Dyslexia Awareness Month: Knowledge is Power

Since the commencement of my journey as an educator, the most significant turning point for me was understanding what dyslexia is. Although I had taught children of all ages for more than 25 years, I had no training or knowledge to help me to understand dyslexia. It didn't take long to realise that I was not alone in this cloudy, foggy and very muddy area of awareness. Many colleagues, students' parents and senior advisors had little, if any, understanding or awareness of dyslexia. I soon realised through travelling to several other places in the world, that the issue was the same elsewhere too.

As a training teacher in the early 80's, dyslexia was considered a "grey area" in the education sphere and therefore, it was not considered necessary knowledge as teachers. Sadly, the wheels continue to move slowly, however there are now some teacher education programs which provide awareness and knowledge about dyslexia to our training teachers. I find it interesting that there is a still a type of refusal to accept that dyslexia is REAL, when neuroscience has clearly defined the differences in the brain, for reading development in dyslexic learners.

Move forward 15 years, through the journey of my own understanding and awareness. Every time I have the opportunity to share my knowledge about dyslexia with a group of parents, teachers or Learnersaurus coaches, I am excited at the thought that they are now empowered with the information that will change people's lives, share their knowledge and create open discussions about what dyslexia is.

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My goal in creating Learnersaurus was to not only provide the appropriate programs and resources for dyslexic learners across Australia, but to also create a ground swell of awareness and understanding about dyslexia, taking away the stigma and ignorance that has been clouding any progress in the past.

It is with much excitement that I now see the incredible work of organisations such as Code Read Dyslexia, Speld and other dyslexia support groups, raising awareness and understanding that dyslexia is a neurological condition, genetic in origin.

Please tell at least one person to pass the message on and raise the awareness about dyslexia!

Leslie Keast-Patch