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I’m on a journey to understanding Dyslexia.Before joining the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust, I knew very little about Dyslexia and Neurodiversity. However, it would be fair to say my knowledge has grown a little, and I am undertaking more research.So firstly, please don’t read this article that the writer is an expert; I am merely putting some thoughts down on paper, hoping that you as a reader will want to learn more about Dyslexia!Dyslexia definitionThere appear to be many definitions. However, the definition that I am taking on board is ‘Dyslexia is various reading disorders associated with difficulty decoding written language and integrating auditory and visual information, such as the association of phonemes with letter combinations in spelling.’Dyslexia is on a continuumDyslexia is on a continuum meaning that people have different levels of dyslexia, from mild right through to severe levels. It is also often hereditary and is not caused by a lack of intelligence. People with dyslexia have average to above-average intelligence. And is not driven by poor schooling or family life or a desire not to learn and is not a learning disability. Dyslexic people learn in different ways and continue to learn ongoing.High-profile dyslexic peopleThere are many high-profile dyslexic people, including Whoopi Goldberg, Elon Musk and Richard Branson (Barbour, 2020). Branson credits being dyslexic as the secret to his success (Killelea, 2022). He states in the article that being dyslexic has helped him think outside the box. Branson also said in the past that the business world gets too caught up in facts and figures, whereas his dyslexia has helped him “think big but keep the messages simple.”Dyslexia was officially recognised in New Zealand in 2007.COVID has been tough on childrenCOVID and lockdowns have been tough on children and their reading and learning. Schools have been under immense pressure, as have all areas within New Zealand society, as we attempt to recover from COVID but still have the presence around us all.Teachers are noticing students struggling with general literacy abilities and are becoming concerned. Consequently, the concern is growing as schools and parents see students, sons and daughters having learning difficulties and generally struggling, starting with a history of missing schooling or disengaging with schools that do not meet their needs with traditional education practices and struggling to add the extra wrap-around support that some students are now requiring.In a small number of schools, the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust (RYALT) has provided invaluable training to teacher aides around dyslexia and phonics and supplied helpful resources to teach students with low literacy. Chrissie Wardle, RYALT’s Coach Student coordinator states, ‘supplying training to teacher aides and resources are the two areas we need to focus on if we are to improve literacy standards in NZ. If more people know the best strategies to teach reading and writing, the more we will tackle low literacy.’About 100,000 school children have dyslexia or neurodiversity conditions (Styles, 2022). Neurodiversity is used to describe brains that behave, learn, or process differently from typical situations, including ADHD, Autism, Tourette’s, and Dyslexia.Success can come to us all, as it did to Richard Branson and high-profile people like Whoopi Goldberg and Elon Musk.The Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust is a dyslexic friendly organisation. If your teen is struggling with reading and writing, talk to us today.References:Barbour, H. (2020, June 2020). Famous People with Dyslexia [A List of 200+ Actors, Athletes, Musicians & Scientists]. Retrieved from blog.ongig.com: https://blog.ongig.com/diversity-and-inclusion/famous-people-with-dyslexia/Killelea, A. (2022, April 1). Dyslexia is the secret to my success, says Sir Richard Branson. Retrieved from Yahoo News: https://nz.news.yahoo.com/dyslexia-secret-to-success-sir-richard-branson-153019430.htmlStyles, M. (2022, January 3). NZ schools are failing dyslexic kids. Parents should consider US-style class action. Retrieved from Stuff: https://stuff.co.nz/national/education/… ... See MoreSee Less
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DO YOU HAVE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY?Would you like to help the Rural Youth and Literacy Trust (RYALT) as a Community Ambassador?This volunteer role is not demanding or complex, and it will take only four hours a month of your time.It’s about keeping RYALT and our work in helping people with low literacy at the forefront of your community.Want to know more, email Lillian at admin@adultliteracy.ac.nz #community #community #communityfirst #peoplehelpingpeople #volunteer #readingandwriting #literacy ... See MoreSee Less
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Happy Easter to all our students, volunteers and supporters. ... See MoreSee Less
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Subject: It’s exciting times for the Autistic community READ READ READKia Ora …I’m writing to you on behalf of Voices From The Spectrum Charitable Trust and our wonderful Waikato Autistic community.Fun fact: Autistic whānau comprise approximately one fortieth of the population of Aotearoa New Zealand – that’s equivalent to the population of Ōtepoti Dunedin! Here in Kirikiriroa, fuelled by the mighty Waikato, it’s only fitting that we are paving the way for Autistic self-determination. I mean, who better to support autistic folk than actual autistic folk?Our community has been meeting for over fifteen years across this great city (what a record!) and Voices was set up a few years ago to answer the growing needs our community identified. Now, we’re setting another record: Aotearoa’s first fully autistic-led and run Autistic Community House! Our “Mate’s Space”, as we call it, will be a Kirikiriroa-centred safe haven for our whānau whaitakiwātanga in the Waikato rohe, alongside a wonderful outreach and support centre; doubling as an education hub for the curious and supportive folks.We are gratefully accepting donations large and small to help us furnish our soon-to-be and much-needed space. Our goal of $10,000 will ensure the community house has furniture, kitchenware, gardening supplies, sensory equipment and more.We value all support, and sharing this email amongst your friends and whānau is equally appreciated.If you would like to hear local autistic folk talk about why we need our own community house, go here: https://youtu.be/WYpqfO8D1AsIf you’d like to donate, go here:https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/help-build-our-mates-spaceTo find out more about Voices From The Spectrum Charitable Trust, or to get in touch, go here:http://vfts.org.nz/ Thank you so much for all your hard work in getting our voices out there (and for reading this far; that’s an achievement in itself!). We truly appreciate it. ... See MoreSee Less
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No Fear... Love Always! 🙏💯💙✌🌞#BeMindfulPauseConnect #spiritualmaster ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

Rural Youth & Adult Literacy Trust
HOW DID I LEARN TO READ?How did I learn to read? I have long since forgotten. I would love to know how I learned to read. In some ways, I want to be transported back to my childhood to find out. What was the defining fact that brought me to where I am today? I went to St Mary’s Primary School in Northcote, Auckland. Was it the nuns that taught at the school that started me on the reading journey? I vaguely remember beginning to write and sitting in a classroom at a single desk where maybe 20 other five and six-year-olds were. In those days, we used fountain pens. Getting the ink into the fountain pen was a pain; I remember that. I was so pleased when ballpoint pens came along to use. I also remember being told to keep using a fountain pen; they are better than ballpoint pens. I would probably have agreed with that, but the ink ended up on the desk and fingers, something I hated, so the ballpoint pen was the ideal choice for me. I probably also agreed with the nuns that I would always use the fountain pen to please the nuns, but I knew as soon I was out there that the fountain pen would be a historical artefact.But how did I learn to read? I feel it must have been ongoing interactions with books and reading material and a good start at St Mary’s that led me to where I am now. Even from a young child, I loved newspapers and books and would sit there reading them. I could hear the writer’s voice, their writing in the book or newspaper article. I was not always agreeing with newspaper journalists’ opinions but tried to envision their opinion in my head. Look at both sides of the argument. When reading a book, I could visualise the story and be there in the story looking at the surroundings and somehow being a part of it. So, it came as a surprise that not all people can do this. Some people cannot hear the voice in their head. In this article, ‘Do you hear a voice in your head when you read? If not... you could be dyslexic’ from the Daily Mail Australia gives a good outline of Gary Chevin’s discovery that he did not have the reading voices in his head.In the article, Professor Rod Nicolson believes he has found a link between lack of inner speech and poor reading ability. I do remember reading out loud to my mother from a book. Either at the dining room table while preparing our evening meal or sitting on the floor with my back to the couch while she sat on the sofa and semi- watched television. I wasn’t allowed to watch tv until I read the book’s allocated pages. Then later, there was the swap for bedtime. I had the book read to me. I suppose the different reading environments helped develop the reading skills.Reading AloudI enjoy people reading aloud. My partner reads the newspaper aloud, as she says that her reading is not much good. That’s not true. English is a second language for her; it is more of a confidence issue. But it is always good to have discussions about the article and listen to both of our perspectives.I also had a work colleague who would read aloud frequently while sitting at her desk. It never bothered me; it was a part of the environment until I realised she was no longer reading aloud. Was it that her reading had reached a stage, as they say in the Gary Chevin story, “'At some stage, as their reading improves, so does their ability to sight-read [to read in their heads], and that is the stage at which reading really takes off.” I think that she had taken off; she needed to understand the complex material that she was reading, and reading aloud was her tool to do that until she could hear the voice in her head.It doesn’t matter whether it is adults or children; encouraging reading will pay dividends. Reading aloud will help critical reading skills and find the inner voice. If you haven’t started it, try it, or help somebody struggling with their reading, ask them to read it aloud while you listen.The Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust is a dyslexia friendly literacy trust. If you want help with reading and writing, contact us today!Reference:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1263307/Do-hear-voice-head-read-If--dyslexic.html #reading #literacyhelp #dyslexia ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

Rural Youth & Adult Literacy Trust
One of the great aspects of this job is talking to Mum’s and Dad’s about seeking help for their own reading and writing issues. The Mum’s and Dad’s have had the realisation that their own literacy abilities may not be up to the level that they can help their child. The Mum’s and Dad’s don’t want their child to go through the struggles of reading and writing that they have been through.A big congratulations go to these parents that seek help. We applaud you!Photo by sofatutor on Unsplash ... See MoreSee Less
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LITERACY COACH VOLUNTEER NEEDEDWe are looking for a face-to-face volunteer literacy coach for a student in Paeroa.If you are in Paeroa or Ngatea, have you thought about Literacy Coaching? Helping an individual read or write can be a fulfilling and enjoyable role.Interested? Contact us at the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust – T: 0800 891339Photo by Yan Krukov ... See MoreSee Less
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15-year-olds in New Zealand have basic proficiency in reading and maths. Landing New Zealand with an ‘F’ report card. A report from 2020 UNICEF New Zealand shows.Literacy is critically important for both the individual and New Zealand’s success in the future, yet there appears to be a lack of understanding of this importance. The cost to the individual over a lifetime and the New Zealand economy can be high.Do you know somebody that is struggling with reading and writing? Get them on the journey of help today. It’s easy, contact us – The Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust – T: 0800 891339 #reading #writing #spelling #words #buildingtosuccess #reachyourpotential #literacyhelp Photo by fauxels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-blue-polo-shirt-3184407/ ... See MoreSee Less
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Want to read more about the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust?Did you know that we have a blog at https://www.adultliteracy.ac.nz/news/Have a look, there is heaps of information being added every week. ... See MoreSee Less
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NEURODIVERSITY CELEBRATION WEEKMarch 21 - 27, 2022The following link contains a great article entitled "Great minds don't think alike."https://crux.org.nz/crux-news/great-minds-dont-think-alike/… ... See MoreSee Less
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Some success stories from some of our students:'Nut' is improving his plumbing vocabulary and has completed his first plumbing block course. Shawn is starting to write longer sentences. Pauli has developed the confidence to move away from home. Stewart has learnt how to get a book out of the library and is happy because he can do what other people can do. Robert has been able to find information about one of his ancestors in 'A Biographical History of NZ'.RYALT congratulates the progress that these students are making.Success is all about good preparation, hard work, keeping at it and learning from failure and success. ... See MoreSee Less
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Struggled with learning in a classroom environment, where everyone else was faster than you. We understand that at the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust (RYALT) and want to help.At RYALT, we have one student to one coach learning, so it's at your pace. All you need to do is contact us! ... See MoreSee Less
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WHY DO PEOPLE WITH LITERACY ISSUES NOT SEEK HELP?People with literacy issues can find it hard to admit to the reading, writing, and numeracy problems and, therefore, are not the first to seek help.We are often asked, why do you promote yourselves on social media when the people you are trying to help probably are not reading the material anyway? The answer is simple. The people who start the ball rolling for better reading, writing and numeracy skills are family members, mother, father, aunty, uncle, or somebody else within the whanau. The next most likely person to start the ball rolling to help somebody with literacy issues is a work colleague, like a manager or immediate superior who interacts daily with the individual with the literacy issue—people who have a genuine interest in people succeeding. We have managers or colleagues of apprentices phoning asking for help for one of their apprentices. The most common comment is, “they are never going to be able to pass their exams with their writing and spelling ability they have at the moment.”Just a phone call is all it can take and, of course, the willingness of the student to interact with one of our coaches. And why would you not want to succeed in your career as an apprentice plumber, builder, cabinetmaker or another job?Why do people with literacy issues not seek help? Some do, like two men in their fifties, recently phoned us. Both had similar stories that recent life events made them realise they needed to do better reading and writing. Both said they could read but not very well and wanted to improve their situations. They were frequent visitors to their local libraries and got value from the libraries. They did not get value from the books, magazines, and other documentation and decided it was time to seek help to increase the value of the library for them. These two men are a rarity and need to be congratulated for taking the action improvement line for themselves. People with literacy issues do not seek help for many reasons. Embarrassment is one, and not being willing to let people know of their problem is another. And on odd occasions, people are proud that they struggle with reading and writing, preferring reliance on other people to help them.Reasons why not is the norm.When the literacy issues are broached with the individual, the reasons not to take positive action come to the fore.ABC Life Literacy Canada’s “Why Aren’t They Calling?” study identified the following as the most significant concerns people had about enrolling in a literacy program. There were 21 main reasons that potential students had not to enrolled for literacy assistance. We touch on a few of the main reasons below that the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust has found and include ways to overcome these problems:• Money problems in general – everything is free with the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust (RYALT).• Conflict with paid employment – generally, our coaches can work with a suitable time for the student.• Program too far away – a student can undertake training online or by phone from the comfort of their own home. So, no travel is required.• Not able to work at the student pace – our coaches work at the student pace. We understand that this is an issue for students. We believe that learning is best done at the student’s own pace to build confidence within the student and a desire to keep moving forward.• Worried/nervous – RYALT works on one student to one coach learning. Our coaches care and understand a student’s nervousness and work to overcome this aspect and build confidence.If you are looking for literacy help for someone showing resistance. You can talk to us.#reading #writing #literacyhelp #whanau #readingandwriting #literacy ... See MoreSee Less
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