It is day three of the British Dyslexia Association's International Conference and it is Parent's Day.
Today the BDA put together a Parents Day to provide information and resources that can help parents who are not familiar with the wealth of resources that are available to support them as they support their dyslexic children.
I could see that at least 80 parents had come along to find out more and this just showed me how much of a need there is for parents to be armed with information so that they can get the best academic outcomes for their children despite the challenges that come with dyslexia.
Severely dyslexic himself, Lord Addington stressed how much dyslexia is a life-long journeyed that the best thing that we can do as parents is to let our children know that they are not stupid and that they are not on their own.
He encouraged everyone to constantly contact their MPs to force change in education so that children with specific learning differences can be better supported through education so that they can experience better academic outcomes and enjoy opportunity in the wider world.
I don't know Lord Addington very well, but my sense was that he was a man driven through personal experience who really is dedicated to making change for good. His experience in educational reform attests to this. For me, the take away was that 'Parent Power Rocks' and that we should collectively use that to change our education system for the better.
Helen Boden, CEO of the BDA, went on to show the latest video from the BDA about dyslexia which illustrated just how many dyslexics have made a huge difference to the way that we live today.
I have shown you the video before (see here) and a real highlight for me was a child sat behind me gasping when he recognised someone on the video who was an inventor and was dyslexic. A real lightbulb moment!
|Courtesy of Starwars.com|
John Chapman, Star Wars & Dyslexia
Oh I loved this!! John Chapman is an author with the well known Jonnie Rocket books and was also an X-Wing Fighter in the Star Wars movie, A New Hope.
He talked about his experience of being dyslexic and having some real struggles at school and how after he left school he was able to develop his creative strengths and not only act but also be a writer.
It was wonderful to hear his story and his powerful message to young people which I hope for some may have resulted in them experiencing a new hope (yes I know what I did there but couldn't resist it!)
What is Dyslexia
It was wonderful to hear from Tilly Mortimer about what dyslexia is and I could tell from the mood in the room how important it is for us as parents to understand as much as possible what dyslexia is.
Tilly then went on to talk about the effect of dyslexia on studying and gave some really useful tips on how to make classrooms more dyslexia friendly.
Legislation & getting EHCPs for dyslexia.
It was great to hear from Dr Helen Curren from who explored the best ways to work with schools to secure support for dyslexic children. She explored some of the legislation that is mostly misunderstood by parents and teachers alike and gave us all a sense of what is important to know and what mindset we should use when negotiating support.
|Dr Helen Curran - @hel_curran|
The we were addressed by solicitor, Andrew Barrowclough on the whole process of getting an Education Health and Care Plan and what we as parents should know about that process. Again this is a grossly misunderstood process which, when applied for properly, can deliver great outcomes for supporting a dyslexic child through education. Andrew can be contacted by clicking here.
I was really impressed with the BDA for putting on this day for parents, it shows how committed this organisation is to supporting parents in being further empowered to support their children.
I recommend you getting in touch with your local regional BDA branch for further support.
Well, that is my blogging coverage over for this years event, but I have learnt so much this year and I have made so many great contacts with lots of people who are all committed to helping to support people with dyslexia to continually realise their potential.
Thanks for reading my articles this week and for your continued support of my work and if you would like to get in touch then please feel free to contact me by clicking here.