District Governor’s Lady’s Project (2016)

The Fight to Overcome Dyslexia

Words are a passion of mine (those who know me well are aware I can use far too many words, far too often!) My project for David’s District Governor year is to help those who struggle with words – those who suffer from dyslexia – by supporting Dyslexia Action in Yorkshire.

For some forty years I taught four and five year olds to read. But when I started teaching dyslexia was not recognised and those children were thought of as lazy, of low ability or even bad. We know now that dyslexia is very real and the figures say it affects one in ten of the UK population. A staggering statistic.

So what is dyslexia? Dyslexia is a difficulty in processing the sounds which make up words. The result is that it is very hard to learn to read. When I think of the pleasure and information gained from reading I cannot imagine life without it. Consider the internet, Facebook, Twitter – in an age where social media has a huge effect on lives, a young person who struggles with words can feel isolated from their peers.

Dyslexia is not caused by something one does or does not do; it is genetic and it is life long.

Dyslexia is not linked to intelligence; a dyslexic young man can be stuck in a low paid job while his siblings soar in lucrative careers, even though his intelligence level is the same as theirs.

There are degrees of dyslexia, ranging from mild, when reading is achieved, but when a difficulty remains in expressing oneself using the written word (and therefore in passing exams), to the severe, when there is serious difficulty in reading signs and texts. The frustration caused by dyslexia can result in truancy, rebellious behaviour, or family rifts.

Dyslexia Action works to help children, young people and adults in Yorkshire via centres at Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate. Any support we can give them will enable them to make a huge difference to the people they help.

The fight to overcome dyslexia really matters to me. I would be so grateful for your support. Thank you.

Lion Barbara Taylor
District Governor’s Lady
District Speech & Hearing Officer 105C