A film about dyslexia made by dyslexic people…

I have dyslexia and this issue is very close to me since I live with it on a daily basis.  I feel strongly about telling the story of dyslexia in the form of film and I think it’s an ideal way to portray the experience.

We’ve been planning and developing the idea of making a film about dyslexia now for a year. We have decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds to make this important film.

I volunteer with Dyslexia Scotland and help manage their YouTube channel. Over this time I have met and interviewed many people with dyslexia. I have been blown away by the stories and the amazing people I have met over the last two years.

I feel I’ve been working my whole life to this point. I’ve been heavily affected by dyslexia my whole life, and after being involved with Dyslexia Scotland, I have realized I’m one of so many children, adults, youths, elderly, mothers, fathers, teachers, footballers and scientists living with dyslexia.

Back to the film! Issue-based documentaries are very effective at telling the story to a large audience and with the rise of the internet and platforms such as YouTube and Facebook; it has never been easier to distribute stories in an engaging way to target groups of people.

We will make this film to let people know what it feels like emotionally and physically to live with dyslexia, we will tell personal stories. The crew and people involved in the production of this film are dyslexic and this will add to the authenticity of the film.

Please go to our funding page to find out more about how you can help us make this important film, contribute and/or get involved. Please click on the link below:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dyslexia-film-video/x/15500667#/

Trevor Thomson

Media Professional and Dyslexia Scotland Volunteer

Guest blog: Pupil Inclusion Network Scotland

Educational inclusion and the poverty-related attainment gap are given a lot of focus. It’s often said we have some of the best legislation, policy and guidance to help us take on such challenges. We probably do. However, when you are in the job of supporting so-called vulnerable, marginalised or excluded children and young people with learning or schooling it feels hard going on the ground. When you are a parent or carer struggling to keep your child motivated and engaged with learning, when it seems little about the system is on your (or your child’s) side it can be frustrating – no, exhausting.

The real challenge then seems not to develop more policy, but to act to tackle the practical day-to-day embodiments of inequality and exclusion. It’s what we do to really make a difference that matters. This is where PINS hope to come in. The Pupil Inclusion Network Scotland (PINS) is a national network funded by the Scottish Government. The network operates online and our interests range from the early years through to post school learning. It’s a network for professionals working in any capacity with children and young people as learners – we are particularly interested in connecting with workers from community and voluntary sector agencies who make up about half of our 1300 members.

In a recent PINS blog educationalist David Cameron hit the nail on the head when he recognised that when it comes to inclusion there doesn’t seem to be a plan. What he proposed was that there should be more commitment to learners and less to slogans, with a range of provision to meet a spectrum of need. If PINS is to be of use as a network then it needs to both connect those involved in education with what’s good about what we do, and then also pose some challenges that point in the direction of making it better. Our focus then is on keeping practitioners informed and being a critical friend when it comes to Scottish Government and other public bodies.

Practically, PINS members receive monthly e updates, membership is free, individuals join via the link from the home page. The rallying cry is – come join us! http://pinscotland.org/

Colin Morrison

Follow us on twitter @PINScotland

The best laid plans…

[Disclaimer: I am dyspraxic, but planning and organisation can be issues for people with dyspraxia and dyslexia.]

Planning ahead is difficult for me – there, I’ve said it! Some people might be surprised to hear me say this, as they’d say that I’m quite an organised person. However, it is something that I have to work very hard at and I have many strategies in place to help me.

I have a previous work colleague to thank for some of the strategies that I use today. She was a very organised PA to a Director and sat down with me to try to help me with some strategies, as I was feeling very overwhelmed with my workload at that time.  These strategies included:

  1. using coloured folders with the days of the week and ‘week commencing…’ folders. So, rather than feeling overwhelmed with all my workload, using the folders to put upcoming tasks into. These would release me from the anxiety that I had so much to do and didn’t know where to start – I didn’t need to worry about these tasks until that day/week.
  2. using my outlook calendar to plan my ongoing work and development tasks;
  3. to only use my Outlook calendar rather than a paper diary and Outlook. Using both had meant that I kept forgetting to update one or the other and double-booking or missing meetings.

These strategies seem to have worked for me for the past few years. However, the best laid plans don’t always work, as real life gets in the way. I get quite anxious when an unexpected task or project lands on my desk.  If it’s an urgent task like information for a report, then I need to stop my planned work to do the urgent task, which I know many people would understand in the circumstances. However, the difficulty for me is getting back on track with the outstanding task, after completing the urgent task.

I analysed my actions in a similar situation that occurred recently. I had a couple of big development tasks to do that week where I needed to analyse and make decisions, as they impacted on upcoming work and meetings. However, I was asked to provide some information for a report that had a quick deadline. After procrastinating with a recycling task (why?!), I managed to complete the task before the deadline (much to my surprise). However, I then found it difficult to get my head back into the mindspace to analyse the collated information and make decisions. I think that the cartoon below (by Erin Human) illustrates this situation exactly:tendril-theory

When you have planning difficulties, I feel that it’s very important to have an understanding and supportive manager. I’ve been fairly lucky in my working life as most of my managers have been very supportive.  I did have one manager in the past who micro-managed me and my planning and organisation difficulties made working with her very difficult. She and I were very similar in a lot of ways, but she couldn’t understand what I was doing with my time. I spent a lot of time in her office, justifying the time that I’d taken to complete a task or report. To be fair, though, at that time neither of us knew that I was dyspraxic.

I only discovered that I was dyspraxic in 2015, so I’m still learning about the way that it impacts on my planning and organisation. I’m lucky now that I have a very supportive and understanding manager.  I do still find planning and organisation tricky, but the difference now is that I can be kinder to myself when plans do go awry.

Helen (Volunteers Manager)