Being dyslexic and having a dyslexic child was a challenge for me, and again if it was not for my family's help, mine and my daughter's lives would be very different today.
My daughter is and was confident and sociable, which helped her to make friends and cope socially. I believe that it is in part due to her character, and partly due to growing up with the support of a mother and grandmother who understood her needs and struggles. However, when it came to school work, in primary school, she was quickly left behind. By the end of year two she was complaining of sore throats and stomach aches to avoid going to an environment that didn't understand her. It was only when her needs were recognised, accepted and addressed, that she was able to undertake the school's syllabus and then these illnesses disappeared.
Why I started the Thorpe Dyslexia Centre:
Sue Gardner, my mother, and I started the Thorpe Dyslexia Centre in 1999, mainly as a result of the pains and sufferings of my own experience of the mainstream school system, both as a student and a parent with a dyslexic child. Our goals were (and are today) to offer parents, children and adults a service that recognises dyslexia and is able to help them to identify their weaknesses and strengths, in order to improve the quality of their lives.
I believe I am in a unique position of being able to empathise with a student and work with their strengths and weaknesses. I understand the frustrations and emotions that a dyslexic goes through. Working with each student requires creative thinking as I plan each session to meet that student's needs. If, however, they have had a bad day and are not able to cope with what I have planned, the whole programme changes.
My goal is to help each student, whether an adult or child, to reach their potential.