Ask an expert: Q&A with Nancy Young (part 2 of 2)

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In our new series, “Ask an expert,” we talk to the professionals who devote their lives to making the world a better place for children and adults with dyslexia: the educators, tutors, occupational therapists, psychologists, academics, writers, scientists and more, who inform, educate and advocate.

Our first expert is Nancy Young, a Canadian author and educator who specializes in reading, writing and spelling.

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Break the code with reading expert Nancy Young (Part 1)

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“…the alphabetic code is a secret to many people (including many educators), and … not knowing this code prevents many children from learning to read and spell proficiently.” ~Nancy Young, educator and author

I have spent most of my life wondering how to break the code.

I learned to read and spell by memorizing words and just plain old guessing. It was hit and miss, try and try again. Today I’m a good reader, and I work with words for a living, but I still don’t come by it naturally.

Two years ago, my daughter started a structured literacy reading program (Orton Gillingham-based). I heard words like “phenomes” and “sounds and symbols.” I saw her learn how to decode words in a systematic way — not by guessing.

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Book review: Secret Code Actions™ – Parent Edition

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When my copy of Secret Code Actions™ — Parent Edition arrived, it barely fit into my mail box. That’s a good thing. At 370 pages, it’s wonderful weightiness is matched by the depth and breadth of its content — it is the ultimate guide to understanding and deciphering the English alphabetic “code.”

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How i didn’t learn to read

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I’m a child and this is how I learnt to read or you could say how I didn’t.

When you think about giftedness you think that reading would be like a first sense, but it’s not. I didn’t learn the way the school teaches, here’s the summary:

Teacher: “Here kids this is how to pronounce the alphabet, now go read.”

Me (in my head): “teacher, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, that was so vague TEACH ME!”

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Photo essay: Understanding dyslexia—the first Canadian conference

More than 200 parents, students, educators and advocates attended the first Canadian dyslexia conference on Nov. 12, 2016 in Toronto. If you missed it, here’s a chance to see what the day looked like:

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Annette Sang, a founding member of of Decoding Dyslexia Ontario and Elaine Keenan, president of the Ontario Branch – International Dyslexia Association, set the tone for the day with a powerful opening statement: “It’s a human right to learn to read.”

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What students with dyslexia want you to know

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The student panel at the 2016 dyslexia conference in Toronto blew the audience away with their eloquent and inspiring presentation (if Richard Branson is looking for future executives, look no further!). By sharing their stories, they are helping to empower a generation of children and youth. Thank you! Continue reading

Campaign: Helping your child, and you, #BeUnderstood

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Understood.org is a helpful and trusted source of information about learning and attention issues. Their website is full of easy to use, helpful tools and resources created by experts.

In September 2016, just in time for back-to-school, they launched a public service campaign called “Two Sides”. The goal is to help parents identify and understand their child’s learning disability:

“It’s no accident this campaign is launching early in the school year. As schoolwork ramps up for kids, signs of learning and attention issues can become more noticeable. The goal of the campaign is to help parents understand these signs so they can seek out the right support for their kids.”~Understood.org

See the campaign

Does any of this sound familiar? 🙂

 

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In first person: how does #dyslexia affect your relationship to language?

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The Oxford Dictionary invited three guest contributors to explain, in their own unedited words, how their experiences of dyslexia affect their relationship with language. It’s an interesting question–and the answers may surprise you.

Quotable quotes:

I feel like perhaps people think I have a limited vocabulary, but I don’t, I just stumble and can’t use the words I want to…It’s an invisible problem that people don’t fully understand, a constant exhausting struggle.” ~Alex Gray

“I realised that I’m better at other thing rather then reading writing and spelling which I still to this day struggle with massively but I’m figuring stuff out…This learning differculty isn’t something people should be ashamed of I’m proud of my dyslexia because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.”~Anthony Rayner

“I never had any of my work put on the wall, I did terribly in spelling tests, it took me a long time to learn to read…Ultimately I am fortunate. I love language. I love reading.”~Liz Massie

Read the article here:

https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/10/dyslexia/

“It’s what’s in your heart that’s important” – #DiverseNurses

British health writer Roy Lilley is incredibly eloquent when talking about his struggles with dyslexia and school as a child, and how he went on to became a prolific writer (27 books on the management of health care!!) despite the low expectations of others.

To help improve his spelling, Lilley relies on spell check, and sends his articles for editing and proofreading. He still lets the occasional spelling mistake slip through, but he doesn’t worry about it anymore: “I write 700 words a day, and if the other 699 are ok I’m not too worried about that one.”

Quotable quote

“It’s what’s in your heart that is important. If you are writing about things that you care about, if you are writing about things that are important…what’s a spelling mistake between friends? It’s not important. The important thing is if you’ve got the desire and the need (if you’re a student) to express yourself–you just get on and do it. Because, you know what, if you want to be a nurse or work in the clinical interface it’s how you look after people that’s important. So I would say, be like me, don’t give a stuff.” ~Roy Lilley

Watch the video

This is part of a series of videos called dyslexic nurses. The videos feature UK nurses sharing their unique perspective about neurodiversity in health care: watch Dyslexic Nurses.

Video highlights dyslexic talents #SayYesToDyslexia

British company Novacroft has put together a film that highlights dyslexic talents in the workplace:

Debra Charles, Novacroft’s Founder and CEO, is herself proudly dyslexic:

“I’m one of the estimated 20% of dyslexic entrepreneurs in the UK, and it took me a long time to realise that the perceived barriers of dyslexia were barriers that I put in my own way, and that the strength to overcome them came from me, from valuing myself and my own ideas. I honestly believe that my success is because of, not despite, dyslexia. That’s why I’m passionate about celebrating and valuing differences, and why perceptions of ‘normal’ need to change. Working together, we can make a difference.”

Here’s hoping that this positivity will spread to other employers and workplaces.

#SayYesToDyslexia!