Being disorganised does not mean you have dyslexia… however it is not uncommon for learners of all ages with dyslexia to have organisational difficulties.
By Julia Hewerdine
What kind of organisational difficulties?
For some it may be because they find it hard, for example, to plan/sequence a task in the first place or just can’t remember what they need to do.
Being the mother of 5 children with dyslexia has certainly been interesting! They all seemed to find different things challenging as far as organisation was concerned – whether it was remembering to feed the cat or take their packed lunch and homework to school.
We constantly had to try different strategies to help them organise themselves. As ever, one size does not fit all – that would be too easy! Equally, some strategies lasted for a while but then new ones had to be found.
One of my children managed to leave a trail of belongings in the most unusual of places. There were so many lost phones, bus passes, clothes……
I certainly do remember finding it very hard myself to manage my work, time and clothes when I was at primary school. I was often told off for losing equipment and coats. Learning to read and spell was difficult enough for me at that age and so my lack of ability to organise myself was yet another point of failure or embarrassment. Throughout my education and early adulthood I had to really focus on organising myself – trying different systems, colour coding, electronic and paper diaries, storage solutions etc. Eventually, I did find some fail-safe strategies and now I am considered to be very organised – rather a surprise for me. I do now manage to juggle a large number of tasks and provide organisation and structure for those I work with. Through continued focus, and effort, as well as on going support, a weakness of mine became a strength. I am relieved to say the same of my adult children too.
On our courses we look at the range of situations and reasons a learner may need support for their organisation – children, students and adults alike. We consider:
• The use of visual timetables
• Keeping equipment and materials clearly marked and neatly arranged so that access to them is easy.
• Teaching them explicitly how to store their own belongings.
• Teaching them explicitly how to organise their work/homework/coursework
• Breaking longer pieces of work down into manageable chunks
• Never criticising their lack of organisational skills.
You can make a difference: help someone become organised and see how this impacts his or her learning and opportunities.
‘These are just a few ways in which we can help you achieve your goal related to dyslexia. Sign up to join the hundreds of candidates already benefitting from our courses and be part of our journey to make the changes people with dyslexia need.’