Dyslexia Awareness Evening in Salisbury

Parents, pupils and school staff are invited to an evening of dyslexia awareness.


Join us for the Wiltshire premier of the film ‘The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia.


There will also be an informal discussion afterwards to find out more about dyslexia in Wiltshire.


‘’Launched at Sundance Film Festival in 2012, and directed by Robert Redford’s son, James Redford, ‘The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia’ is a film that addresses the misconceptions surrounding dyslexia and aims to inspire and help those with dyslexia , along with their families.’’




This event is FREE !



Date: Monday 3rd November

Time: 6:30pm

At: The City Hall, Salisbury



Doors open at 6:15pm, PG certificate, 52 minute running time.

New scholarships for teachers and SEN support staff

Jean Hutchins has alerted us to the new round of funding for SEN staff in schools. Here is the link:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-scholarships-for-teachers-and-sen-support-staff

– and this is what it says! NB the four week application time starting today!

Teachers and special educational needs (SEN) support staff will from today be able to apply for funds from the National Scholarship Fund worth up to £1 million to develop their specialist knowledge and skills.

For the fourth year running, teachers can bid for up to £3,500 while SENsupport staff can bid for up to £2,000 to fund training which will improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs.

The application window for the fourth round will open for 4 weeks from 30 April. To date £7 million has been made available through the fund, benefiting almost 2,000 teachers and support staff in schools across the country.

Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said:

We believe that a teaching profession that values continual professional development is crucial to raising standards in our schools.

These scholarships – alongside other reforms to improve teacher recruitment and training – will help deliver our objective to raise the status of teachers.

Donna Frost Phillips, a successful applicant from the third round of the fund, said:

The fund has allowed me to undertake the specialist dyslexia training course, which I would not have been able to do without this funding. The course is having a direct impact on the literacy development of the learner that I am working with through my training.

The school will have a specialist teacher on site, which means children and teachers will have access to specialist advice teaching, meaning they won’t have to buy in specialist support.

The outcome of the fourth round will be announced in August 2014.

Notes to editors

The National Scholarship Fund is open to all qualified teachers and SENsupport staff in eligible schools. Applications are assessed against stringent criteria and verified by a panel of experts.

Applicants are assessed on the following criteria:

  • priority specialism of SEN
  • support from school – teachers and support staff are required to demonstrate support from their school in terms of accessing resources and being able to carry out activities within and outside the school

The guidance National scholarships for teachers and SEND support staff has more information.

The bursaries will fund up to 50% of a training or development course, up to a maximum of £3,500 for teachers and £2,000 for SEN support staff.


Tough new GCSEs may disadvantage SEN students.

Jean Hutchins has raised our awareness on BDA forum:

Times Educational Supplement, Friday 22 March 2013, pages 12 and 13.
Tough new GCSEs may disadvantage SEN students.

Students with dyslexia and other special educational needs … may need
supervised rest breaks to cope with the longer exam papers.

Sue Flohr, from the British Dyslexia Association, said: “We don’t think
rest breaks will solve the problem for dyslexics, who will be penalised
for their short-term memory and speed of processing. Breaks could
actually exacerbate these problems because they will make exams even
longer and pupils will find it difficult to refocus.”


Adult Dyslexia Report

In the 40 years that the British Dyslexia Association has been campaigning there has been many changes in the world of dyslexia, some of them good.

In light of this milestone, the British Dyslexia Association has produced a report looking back at the last 40 years and has made recommendations for the future.

In partnership with The Dyslexia Foundation and after consulting 100 organisations, this report is a wide ranging and comprehensive assessment of the current provision for adults with dyslexia.

The link to the full report is here:


Access to Work and Hampshire Dyslexia Association: A partnership.

This article traces the progress of a helpline caller from a poor performance in the workplace, low self-esteem and a business in trouble to a full order book and a brighter more positive future.

“Access To Work (AtW) is a government scheme run by Jobcentre Plus that covers the financial cost of providing disability solutions that would otherwise not be considered a ‘reasonable adjustment’. ATW offers financial support by the provision of a grant towards the additional employment costs incurred by disabled people in or entering paid employment to help overcome work related obstacles resulting from their disability. It is available to unemployed, employed and self-employed people and can apply to any job, full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary.” This quote is taken from Microlink‘s website FAQ on AtW . The British Dyslexia Association is an accredited contractor, supplier and trainer supporting this AtW scheme and the Hampshire Dyslexia Association holds a list of accredited workplace assessors and support workers.

In January 2011 the HDA helpline received a call on the helpline from Peter.  This gentleman is a self-employed specialist installing equipment into vehicles for phones and satellite navigation.  His business had suffered due to changes in his personal circumstances which resulted in his business administration falling away.  Peter told the helpline that at school he had been told he had dyslexia.  Now his business was suffering because of literacy difficulties, organisational problems and poor time management all of which were leading to stress. He really wanted some help to get his business back on track and knew that dyslexia was holding him back in doing this. Peter, in his mid-forties, came to The Orchard for a meeting with me. After discussions and a brief screening assessment (parts of DAST and Quickscan)  I suggested he contacted AtW and make a request for help in the workplace.  At that meeting Peter was negative about the future, frustrated about his business and finding it difficult to face up to having dyslexia and to ask for help.

Peter says that the application for help in the workplace was not a difficult process, that the people he spoke to or visited him were very supportive and showed understanding of what he needed. The process was quick and the ICT was soon in place, allowing him to begin to make progress in building his business again. I worked with Peter for 7 hours, over several weeks, in 1 to 1 sessions looking at issues relating to the workplace.  I visited his place of work, his home, and was very pleased to see an organised desk, filing system and IT use beginning to develop.

Following the initial set of support Peter decided to, as he says, ‘face up to his dyslexia’.  The Association provided a list of assessors and Peter had a Full Specialist Teacher Assessment in August 2011.  The assessment and report identified dyslexia of a moderate to severe nature and noted that he was a very able individual with a very specific learning difficulty.  Following this assessment Peter contacted his AtW adviser and requested 10 more hours of 1 to 1 support, which was agreed to.  We used these further 10 hours to address literacy and memory issues identified in his assessment.  Peter really enjoyed the sessions on memory and in fact he is now very skilled at all kinds of brain and memory activities.

I want to conclude with two points. Firstly, from a professional perspective as a 1 to 1 tutor and secondly, on how AtW really did provide Access to Work.

A tutor delivering support work with adults in the workplace requires a variety of skills. There is no formal curriculum or lesson plan, no previous pattern to be followed as each individual has a different requirement.   So, not much difference from each student we work with but in my experience an adult being supported in the workplace requires a more than usual sensitive approach.  It is extremely interesting, rewarding and worthwhile work.

The AtW grant (100% as Peter is self-employed) provided funding for the Workplace Assessment, software, software training and support worker sessions. This has given Peter the opportunity to maintain his business which was failing because of his dyslexic difficulties.  His business is now thriving, has a full order book and he is much more positive and outgoing.

In conclusion I would say that the partnership of Access to Work and local dyslexia associations should be encouraged and tutors already working either in HE or with adults should consider this opportunity to work with adults in the workplace.

There is an excellent DVD produced by Microlink which provides more details and shows real case histories about how the AtW system provides support. I would encourage you to view that and contact Microlink for a copy if you wish.

Finally, Peter says: “Once I had made the difficult decision to ask the help, the support and understanding that I received from both the Hampshire Dyslexia Association and the Access to work team have not only refocused my business, but given me a specific diagnosis of my dyslexia.

This has highlighted to me my specific areas of weakness so I can utilise my new training to maximise my time and efficiency. Overall, this has led to me being able to minimise stress and apply myself to work in a more positive manner.

With this knowledge in mind it gave me the stepping stones to get to where I needed to be. I now not only have the tools to communicate and perform well in a business environment but I’m finding the confidence needed to succeed in my personal life.

I hope that my story will highlight to others that there is help out there no matter what your circumstances are and that all you need to do is ask!”


References: Employment and Dyslexia Handbook 2010. 2011 and 2012. British Dyslexia Association. £10.00 including P & P. Available from BDA Office 0845 251 9003 or email admin@bdadyslexia.org.uk

British Dyslexia Association Code of Practice Employers. Good Practice guidelines for supporting employees with dyslexia in the workplace. 2nd Edition. Available from BDA Office 0845 251 9003 or email admin@bdadyslexia.org.uk


The Adult Dyslexic. Interventions and Outcomes (Chapter 9 Dyslexia at work) David McLoughlin, Carol Leather and Patricia Stringer. WHURR ISBN 1-86156-045-1


The Dyslexic Adult in a Non-Dyslexic World. Ellen Morgan and Cynthia Klein. WHURR ISBN 1-86156-207-1


Dyslexia and Employment: A Practical Guide for Assessors, Trainers and Managers. Edited by Sylvia Moody. Wiley-Blackwell 2009


AtW: Three regional centres:London,Cardiff orGlasgow.

Local number :London ,SE England  and East of England

Tel 020 8426 3110

or Email: atw-london-region@jobcenbtreplus.gsi.gov.uk

Full information at :



Microlink PC: Case histories and FAQ on Access to Work plus order your own DVD. http://microlinkpc.com/access-work

Training: BDA website and scroll to Training and events, and then Workplace Assessors Programme.  Contact lizh@bdadyslexia.org.uk


Sue McKenna, Hampshire Dyslexia Association

Workplace Assessor.    Email: hantsda@live.com

‘Square Pegs in Round Holes’ by Jane Gaudie

There is an accepted understanding in schools and with families that dyslexia and dyspraxia can handicap a child’s progress with the academic side of school life. There is the delay in reading development, the difficulty in putting pen to paper, weakness in short term memory and organisational skills. However, many of these children and adults have other associated difficulties which makes fitting into the life of a classroom or into the ups and downs of family life another hurdle to be accommodated.
Often teachers will consider that a young child has hearing difficulties because, “They never seem to be listening!”
Later in their school life they can be accused of being defiant because they are not following instructions. At a very early age the child with a short term memory difficulty will often have developed the strategy of just turning off.
“I could never remember what the teacher was saying to me so I just didn’t bother to listen until my name was yelled out. By this stage I was in trouble. This happened throughout my life at school.”

It appears that many dyslexic and dyspraxic children have heightened sensitivity in many of their senses. They hate the feeling of labels, they dislike wearing shoes, can’t cope with wearing ties and certain fabrics are just a no go area.
“As soon as my son enters a classroom he has to take his shoes off, some teachers just can not accommodate this. They think it is all very odd!”
Many dyslexics do not like the feel of certain food textures. They will not try new foods, which can result in a restrictive diet. This can make meal times at home anxious times, as a mother mindful of a balanced diet, battles with a child who will only eat mash potatoes and cucumber, at every meal!
The heightened sense of smell will often influence their choice of foods as well, not wanting to go to certain places or peoples houses.
“We could never go to the zoo as a family, our son would go into a rage. At the time we thought he was scared of the animals, and he would never come with me to visit an Aunt of mine as he said he didn’t like the smell of her house!”

Possessing a heightened sense of hearing has its advantages but also many disadvantages.  “Long before we knew K. had any differences we had problems at home because he would never go to parties, he was terrified of a balloon popping. A walk to the shops with the possibility of road works and traffic could be an extremely anxious time. When he arrived at school he found the noise of a classroom extremely distracting.”

Many dyslexics also possess a heightened emotional sense. They are very susceptible to any form of negative response. This makes forming friendships difficult as children are naturally quite horribly candid towards one another. Rather than put themselves in the position of being hurt, many children develop their own strategies. They will often spend playtime talking to the adult on duty. Thus missing out on the interaction with their peer group.

Children often misread the interaction of their parents in the home.
“If my husband and I have a heated discussion, whether it is politics or whether the children should be allowed to have a puppy, my daughter will rush up to her bedroom and bury her head in her pillow and cry her eyes out, she cannot cope with any conflict in the home at all.”

In the 21st century we often rush to find a label for a child or adult who just doesn’t appear to fit into the box in which we want to place them. As a country we used to celebrate differences. The British were known for their eccentricities, people who looked at the world from a different perspective. We need to be aware than some children and adults will not fit into the hole we want to put them in.
After all we all know that one size does not fit all!!!!!

Jane Gaudie Headteacher of Chiltern Tutorial School

R u A diSlxic addult

My name is Simon Hodges and I am a dyslexic adult.
I was diagnosed seven years ago at the age of 40 when
I started an education course.
Was it that awe inspiring eureka moment? Well not
‘The square peg trying to fit into the round hole’
All my life ever since I can remember I have always felt and been different from others
as I was growing up and through the stages of my life, as a child, a teenager, an
adolescent and an adult.
The story is an all too familiar one I am afraid, and I am no exception. I am sure that I
could, like many others write a book about my experiences relating directly to the
effects of dyslexia.
Just to throw a bit of flavour into my point, I remember the fairly constant and relentless
comments of ridicule, being called an idiot, stupid or thick amongst others and of
course the older I got new harsher and more descriptive words were learnt and they
were added too.
Another particular instance was at secondary school in an English class (where else)
the teacher had been reading a passage from a chapter in a book that the class was
reading. The reading stopped and I was asked to comment on what had just been read.
Although I had been listening I was now frantically looking at the book trying to find
what had just been read but I of course was looking at pages full of words, some of
which I was familiar with and others which I was not and none of it made any sense.
But of course it wouldn’t, unbeknown to me my reading age was very low, my short
term memory retention was virtually nil and of course my cognitive processing skills of
any kind were nonexistent.
Then came the words “Haven’t you been reading you stupid boy, or are you just
thick?”. Of course the class erupted into laughter including the teacher.
Did it hurt? Yes it did and I can remember that as if it had happened just yesterday.
I have had countless instances like that throughout my life and still do on occasions and
I have to say, that sometimes comments are from those that you would think should
know better.
At an age in your life when the holistic development of characteristics and
personalities are vital, the degeneration and corruption of self esteem, self worth and
confidence that are borne out of instances like that can be and are often immeasurably
The feelings of incompatibility and isolation that often begin to immerge can continue
and have troublesome effects on your life.
I am sure that we can all relate to the above, but let us turn to something a little more
I began this article by stating “was it that awe inspiring eureka moment, well not quite”.
That is true it wasn’t but, what it did was start me on a journey, slow but none the less a
journey of self discovery, a journey that still continues today. A crucial key and part of
that journey has been to align myself with other people that have dyslexia and with
those that really understand the condition and I feel that is important and this is why.
There are many thousands of people out there with dyslexia of varying degrees just like
you and me.
I have found that being able to talk and listen to other
people naturally in a relaxed unforced environment
has had enormous benefit to me.
When you start conversations with other dyslexics
you immediately strike a connection discovering
many of the things that you have done all your life to
disguise and cover up certain skills areas that you
have been lead to believe you are sorely lacking in.
The point is that you are not nor really lacking or deficient but that your learning needs
to be met in a different way.
I have been very fortunate in as much as I have conversations face to face with some
very high profile celebrities and professionals really ‘top draw’ people as well as
ordinary folk just like me, and you know what, the stories and the tales are all just the
The feelings of isolation and awkwardness seem very much to take a back seat and the
realisation of not being thick or stupid very quickly come to the forefront of your
We at the Hampshire Dyslexic Association are looking to start an adult dyslexic group
which need not be formal but just somewhere that like minded dyslexics can perhaps
meet on a regular basis, maybe in a setting that will encourage your confidence to grow
or to help others see that being a dyslexic has hidden treasures and possibly alter the
way you think about yourself for ever.
If you are reading this and you are dyslexic or you know someone who is and think that
this might be of benefit then please do contact us. Simon Hodges
Please contact Simon by email: simonhodge63@tiscali.co.uk or phone: 07919035569