I have over twenty years experience of teaching pupils and students with dyslexia and dyspraxia. It was when teaching English that I first became aware of dyslexia. I then took took conversion degree in Psychology followed by the full spectrum of dyslexia/dyspraxia specialist qualifications while working as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). I am now a member of Patoss, working on a freelance basis with SFE (Student Finance England) students from universities in and around London, financed by the DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowance). My rates for this are on the attached NMH sheet. My rates for private work are lower and I give concessions where needed. I teach students and other learners of all ages either from home or on skype.
Until last October I worked as a dyslexia/dyspraxia tutor for Middlesex University, screening and tutoring dyslexic and dyspraxic students from all disciplines and helping them with their dyslexia software, including Dragon Naturally Speaking (for writing) and Read & Write Gold (for reading and proof reading). During my years at Middlesex University I conducted ongoing independent research which enabled me to develop a range of easy-to-learn techniques that give dyslexic students strong, fast skills in: decoding; spelling; note-making (a technique called notes squares); writing; revision skills; exam technique; essay-writing technique and oral presentations. I offer students a menu so that they can select what they want to learn and, where their essays are concerned, we chart the deadlines and organise the time in advance, discussing material and integrating what skills are necessary.
Many of my university students have returned to me for tuition when they have begun PGCE or nursing courses, by which time they are working at a much higher level and more independently
A high percentage of people with dyslexia are surprised to find they have some degree of scotopic sensitivity and are delighted to find their reading speeds can be increased once they are using the correct coloured overlay. I offer free tests for scotopic sensitivity and free coloured overlays which I buy from Professor Stein’s charity in Oxford (he is the foremost British researcher on vision and dyslexia).
This website will include a series of diagrams that explain why the voice techniques I teach work instantly, not just with dyslexia but also with dyspraxia, as both conditions include incomplete word processing with sound and semantic (meaning) deficits . I would not have been able to develop these techniques without the willing and enthusiastic co-operation of so many dyslexic and dyspraxic students over the years and it is a great pleasure, now, to be able to give back this knowledge for their benefit.
I use a voice technique to teach reading for meaning (I explain it at the end of the introductory video). Once this technique is understood it is a short step to learn the the “notes squares” method of recording information. This involves making a concise note of the contents of a selected paragraph which can be simultaneously annotated with a number to signify the book and page and a number to signify the numbered essay section heading. The finished product comprises cut-out squares of paper, each containing notes (made using the reading for meaning technique) from one paragraph. Notes squares can be clipped, using a paperclip, against whatever section headings they belong with, in sequence, as and when the student reaches that section heading.
I use a different voice technique to deepen decoding skills. This is a technique which includes the reader’s recorded voice to teach them the sound/symbol correlation between parts of words (eg “oe” “ea”, “tion” and so on). Dyslexic learners from six years to sixty need to learn to recognise parts of words in order to be able to read whole words with fluency. Those who don't have time during their degree for this often return to deepen their decoding skills afterwards. I once had a student who had been taught all the word-parts but was unable to blend them. I showed him and, within minutes, he found himself reading fluently. The way to blend syllables is for the dyslexic to repeat all earlier syllables, aloud, in sequence, each time they add on the next syllable, like a scanner.
I aim to use this website to reveal as much about my techniques as possible. The diagrams I have prepared to explain what dyslexia is and why voice techniques are so integral to literacy begin with PET scans comparing the way the dyslexic and non-dyslexic language area processes the sound and meanings of words. This will enable you to understand why dyslexic people only have a word-processing deficit when reading or listening but not when they are speaking. To quote from a student's testimonial (as featured in the references below):
"I always use my Dictaphone to help me draft ideas now ... it's strange to think that your techniques are an extension of me and yet I didn't know they were there or how to tap into what was there until you told me. It's like I once said to you - until I met you everything people showed me had only slowed me down - it wasn't until I learnt your techniques that I was able to speed up."
Emily Brewood, (Creative Writing BA)
You will see, from the reference Middlesex University gave me, that I gave talks on The Techniques to my colleagues before we were all replaced by agency tutors. I will close with something a Middlesex student once said to me just after I had taught her her first Voice Technique:
"Why was I not told this before?"
See The Techniques (above) for teaching videos and advice.
Training in The Techniques
If you would like to be listed on my website as a qualified teacher of The Techniques, my contact details are above. I train teachers in London schools and it is my hope that, eventually, teachers from all countries will learn how to incorporate The Techniques into their teaching. I am currently writing a handbook for both teachers and students called Dyslexia and Dyspraxia: The Techniques.
BAHons English; Dip.Psych; PGCE (English and SEN); OCR SpLD; Cert.Adult Dyslexia.Support Level 3. Southbank Uni; Cert Diagnostic.Assessment Management of Literacy Difficulties, UCL; Maths Prog.Cert; Dyslexia Institute; Phono-Graphix (decoding); Cert. Intensive Person-Centred Counselling Skills (250 hours), City Uni.
Middlesex University London
Attached below you will find:
- A reference from Middlesex University
- Two testimonials from past students who learnt The Techniques
- A video testimonial from the mother of ten-year old Felix (Felix appears in a number of the teaching videos, for example Brain Gym)
- An earlier testimonial from the mother of an under-ten.