Dyslexia now no headache
Trent Holden has not let dyslexia get in the way of building a successful career.
The 24-year-old from Whitby has six years under his belt as a builder and finds ways to overcome seeing letters and numbers backwards every day.
He is upfront about his dyslexia and does not consider it a disability.
‘‘Life is full of challenges and being dyslexic . . . just means that we learn differently from everyone else.’’
He found reading, writing and maths difficult at school, with his family realising he was dyslexic when he was six.
Not long after, he started lessons with Speld tutor Jan Nalder.
Speld is a non-profit group which provides support to people with dyslexia and other learning disabilities and Trent became a long-term attendee, going for eight years.
‘‘Speld gave me new skills to help me get through schooling.
‘‘It gave me the confidence to believe in myself, that I could do well in school and that I wasn’t dumb.
‘‘It also helped me understand the way I learnt, and I started to enjoy learning for myself.’’
Mr Holden’s mother Beth believes it was the combination of a Speld teacher working oneon-one with him and attending Hutt International Boys’ School, where they had a special teaching unit for boys with learning disabilities, plus small classes and caring teachers, that helped him greatly.
‘‘It has of course come at a cost but I believe it is well worth it if in the end you have an independent young man who is able to work,’’ she says.
Mr Holden is now a fully qualified builder, often working six or seven days a week.
He says he has learnt the best way to manage his dyslexia in the workplace is to talk to his workmates about it and work together.
For him, Speld was the key to self-belief and finding he could enjoy learning.
His advice to other people with dyslexia: ‘‘Never give up.’’
This week is Dyslexia Week and Speld Mana is running an information evening next Tuesday from 7pm at the Helen Smith Room in Pataka entitled, I wonder if my kid is dyslexic?.
Speld Mana president Bev Boys says dyslexic children are often bright but struggle with everyday activities like tying their shoelaces or telling time.
Some will draw on their vast general knowledge to guess the answer to reading comprehension questions when they may not be able to read the words.
‘‘ They can also have coordination issues and difficulties telling the difference between left and right.
‘‘They may be the dreamers or class clowns who are avoiding being shown up as not able to do the work.’’
Anyone wanting information on the evening or on Speld can call 237 5770.
Building blocks: Trent Holden confronts challenges every day due to his dyslexia, but techniques like writing all his measurements down are used to overcome something he does not see as a disability.