Life, work, love and loss.

Making the hard decisions lighter.

Welcome to our February newsletter


  • Discovering Dyslexia: Do you want to know more about dyslexia or how to support someone who is neurodiverse? Get information and tickets here  for our upcoming online seminar.
  • Children, dyslexia and mental health:  Thinking differently

Children, dyslexia and mental health –
Thinking differently

Have you ever tried hammering a square peg into a round hole?  That’s how it feels for some children facing the demands of literacy in education.  It’s not the fault of education (there has to be a literacy baseline) but it’s not the fault either of those children with dyslexia for whom learning to read and write is their worst nightmare.  Dyslexia can be notoriously difficult to spot in the classroom (according to one survey, 85% of teachers agree with this), whereas it is easy to identify a child who is disruptive or withdrawn, disorganised or disengaged.  Unsurprising, then, that many of these children are diagnosed with mental health issues before any assessment of dyslexia is made (usually years later), or simply written off as ineducable and unemployable.

Dyslexia is not a handicap, it is a different way of thinking.  It is very well known now that dyslexia runs in families, but only relatively recently, since universal compulsory education, has this been established.  In those families, there can be a predominance of oral story-telling, taking things apart and reassembling them, artistic and crafting creativity, of really good strategic game-players.  Skills which cannot be assessed by reading and writing, but they are the skills needed to crack codes, tackle cyber crime, innovate in engineering and architecture, find solutions quickly, to forward think, plan and lead effectively.  Did you know that 40% of self-made millionaires in the UK are dyslexic?  They are the lucky ones – they have found a way to capitalise on the skills they have, and circumvent the ones they don’t have.

Do you have a child who struggles with schoolwork, but who is happy to tell you the answer rather than write it?  Who would rather wield a hammer and nails than a pencil, or who can put together self-assembly furniture without using the instructions?  Who would rather you tell them a story than read for themselves?  You may have a budding millionaire, but you are going to have to support them through the slalom of school first.

So what might you do to help?  First, try to be aware of any issues with reading or writing which are not resolved fairly quickly by help with organization or time management.  Repetition of spellings, for example, can only help up to a point – in children with dyslexia, repetition does not improve their spelling.  It only sets them up to fail.  Negotiate with teachers about homework (its nature and extent, rather than the need for it).  Next, find opportunities outside school for them to excel in what they ARE good at.  A very experienced headmistress once said to me, “school can never be the be-all and end-all of an education”, and she is right.   Boost self-esteem in your child, not by telling them how wonderful they are, but by giving them opportunities to demonstrate how wonderful they are.

Our Dyslexia Discovery Centre aims to support children with dyslexia and promote networks of their families.  We are also running online workshops and seminars on dyslexia, and you may be interested in our forthcoming event on May 17th 2023.