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Education and Dyslexia with Dr. Helen Ross

Each month The Hive hosts a masterclass with an industry expert to talk about dyslexia. This month we were honored to have a delightful conversation with the one and only Dr. Helen Ross.

Helen was diagnosed with dyslexia at 17 while trying for her A-Level Maths. She was always a high-aching perfectionist who worked hard and did well in school but could not figure out Maths. Her diagnosis led to her becoming an advocate for not only herself but others as well. Helen went on to a series of impressive degrees and became a teacher (and had a lot of other incredible jobs).

"You never lose that feeling of being a bit thick."

Much of our talk with Helen focused on being an adult and dealing with the educational system. Here are some of the top tips and lessons we learned from her!

How do you navigate the classroom as a dyslexic adult?

  • Be open. As a teacher, I would say aloud as I spelled words and was honest with the students about my dyslexia.

  • Stick with what works. I use Powerpoint, as a teacher, I need the outline as much as the kids do. A school once told me not to use PowerPoint. I said No. I had the best test scores that year.

  • Make dyslexic-friendly choices for all your students. Print things on colored paper, give extra time when you can and allow time for kids to be kids.

How do you manage the admin side of being a teacher?

  • Create relationships. Relationships have saved me when my dyslexia has left me lacking.

  • Integrate your calendars. I have my home and work calendar all in one place. You might have to ask your tech admin to allow this.

  • Use technology to its fullest. I use text-to-voice software when I can't be bothered to read emails.

Practical Planning Tips (as a teacher or student):

  • Chunk down the year. Write out key dates and plan the work up to there.

  • Add things to a calendar with ALARMS.

  • Work visually. Get a whiteboard or chalkboard, and be visual. This way, I don't need to hold anything in my head. This frees up brain space for other stuff, forms, reading, and emails.

  • Try different methods. Take time to figure out what you need.

We are so thankful that Helen took the time to talk with us and help us grow! If you are interested in joining The Hive check out more info HERE!

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