Tips and Tricks for managing dyslexiaWriting a cheque
A great tip is to have a laminated card with numbers and their spellings written next to them. In addition, why not also have £ and p signs with their spellings too! Youíll never come unstuck! Just slip it into the sleeve of your chequebook and refer to it each time! We have some ready made here at Indigo so why not pop by and pick one up for free!
The day ahead
As short-term memory can be quite poor, itís great to get yourself into a daily routine that works for you. Organisation is the key! Different things will work for different people but here are some great tips: Diaries. Get one with the date written out in full, with time slots too. Use the marker so you know the day and week youíre on. Use images rather than words if it helps to remind you of the dayís requirements. Portable trays. Instead of having to remember several items such as wallet, keys, glasses etc each day, why not keep them all in one tray both at home and at work, and carry the tray back and forth, keeping all your things together!
Filing cabinets are great if you know how to make them work for you. When your cabinets are organised alphabetically, put the letters on the front of the cabinets in alphabetical order. Then the order of the letters and placement of files can be seen and accessed much easier.
There is a variety of IT software available for people with dyslexia. Two examples are: Dragon. This is a programme, which can be installed onto your computer, and you dictate what you want to write and it will then do it for you. Read and Write. This enables you to type the text and it will read back to you what you have written so that you can make corrections as and when is necessary and feel confident that what you have written is correct. Feel free to ring, email or pop in to us to find out about any others that may better meet your needs.
Filling out forms
It is pretty much a certainty that every form you fill in will require your name and address, and possibly a contact number and your date of birth. A great tip therefore is to put these details onto a computer and print them off onto sticky labels. A great programme to use for this is Vistaprint. Then the next time youíre faced with a form, just peel off one of the labels and stick it on!
Finding a location
Apart from a non-argumentative and well-informed passenger, the best investment is Satellite Navigation! Not only does it give you step-by-step directions verbally, it will also show you the route on a screen, therefore avoiding any confusion with lefts and rights. So, just type in the postcode of your destination and off you go!
Taking phone messages
Invest in a Dictaphone. These are great as you can take them with you anywhere and are so easy to use. When taking messages from answerphones, just press record on the Dictaphone and the message will simply be transferred. If youíre on the phone to someone who is giving you their details, again press record on the Dictaphone, simply repeat their details as they say them and again the information will be stored for you to access as and when you need it. If you are in receipt of Disabled Students Allowance or Access to Work (further information is listed below and on our website), Dictaphones can sometimes be obtained free of charge, if they are on a list of equipment recommended by a needs assessor or Access to Work.
These can prove quite problematic to Dyslexics. A good tip is to grab a wall calendar with every day of every month set out in a clear and organised pattern. The, number each month from January to December 1 to 12 as they appear in order on the calendar. You will then have a quick reference to find out which month is which. It may be an idea also to mark that numerical dates are ordered in day/month/year. You can of course always do a much smaller version. Go through your diary perhaps and number each month in there.
Make life easier for yourself by starting off with books of short stories. These appear less daunting and are much more manageable. Choose books also if you can with larger print. In addition, to help settle to words on the pages, and reduce any glare, invest in either some coloured reading rulers or overlays. Each of these is available at Indigo and from our online shop. Of course there is also always the option of audio books. You never have to miss out on your favourite book with these widely available. Why not subscribe to www.listening-books.org.uk they offer great options for both children and adults.
Students with dyslexia may be eligible for Disabled Students Allowance. This is a fund specifically designed to pay for support for students in Higher Education. Accessing it can sometimes be confusing and complex and we at Indigo can help you with this. For those at work, with the right documentation, you may be eligible for Access to Work support. This is again a fund set up especially to help with any additional materials and equipment you may need in your working environment.
© Author of this article: Mollie Jeffries. Indigo Advisor. This article can be freely reproduced with due attribution of authorship.