Today I’m going to write a bit about dyslexia coaching.
Rather than listing lots of things that dyslexia coaching is or isn’t, I’ve decided instead to write this post on what I feel is one of the most important aspects of dyslexia coaching – that is assisting an individual to identify and overcome blocks in their thinking that may be limiting him/her from achieving in an area of his/her life that is important to them.
So relating this to the issue of dyslexia, it’s about assisting an individual to explore their thinking about dyslexia in order to identify if the way they view dyslexia is serving them well or holding them back.
For example, is someone believes that dyslexia stems from a ‘defect’ that exists within their brain and that this ‘defect’ means that they will never be able to develop their skills, let’s say, in reading and writing to a level that they are happy with – then their thinking about dyslexia (i.e. viewing dyslexia to stem from a brain defect) might be (and most probably is) one of the things that is holding them back from developing their reading and writing skills.
As a dyslexia coach one of the first things that I tend to focus on when offering support to an individual who perceives him/herself as dyslexic is to encourage him/her to talk about what dyslexia means to them.
One of my aims, early on within the first few dyslexia coaching sessions, is to try and build up a picture of how the person I’m working with has made sense of their dyslexia.
I’m interested in finding out things such as how the person I’m supporting describes dyslexia, what they believe causes dyslexia, where dyslexia lives (i.e. internally within self or externally as a social construct) how dyslexia affects them, and if their thinking about dyslexia is ‘fixed’ or ‘fluid’ (in other words whether they believe they will always be ‘dyslexic’ or whether their thinking would accommodate alternative views of dyslexia that might eventually lead to him/her reconceptualising him/herself as a ‘none-dyslexic’ person [more about this in future posts]).
Having built up a good picture of how a person perceives their dyslexia the next step in the dyslexia coaching process is to explore why they perceive their dyslexia in the way that they have described – and it is here that we (the ‘dyslexic’ person and I) can start to identify any limiting assumptions about dyslexia that may exist within their thinking.
So, in a nutshell, an important aspect of dyslexia coaching is assisting an individual to explore their perception of dyslexia and to indentify which bits of their thinking are serving them well and which bits of their thinking might be stopping them from achieving their goals (i.e., in the example given above, developing reading and writing skills to a level that the individual is happy with).
Well that’s it for now – I’ll be writing about the next step in the dyslexia coaching process in future posts.
It would be great to hear your views on this aspect of dyslexia coaching so please post them in the comment box underneath this post.
All the best and see you tomorrow!
Antonio G Farruggia-Bochnak