Sydney Dyslexia

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Math Aliens come, I need you



Declan, a sensitive, clever and gorgeous 8-year old client of mine inspired me to write this book. He had started off our three days together by writing: “MATHS ALIENS, I NEED YOU! COME NOW” in big red letters onto the white board. After a couple of days, he erased his message and wrote the words: “DON’T NEED TO COME AFTER ALL. THANKS!”

Not everybody has Maths aliens to call upon. Declan was happy that he didn’t need to rely on them any longer and that he had found that he gets it now.

Lauren is 15 and finds it really hard to read. A Dyslexic program improved her reading, but it is still a struggle and not enjoyable. It was the Maths program, another area of difficulty, where she really found a strength and instead of working at it, she now plays at it. On her last day of the program, I stared in amazement at a really complicated calculation which she had just finished successfully and correctly. She asked me if she can do one more, please! That, for me, is the reason I love these programs. Where else can you measure success as clearly on a logical as well as an emotional level?

Let’s start, with the help of Declan and Lauren, to discover how to release your child’s Maths genie from the bottle!




‘A mum is very worried as her 8-year old son is struggling in Maths and falling behind further every year. He is attending the local public school and they are trying as much as they can to help. When her friend suggests to put him into St. Mary’s, the local Catholic School instead, she hesitates, as they aren’t religious. But after her friend assures her that they have a wonderful way of teaching Maths and her own son is finding it really easy, she enrols her little Tom. After only one term, to her amazement, he has caught up and after a while, he tops the class. ‘Tom, what is your new school doing differently? How come you are now so good at Maths?’ Her son says that they don’t teach differently but that he is just working much harder. His mum wants to know why. He says: ‘You know, mum, when I first entered the new classroom and saw that man nailed to the plus-sign, I knew they meant business.’


Unfortunately, a lack of motivation is rarely the reason for a child’s struggle at Maths.

Many of my Dyslexic clients are challenged in Maths, not because they don’t have a ‘Maths brain’ or are lacking intelligence. Quite the opposite! They may even find that they get the most advanced Maths easier than the simple basic Math questions.

They need to be taught Maths in a different way – a way that makes sense to their visual or kinaesthetic learning style. As a problem with Maths doesn’t point any struggling child to a facilitator for Dyslexia, I won’t make this book into the Dyslexic’s Guidebook into the Maths Galaxy. It will help any child that has a creative, visual mind.

to be continued at next week’s blog…


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Philosophy at school

I have found this interesting, but almost more interesting that it hasn’t happened on a regular basis and on a broader scale? Isn’t that what life is all about, expressing, articulating, listening, allowing differing opinions, open minds and learning in that way social interactions that are probably not always happening on the home front.

Can only commend the principle of Malabar Public School for that initiative.

“They’re so much more articulate, you see it even when you’re having discussions outside philosophy, and you see it in their writing too, that ability to reason and the skills to back up their arguments,”

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Inspiring Dyslexia talk

Dean Dragonier has done a great job talking about the gifts and challenges of dyslexia, with some startling statistics:

35 % of all dyslexic student’s don’t finish high school

50 % of all adolescents in alcohol or drug rehabilitation are dyslexics and

70 % of young delinquents in juvenile detention centers are dyslexic too.

I was, however, even more shocked when he tells about a study that apparently found that dyslexic individuals (anyone who cannot read and write) feel the same sense of shame as people who engaged in incest! Apart from the fact that this is a weird comparison, it is quite alarming that this is the case and that we allow this to happen to any individual.

Dean also talks about taking part in a ‘learning disability conference’ and the very impressive professors had a ‘simple’ solution to teach dyslexic learners by introducing them to ‘social-emotional learning executive functioning methodology’ – in short sequencing, time management and emotional intelligence.

Well, I think that sequencing and time management are valuable tools to learn and add, but I have rarely met individuals other than dyslexic ones who portray a higher level of emotional intelligence, empathy and social interaction skills.

I’m seriously wondering whose Emotional IQ is needing attention.