexics, including

Many choose not to disclose their dyslexia to others. Gilroy (1995) draws attention to a 1990 study of dyslexic adults by Gauntlett, which states that,

‘A lack of understanding by many of the people with whom they have come into contact has meant that the ‘majority’ must continue to conceal their difficulty.’

Bitter memories of past experiences have created a fear of ‘exposure’ and so these dyslexics must live with the constant strain of ‘covering-up’. One of my students, T, sums up the daily stress he experiences,

‘I might look relaxed, but I’m not. I’m always on the lookout, looking and listening. It’s sort of like being an actor. I’ve always got my antennae out.’

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Stress in the workplace.
 
In her study of the long-term outcomes of developmental reading problems, Barbara Maughan (1995) notes the impact on occupational outcomes. A 1987 study by ALBSU (Adult Learning and Basic Skills Unit) found that,

‘Subjects with poor tested literacy skills had experienced less secure options in the world of work: young men were more likely to have been unemployed than their peers, and more of the young women had already, by the age of 21, left the labour market to begin their families.’

Maughan also stresses the influence of social background, with those from less socially advantaged groups showing higher levels of early drop-out and non-attendance from school.
An inner London study by Maughan et al (in press) found that,

‘Some poor readers appear to set self-imposed boundaries on their occupational choices.’

She goes on to argue that this could be viewed as a deliberate and positive coping strategy. By avoiding demanding and potentially stressful environments the poor reader is also avoiding any damage to self-esteem. Nevertheless, this limited ambition will have powerful consequences on the lives of these individuals. Hales (1995) states that this restricted level of work and vocational opportunities,

‘Often means that the dyslexic worker’s economic situation is not always as good as might otherwise have been expected.’ P74

Many of my dyslexic students have spoken of the frustrations involved in having to stand by and watch a manager/authority figure in their workplace make errors of judgement, whilst knowing the solution themselves. Knowing that one can do a job, if it wasn’t for the ‘paperwork’, can leave an adult dyslexic with the sense of a thwarted and unfulfilled existence. In terms of dyslexia and stress in the workplace, McLoughlin et al (1994) illustrate the difficulties involved in hiding dyslexia at work. A 34 year old dyslexic male speaks of the need, ‘To employ a number of subterfuges to avoid detection,’ because he felt embarrassed by his own weaknesses and other people’s ignorance about the nature of dyslexia. (?) McLoughlin et al also describe the difficulties some dyslexic people may have in actually holding down a job for a reasonable length of time. One example a 25 year-old male, who had held 27 jobs since leaving school. He coped well during any initial training because at this point he was being given a high level of supervision and any mistakes could be put down to being new to the job. When this support was eventually withdrawn his job became much more difficult and so he would leave, moving on to another job.

 

Hales (1995) describes the difficult position a new dyslexic employee can find himself in, not only having to cope with the difficulties of learning a new job, but also having to consider how to keep his dyslexia hidden from everyone else.

‘This is a substantial mental juggling act and can easily lead to anxiety levels far in excess of what would otherwise be expected.’

Stress can also be engendered by a dyslexic’s own awareness that he is having difficulty with tasks which appear to be quite everyday and simple to his non-dyslexic colleagues. Sequencing problems will create difficulties when filing or retrieving paperwork in an alphabetical system; working memory problems will make minute-taking in a meeting especially difficult. Such apparently simple tasks which can be hazardous areas for the dyslexic employee. Hales states that the individual’s pattern of difficulties have,

‘Manifesting symptoms that are frequently seen in other more commonly recognised categories of human functioning: specifically, those who are of low intelligence, have poor skills or are bone idle!’

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Basic skills/Adult literacy classes
 
The DFEE report ‘Freedom to Learn – basic skills for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities’ (2000) states,

‘Dyslexia affects 10% of the general adult population, and 4% severely. This figure is far higher amongst those lacking in basic skills, including prison offenders’. (p22)

Over the past academic year (2000/2001) 54% of the basic skills students in a Manchester centre were diagnosed dyslexics, and a number of others were awaiting assessment. Many undiagnosed adult dyslexics will present themselves in adult literacy/basic skills classes, with the hope of improving their literacy skills. This can often only add to the stress they’ve already experienced, as their untrained tutor struggles to understand why they are having such persistent difficulties and the adult dyslexic experiences the same frustrations, hopelessness and anger which were played out at school. The ‘Freedom to Learn’ report confirms that,

‘The main additional barrier for learners with dyslexia acquiring basic skills stems from their previous learning experiences. Many adults with dyslexia feel that they have had humiliating and damaging experiences of school education and many report unsuccessful attempts to acquire basic skills through adult basic education classes.’(p22 – 23)

Many undiagnosed dyslexics appear to slip through our current schooling system into either low-paid employment or a seemingly unemployable rut and then find their way into basic skills provision. This being the case, it seems crucial that dyslexia is not regarded as a ‘marginal’ issue within basic skills, which is perceived as only affecting a small number of students. In its list of recommendations specific to dyslexia, ‘Freedom to Learn’ calls for research to be conducted,

‘Into the numbers of those with basic skills needs who have dyslexia (or other specific learning difficulties), given the strong anecdotal evidence that there are large numbers of undiagnosed dyslexic adults.’ (p25)

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Personal implications and recommendations
 
The implications of the links between dyslexia and stress can be taken into consideration within a basic skills environment in a number of ways.

 

McLoughlin et al (1994) emphasise the importance for adult dyslexics of self-awareness or ‘metacognition’. They describe this as the first step to ‘conscious control’ for an individual. Awareness of what it means to be dyslexic and, more specifically, what lies at the heart of each individual’s pattern of strengths and weaknesses seems to be a crucial and necessary process to be gone through. McLoughlin points out the onus on psychologists conducting assessments to provide a clear and proper explanation of their findings and this applies equally as strongly to all tutors carrying out assessments. A considerable amount of time should be spent discussing the information contained in a diagnostic report with the student. If necessary, the information can be read onto a tape and/or a synopsis of the report can be provided, giving a brief and straightforward overview of the findings. It may take some time for a student to fully absorb the content and its implications, so having a range of resources on the subject of dyslexia may serve as useful back-up while this process takes place. A range of videos, CD ROMs and websites about dyslexia, which provide information to dyslexic adults which is clear, accessible and visually interesting will also add breadth to the overall picture.

 

Having acknowledged that the responsibility for explaining his/her own dyslexia appears to fall onto the shoulders of the dyslexic adult and, given the difficulties many dyslexics experience in conveying the nature of their difficulties, the provision of simple written statements outlining the nature and extent of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses can help to remove some of the stress encountered when a dyslexic adult interacts with their employer, colleagues or college tutor. These can be provided for students embarking on any staff training or those about to begin a new course of study in Further Education. They can act as an initial ‘cushion’ to ease the student into their first or second lesson.

 

Post-diagnosis support also needs to include access to Counselling. Late diagnosis of dyslexia can trigger off a range of strong emotional responses and so being able to refer students to a trained Counsellor is a vital service to extend to students. This service must necessarily be supported by ongoing awareness training for Counsellors in understanding the emotional impact of late diagnosis and the ongoing implications of being dyslexic in a non-dyslexic world. Students can of course sometimes access Counselling via their G.P. and, if this is the case, a student with a more thorough understanding of their own dyslexia will undoubtedly fare better if they are faced with a Counsellor who has little knowledge of the subject themselves.

 

Many centres are supported by a team of trained volunteer tutors and so awareness of dyslexia must inevitably extend to these tutors. Volunteer tutors can often find themselves working more closely with a student that the class tutor and can therefore be the ‘ears and eyes’ in noticing any dyslexic symptoms, as well as also providing much needed on-to-one support to diagnosed students within a class.

 

Dyslexic adults have generally experienced stress in the learning situations they have found themselves in throughout their lives. In order to reduce the potential for stress it is vital to pay attention to the environment students learn in. These students need to feel in control of their learning at every step of the way. Tutors should be aware that some students may be particularly sensitive to where they are seated within a room and so ensure they provide options which help to make the student feel emotionally secure.

 

Both McLoughlin (1994) and Gilroy (1995) encourage the use of simple relaxation techniques to relieve ongoing stress. These techniques, such as yoga or deep breathing exercises, are employed to ‘slow them down’. The New Zealand learning styles trainer, Margaret Underwood (1998) points out that any practice which focuses on breathing exercises will decrease the release of peripheral norepinephrine into the nervous system. High levels of peripheral norepinephrine stimulate the hippocampus and the amygdala which in turn will,

‘Cause old, learned, repetitive behaviours, thoughts and feelings to dominate’

High levels of peripheral norepinephrine also shuts down the functioning of an area of the brain known as the locus coeruleus. The locus coeruleus needs to be stimulated for learning to happen and it has been found that this part of the brain is stimulated whilst in states of deep meditation and during yogic practices. Underwood says she has extrapolated this information from the researh of Nancy Craigmyle, California, USA. Gilroy (1995) writes about the simple relaxation techniques used within the Bangor Dyslexia Unit.

‘We practise deep breathing and practise ‘slowing down’ – stopping what one is doing and clearing the mind before coping with one immediate task.’

These techniques reflect an approach which deals with the ‘whole person’, rather than a set of isolated symptoms. In their list of recommendations at the conclusion of their chapter on ‘Emotional & Social Factors’, Pumfrey and Reason (1991) urge that,

‘Specific learning difficulties be examined in the context of personal experiences and interpersonal relationships, recognising the emotional impact of a prolonged struggle with literacy.’

This recommendation stands as a good general policy and should be borne in mind when a centre is working with dyslexic adults.

 

Many adults come to a centre with an immediate set of problems which need to be dealt with. These can be viewed as ‘short-term’ needs and often require straightforward and practical steps to be put in place as soon as possible. As an example, a student in a Manchester centre spoke of the difficulties he was experiencing in his work. He delivers parcels around the city and had trouble filling in the required forms whenever he was unable to complete a delivery. The most immediate need was to try and minimise the stress he was experiencing and so a discussion was had on the range of standard responses likely on the work forms. These were then written out clearly and kept in an easily accessible place in his van (tucked behind the sunshield). When he couldn’t make a delivery he subsequently referred to this information. This student’s long-term aim was to be able to write these work forms himself and so we did start a structured spelling programme with him, however providing quick and practical solutions also seems important in dealing with persistently stressful daily scenarios. In a similar vein, introducing useful ‘tools’ such as tape recorders, coloured overlays, hand-held spellcheckers, electronic organisers, etc. can help to minimise daily anxieties.

 

Finally, meeting other adults who are ‘in the same boat’ can go some way towards helping them realise that ‘it’s not just me’! Being part of a group of other adult dyslexics and listening and comparing experiences can help to remove the isolation and loneliness many feel. They may even discover a new strategy or two for dealing with a repeatedly stressful scenario. The ‘Freedom to Learn’ report states that learners,

‘Believe they would have benefited from more specialist diagnosis and teaching and believe that only classes exclusively for dyslexic adults are worth while.’ (DFEE, 2000, p23)

 

Concluding on a positive note, adult dyslexics are often striking in their high levels of determination and single-mindedness. It almost seems as if the huge difficulties they undoubtedly experienced in early life and the reality of having to work 10 times harder than their non-dyslexic peers inadvertently develops greater perseverance and fortitude in the adult dyslexic. Thomas West’s ‘In The Mind’s Eye’ (1997) is an extensive study of the link between the dyslexic pattern of difficulties and certain gifts or abilities. Many dyslexics do evolve into high achievers and,

‘It may well be that these children started off with a constant struggle in acquiring literacy, and then simply carried on fighting throughout their adult lives to reach heights to which others cannot aspire.’ Fawcett (1995)

 

Sue Bell

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References
 
Aldridge J (1995) The Dyslexics Speak for Themselves. In Miles & Varma (eds) op cit, pp. 107, 110 & 112.
Biggar S & Barr J (1996) The Emotional World of Specific Learning Difficulties. In Reid. G (Ed.) 1996 Dimensions of Dyslexia. Volume 2. Literacy, Language and Learning. Edinburgh: Moray House Publications.
pp. 381 – 383.
Fawcett A (1995) Case studies and some recent research. In Miles & Varma (eds) op cit, pp. 13, 23, 25 & 26.
Freedom to Learn (2000) DFEE Publications. pp 22 – 25.
Gellatly A & Zarate O (1998) Mind & Brain for Beginners. Icon. p83.
Hales G (1994) Dyslexia Matters. London: Whurr. p172.
Hales G (1995) Stress factors in the workplace. In Miles & Varma (eds) op cit, pp. 74 – 82.
Harrison S (1995) The Dyslexics speak for themselves. In Miles & Varma (eds) op cit, pp. 113 –115.
Johnston P (1985) Understanding Reading Disability: A Case Study Approach. Harvard Educational Review. Vol. 55 No. 2. pp. 167 – 168.
Maughan B (1995) Annotation: Long-Term Outcomes of Developmental Reading Problems. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. Vol 36 No.3.
pp. 362 – 363.
McLoughlin/Fitzgibbon/Young (1994) Adult Dyslexia: Assessment, Counselling and Training. London: Whurr. pp. 73, 79.
Miles TR & Varma V (1995) (eds) Dyslexia & Stress London: Whurr
Morgan E & Klein C (2000) The Dyslexic Adult in a Non-Dyslexic World. London: Whurr.
Nosek K (1997) Dyslexia in Adults: Taking Charge of Your Life. Dallas: Taylor. pp. 41 – 42.
Pumfrey & Reason (1991) Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia). Challenges & Responses. NFER-Nelson. p70.
Ryden M (1989) Dyslexia – How would I cope? Jessica Kingsley. pp. 37, 40, 41 & 42.

 

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Chorlton Workshop

Chorlton Workshop is a community education centre based in South Manchester. We work as a first step centre, for adults who feel they missed out on their education. Classes are small and friendly and high level support is provided by trained volunteer and learning support tutors. Dyslexia awareness is high within our centre. Around 60% of the students in our basic skills classes are diagnosed dyslexics and therefore teaching and resources are tailored to meet individual needs. Discussions often occur in our classes around the emotional experience of being dyslexic, in a non-dyslexic world. Strategies can be shared and experiences exchanged. Our website (www.dyslexic.org) is an attempt to provide clear and visually interesting information to adults. Please have a look and pass on your thoughts to sue@chowo.co.uk.

Sue Bell
Basic Skills Curriculum Development Worker
at Chorlton Workshop
Chorlton Central Church
Barlow Moor Road
Manchester
M21 8BF

Tel: 0161 861 0311

 

 

 

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