Dys­lexia now no headache

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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