How a dyslexia specialist tutor can help
What a dyslexia support tutor might do
It is not difficult to find indicators of dyslexia, but understanding the interplay between them and the integration of these with the whole person in all contexts is an ‘unfolding story’ which can take time to unravel.
Trust is a key element in this exercise, as the student needs to feel ‘safe’ before they are able to explore how their SpLD impacts on their past, present and future life. The tutor assists the student in unravelling their learning experiences using an inclusive learning development approach which enables the student to understand and own their learning journey.
Unravelling is particularly critical in mature students – they may have a history of compensatory strategies which can impact negatively on their ability to copy with the stresses of studying in Higher Education. The tutor uses questions to start the unravelling process. A ball of wool is a useful analogy, as the student’s story needs to be unraveled according to how it has been wound. There is no way of knowing beforehand what will arise, and this needs to be discovered by both the learner and tutor.
A holistic, analytical and dynamic approach can be developed by ensuring that the specialist tutor’s practice is:
- Involves exploration of the nature of their dyslexia, and how it impacts on their learning
- Engaging - ensuring that the tutor’s knowledge, skills and expectations are woven into dynamic interaction with the student.
- A structured and unstructured conversation.
- Able to reflect on metacognition.