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Rosie Bis­sett, CEO, Dyslexia As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land

6.45am My five-year-old daugh­ter, Ella, has just started school so we are get­ting used to our new morn­ing rou­tine. I drop her off be­fore head­ing to work in Tal­bot St, Dublin city cen­tre. 9am I check my sched­ule for the day and an­swer emails be­fore meet­ing other staff. We have an ed­u­ca­tional psy­chol­ogy team and an in­for­ma­tion team. We run a busy helpline and the in­for­ma­tion team notes emerg­ing trends, for ex­am­ple, if an ex­am­re­lated is­sue gen­er­ates lots of con­cerned calls, we might need to con­tact the State Ex­am­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion. 10am I meet our devel­op­ment and sup­port of­fi­cer (adult ser­vices). Her role is to raise aware­ness of adult dyslexia. One third of the as­sess­ments we con­duct are of adults, and most are sub­sidised as many are from dis­ad­van­taged back­grounds. Adults with a learn­ing dif­fi­culty are more likely to be un­em­ployed or to work part-time. 12noon I get a phonecall from a jour­nal­ist look­ing to talk to Mar­garet Rooke, au­thor of the re­cently pub­lished Dyslexia is My Su­per­power (Most of the Time). Mar­garet, who is UK-based, ap­proached us for help sourc­ing Ir­ish chil­dren to con­trib­ute to her book. It’s a unique book where chil­dren talk about their ex­pe­ri­ence of dyslexia and what they re­ally need to help them. 1.30pm I have lunch with the team. 2pm I touch base with the co-or­di­na­tor of our ca­reer paths course in Leixlip, Co Kil­dare. It’s a free, full-time nine-month course for un­em­ployed adults with dyslexia. Some em­ploy­ers take a pos­i­tive ap­proach to dyslexia in the work­place. 3pm Oc­to­ber is Dyslexia Aware­ness Month so we have been busy plan­ning the mes­sag­ing. I have sur­vey data to crunch and press re­leases to pre­pare. There are still lots of myths around dyslexia —. that peo­ple with dyslexia see words back-tofront. In fact, dyslexia is not a vis­ual dif­fi­culty but a dif­fer­ent way of pro­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion, af­fect­ing much more than read­ing and spell­ing, such as work­ing mem­ory and or­gan­i­sa­tion. It doesn’t mean a low IQ. 6pm I set off home, col­lect­ing Ella from af­ter­school along the way, to spend some qual­ity time with fam­ily.

Dyslexia As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land ■ helpline: 01-877 6001

“Dyslexia does not mean a low IQ”

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