Dyslexia; So That’s Why I Hate Reading Out Loud
by Sally Churchward –
Reading out loud in class was what Sue Kerrigan dreaded the most. She knew she would get something wrong and be corrected in front of everyone. “I felt stupid a lot of the time,” she says.
Then there were the physical effects. “Reading made me feel sick and giddy,” says the 40-year-old.
After an office job which she found very boring and which required the very skills that she had found difficult at school she started a teaching degree, but again struggled to learn.
But when she switched to a design and technology degree she excelled. Sue hadn’t yet realized that she was dyslexic and when she found something that she was good at it was a revelation.
It challenged to the core her self-image as something of a failure. “I realized: ‘Oh my God, I’m good at this. How can I be good at something? I’m not good at things, so how can that work?’.”
The memory still makes Sue emotional and at the time it was difficult to deal with suddenly feeling so differently about herself. “I suffered from depression for a time because I couldn’t really get my head around it,” she says. “It was mind-boggling.”
Sue achieved a first class honours degree and went on to become an engineer but after a few years she felt the urge to teach again.
As she trained in multi-sensory methods to tutor children who are struggling, she began to realize that her own reading and spelling were improving too. It gradually dawned on Sue that she was dyslexic.
Her interest in helping children with dyslexia (which affects ability to read) and dyscalculia (which affects maths ability) led her to set up her own business, Let Me Learn, selling specialist educational games and learning materials, around seven years ago.
And in the last couple of years she has been developing her own resources, including Football Maths, which channels children’s interest in the sport to play fun maths games.
“Children who are struggling and failing with learning are demoralised in the first place so you’ve got to make it interesting, relevant and fun to switch them onto learning in their way,” she says.
Read more at Dyslexic businesswoman and teacher says ‘reading made me feel sick’.