Dyslexic man Tom Mullally will be conducting a free dyslexia seminar for parents and teachers of children struggling with reading and writing at Club Lithgow on Monday, September 17 at 7pm.
The 90 minute seminar will include tips, insight and practical knowledge about what dyslexia is and how parents can help their children get over the reading hump.
As a nine-year-old, Tom Mullally had a 'superior' IQ, but could never understand why he still couldn't read or write.
He watched on as his classmates moved on to the next year level while he was left to repeat and spend years in remediation and special education. At the age of 7 was told by his teacher that he would never amount to anything.
Mr Mullally said it destroyed his confidence to the point that he labelled himself 'dumb and stupid' and would purposely use avoidance to sit out of classroom activities.
"I was a functionally illiterate nine-year-old; I couldn't read or write my own name,” he said.
"I struggled with reading, comprehension, spelling and getting my ideas onto paper, and for a while I spent a long time in remediation and special ed classes.
"It affected my confidence; I had withdrawn and didn't want to participate in activities at school, because I didn't want my weaknesses to be shown to the classroom.
"I knew something was going on, but I just wrote myself as dumb and stupid because I was struggling to do the reading other kids found easy.”
Marianne, Tom’s Mother, took him to undergo tests and assessments that showed he had a superior IQ, but still didn't quite understand what was happening. So she travelled to and from America, where she studied dyslexia for three years.
Within five days of Marianne returning to Australia, Mr Mullally said he was finally able read and comprehend.
Marianne now educates and empowers parents across Australia who have children struggling and teaches the techniques she has built on for the last 15 years of working with more than 400 Dyslexic adults and children.
“Her teaching changed my life,” Mr Mullally said.
“I was school captain in Year 12 where I graduated with dux in two subjects, and went on to do a double degree at university in Sydney.”
With 10 to 15 percent of Australians having dyslexia, a disorder that involves difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters and other symbols, dyslexia has become the sleeping giant of learning difficulties but is often not spoken about in education circles.
“These kids are not lazy, dumb, stupid or naughty. They are smart articulate learners. They just have to be taught the way they learn,” Mr Mullally said.
To register for the seminar go to www.dyslexia.com.au/register or call 02 9436 3766.