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Table of Contents

It is OK to do things differently

Frontmatter

1. Working with your dyslexia/SpLD

Abstract
Being dyslexic does not mean you are not as bright as other people — just that you learn differently. You can be clever and have an SpLD; your dyslexia or other SpLD does not determine your intelligence.
Janet Godwin

2. Neurodiversity and other SpLDs

Abstract
‘Neurodiversity’ is a term used to explain the range of learning differences and includes dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD and dyscalculia. The important point for you if you have more than one SpLD is to understand the impact this may have on your learning style. The following diagram shows these can overlap and the strengths you may have with these conditions.
Janet Godwin

3. Working with your SpLD

Abstract
It is necessary to learn a little more about short-term (or working memory) and speed of processing information to understand how you can learn effectively.
Janet Godwin

Study skills at university

Frontmatter

4. Working with your SpLD

Abstract
The characteristics of dyslexia (slow information processing speed and short-term memory) also cause problems with organisation. If you are dyspraxic, personal organisation and keeping track of possessions and documentation are a daily challenge. Other SpLDs such as autism spectrum disorder may also experience issues with this, so this chapter is for everyone.
Janet Godwin

5. Time management

Abstract
Time management is an issue for all students but can be especially difficult if you are also dealing with an SpLD. For dyspraxic students, this is a major issue and is also troublesome for dyslexics and students with autism.
Janet Godwin

6. Dealing with information

Abstract
Dealing with information is your biggest challenge as a dyslexic and/or dyspraxic student at university or college. Most dyslexic/dyspraxic students are aware that they work much harder than their friends without an SpLD and are not always rewarded with the grades they think they deserve. Dyslexia affects how well you can process information, and your short-term memory means it takes time to learn effectively. Given time, you can deal with information effectively. If you are dyspraxic, you may be able to process information efficiently but the issue is how to organise or use it.
Janet Godwin

7. Doing research

Abstract
It is a huge temptation to rush off to the library and collect as much information as you can. This is a mistake, especially if you are dyslexic.
Janet Godwin

8. Reading

Abstract
Reading is acknowledged as an issue for most dyslexics. If you are dyspraxic, this may not be a particular issue for you unless you are also dyslexic. This section will look at why dyslexics experience diffi culty with reading, analyse how you tackle reading, and offer a range of strategies for you to try. It starts with a basic reading strategy that fi ts with your dyslexic learning style, processing LITTLE, but doing this OFTEN.
Janet Godwin

9. Writing

Abstract
Every dyslexic student experiences this. However well you know your material it seems impossible to get it down on paper.
Janet Godwin

10. Checking everything

Abstract
Let’s be honest, proofreading is never going to be a strong point of yours. But there are times you cannot avoid this. These tips will help with the main issues:
  • Write short sentences: one idea, one sentence. Check your work for any sentences that are 4 lines or more long. Are there two ideas here? If so, split them up into 2 sentences.
  • Read it out loud: you will often be able to hear mistakes you cannot see. Use assistive technology text-to-speech (TTS) software to do this for you. Try Google Chrome extension Speak It, ClaroSpeak, or NaturalReader.
  • Spelling: try to pick the right one, of course, but then be consistent. Your reader will forgive an error, but swapping between versions will just get on their nerves. Use assistive technology to help (see below).
Janet Godwin

11. Revision and memory

Abstract
Everyone forgets what they have learnt if they don’t review it later on.
Janet Godwin

12. Exams

Abstract
The combination of these ‘ingredients’ in the exam makes it hard for you to produce accurate, clearly structured answers within the time allowed.
Janet Godwin

13. Dealing with seminars, groupwork and presentations

Abstract
Some dyslexic/SpLD students can excel in seminars, especially if they have a verbal/ listening learning style. Seminars can be very constructive as they revisit the lecture, usually applying it to a real-life situation. Practising, discussing or doing a presentation on a scenario makes the purpose of what you are learning clearer.
Janet Godwin

14. A final word: have confidence to study your own way!

Abstract
The message from this book has been to think about how you learn best (metacognition) in order to improve your effectiveness. The strategies outlined can help but have the confidence to develop strategies of your own. If you are dyslexic use the LITTLE and OFTEN dyslexic learning style and do it your way.
Janet Godwin
Additional information