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Tracing Dyslexia Tracing Dyslexia
As dyslexic as I am and as you see me says Elizabeth Kwarteng

25/08/2017 8AM | STORY | Press

Dyslexia is penetrating into our society almost each and every day as our health and medical clock ticks without a trace.


And the body championing the course where it matters most is Aspire2inspire Dyslexia. 
It is an organisation that helps and supports dyslexics, and a registered community interest company that serves the Wandsworth community and its neighbouring boroughs.


At A2i Dyslexia, giving talks at work places, schools, colleges and universities while bringing awareness to educate the individual is one of their aims.


So in this light, courting a dyslexic person in an engaging conversation that bares all and throws every challenge into the equation, makes everyone aware of what the term Dyslexia or Dyslexic is all about.


Speaking about her motivation and drive behind the Dyslexia Campaign, Elizabeth Kwarteng- Amaning said: “Dyslexia is a learning difference, a combination of strengths and weaknesses which affects reading, spelling, writing and sometimes, numeracy.


“Dyslexic learners may also encounter problems with the following: short-term memory, concentrating,sequencing and processing of information quickly.


“And Specific Strengths Research has highlighted some positive aspects to being dyslexic means being great at visual thinking or thinking in pictures.


“Some of our traits are such as fast problem solvers, who are able to think laterally. We are excellent trouble-shooters, verbally articulate and great communicators who are creative.- So many dyslexics are employed as designers, artists, actors and chefs.


“Spatially talented, many dyslexics are employed as engineers, architects, designers, artists, mathematicians, physicists, physicians (esp. Surgeons and orthopaedics), and dentists.


“And My drive is to help the individual dyslexic to unlock their full potential and to make a change in that individual's life.”


Growing up from the age of 9, she could not read nor write until the age of 15 years old. Primary school was such a struggle. she was always bullied and the other children would ask why could she not read nor write.


At secondary school, she was still struggling with Numeracy and Literacy so she became very disruptive in the class and was always getting in trouble with the teachers. As a result, she ended up in the bottom set of the class and achieved very little GCSE marks.


leaving school at 16 and no intention of ever going back to full time education, she had a change of mind “I started college because all my friends were studying and it seemed normal to enrol and I wanted to be accepted within my peers.


“After a year on the Hotel Management course at Carshalton College in (1987), I couldn’t complete the course because I felt as if something was wrong.


“However, I didn’t know what it was at the time. As I was yet to be diagnosed, and ended up leaving College in 1988.”


Working as a receptionist for Yorkshire TV, she was too scared to even ask for promotion just
because she felt, she could not read, write nor spell adequately.


Disclosing her struggles she said: “I had no support in the work place and was very ashamed to mention that I had these difficulties to any employer. I kept it all to myself and suffered in silence.


"And as a result, I would struggle in the work place and leave the Job, so I have hopped from one Job to another. In 2001, I was brave enough to enrol into university, even though I had no idea as to how I was going to embark on this journey.


"I knew essay writing and reading lots of books would be a struggle but nothing was going to stop me. I had two children at the time and wanted to change my life around for them.”


It was in her second year at South Bank University, that her Dyslexia was diagnosed. she was studying combined honours in Human Resource Management/Sociology.


And was thinking, as a dyslexic person why did she have to choose to study within the business area when she could have chosen something more creative.


She was referred to the Dyslexia assessment at The Independent Dyslexia Consultants (Formerly known as Adult Skills and Development Centre) David Mcloughlin (Chartered Psychologist) based in Holborn London.


She said: “It was at this point that I was told I had Dyslexia. I was in total shock and still wondered what this condition was, I was ashamed to tell any of my employers as I felt there is a stigma attached to having this specific learning difficulties.


“I really struggled at university but I was not going to give up as I was very determined to carry on because Dyslexia was not going to stop me to reach my full potential.


Graduating from South Bank University with 2.2 classifications with the support of the study skills team on one on tuition, she unflinchingly studied further.


"I decided to study for a post-16 PGCE teaching certificate at Greenwich University in October 2014.I also had my one to one tutor with (Tracey Partridge) a Senior Lecturer at Greenwich University Post 16 Education.


"She really believed in me and encouraged me to reach my full potential.”


She taught subject specialism in TV and Film in Media Make-Up,(something creative) to VTCT Level 3 students and graduated in July 2015 with a Pass from Greenwich University.


And finally finding her passion in teaching what she really enjoys, she however felt she needed to help other Dyslexics that may be struggling within education, self-employment, or any given work space.


Detailing some of the challenges that comes with being dyslexic, she explains that: “Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty where it’s not understood by many people".


As at the moment her aim is to teach and support Dyslexics who are struggling within the education and also within the working environment.


So she went back to education to study for Post Graduate in Adult Dyslexia teaching, and also to support Dyslexic students (2017).


As she puts it: “ Aspire2inspire Dyslexia, is a charitable focused organisation based in Wandsworth, bringing awareness of Dyslexia within the community and encouraging education, employability and entrepreneurship amongst Dyslexics.


"We are also here to help you overcome Dyslexia and reach your full potential and also provide support for dyslexic children and their assessment.”


And summarizing the mission and vision of the Dyslexic Campaign Elizabeth said: “We hope to educate teachers to teach dyslexics in a different teaching style, as dyslexia is a learning difference, as a dyslexic, I am a kinaesthetic and visual learner.


“We also aim to encourage dyslexics to set up their own businesses. This is because statistically speaking, about 20% of British Business entrepreneurs are dyslexics according a research published in the guardian.


"Never give up on your dreams and never give up on education as there is so much help and organisations that can help you overcome specific learning difficulties” Elizabeth said.


By Wilfred Clarke

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