Are you a Tactile / Kinesthetic Learner?

February 3rd, 2014 No comments
 Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners or those who learn through, moving, doing and touching.

Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners or those who learn through, moving, doing and touching.

Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners or those who learn through, moving, doing and touching. You know their kind the minute you see them. In fact, they often are a teacher’s nightmare. Their tell-tale characteristics? Taking frequent breaks, working at a standing position, chewing gum/listening to music while studying, or skimming through reading material to get a rough idea first. The hands-on approach is their mode of learning, with the whole learning process being actually an exploration of the visual, auditory, and motor stimuli that surrounds them. Tactile learners may often find it difficult to sit still for long periods. For these learners doing is learning.

Characteristics of a Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner:

  • Learns through moving, doing, and touching Learns best through a hands-on method, actively exploring the world around them
  • Enjoys tasks that involve manipulating materials and objects
  • speak with their hands and with gestures
  • Remembers what was done, but has difficulty recalling what was said or seen
  • Good at drawing designs
  • Often doodles while listening, thus processing information
  • Good at drawing designs, art, cooking, construction, engineering, sports, mechanics, and using appliances and tools
  • Often adventurous
  • May find it hard to sit still for long periods
  • May become distracted by their need for activity and exploration
  • Sits near the door or someplace else where they can easily get up and move around
  • Is uncomfortable in classrooms where they lack opportunities for hands-on experience
  • Needs to be active and take frequent breaks
  • Finds reasons to fidget or move when bored
  • Relies on what they can directly experience or perform

Make your Learning Style work for you!

  • Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners:
  • Take frequent study breaks and vary your activities
  • Make studying more physical—work at a standing desk, chew gum, pace while memorizing, read while on an exercise bike, mold a piece of clay, squeeze a tennis ball
  • Use bright colors to highlight reading material
  • Dress us your work space with posters and color
  • Play music in the background while you study
  • When reading, first skim through the whole thing to get a feel for what its about, then read the chapter carefully
  • Use spatial note taking techniques such as mind mapping Visualize complex projects from start to finish before beginning—this will allow you to keep the big picture in mind

Wishing you and your child every success

Kind regards

Liz Dunoon

Source original article from

Are you an Auditory Learner?

January 24th, 2014 No comments

Auditory_LearnerEach and every individual picks up things differently. This was ever the more apparent to me when I watched my 2 year old daughter play with my niece. While my niece picked up her ABC’s while repeatedly playing with a “push-in-the alphabet button kind of toy”, my daughter wanted me to repeat the alphabet song – and insist she repeat after me, every single moment of the day. My desperate attempt to get her to “push the button” was met with a strong stomping of her foot and a defiant “Mama sing ABC”. I put down her resistance to being spoilt. But a psychologist would put down her resistance to a learning style. The kinesthetic learner. In fact, most psychologists believe that it is in our very infancy that learning styles are established.

Auditory Learners are those who learn through listening. These learners benefit from anything that is sound-oriented. So be it debates, speeches, presentations, jingles to aid memorization, verbal analogies, lectures, group discussions, or detailed verbal analysis, auditory learners learn best when surrounded by auditory stimuli. In fact, those who learn by listening pay importance to both tone of voice and pitch, and other associated nuances. For them writing down information or reading things on their own may have no effect on their learning capacity. In fact, it works well for them when reading text aloud or even when taking the aid of a tape recorder.

Characteristics of an Auditory Learner

• Learns through listening
• Learns best through verbal lectures, discussion, talking things through, and listening to
what others have to say
• Interprets the underlying meaning of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch,
speed, and other nuances
• Prefers directions given orally
• Seldom takes notes or writes things down
• Prefers lectures to reading assignments
• Often repeats what has just been said
• Talks to self
• Often benefits from reading text aloud and using a tape recorder
• Sits where they can hear but needn’t pay attention to what is happening in front
• Hums or talks to himself/herself or others when bored
• Acquires knowledge by reading aloud
• Remembers by verbalizing lessons to themselves (if they don’t they have difficulty
reading maps or diagrams or handling conceptual assignments like mathematics).

Make your Learning Style work for you!

Auditory Learners:
• Think aloud and talk to yourself
• Participate in class discussions and debates
• Make speeches and presentations
• Read text out loud—especially when proofreading or when tired
• Create musical jingles and mnemonics to aid memorization
• Use a tape recorder during lectures
• Discuss your ideas verbally with a friend or small group
• Use verbal analogies and story telling to illustrate your point
• Recite information over and over to better memorize material
• Sit near the side or back of the classroom where there is less visual stimulation

Wishing you and your child every success

Kind regards

Liz Dunoon

Source original article from

Are You A Visual Learner?

January 20th, 2014 No comments
Visual learning is a particular style or approach an individual adopts to process and understand stimuli or information

Visual learning is a particular style or approach an individual adopts to process and understand stimuli or information

Visual Learners or those who learn through seeing. Visual learners often take in body language and facial expressions to process information. It has been observed, that in school or college, visual learners are often among the front benchers which allows them to be free from any visual obstruction. Pictures, visual displays like diagrams, charts, maps, illustrated text books, videos, hand-outs are their preferred medium of learning, and they learn best through this form of interpretation. Most prefer taking detailed notes to absorb information better. Visual learners also prefer the use of colors, using different highlighters or coloured pens while taking notes. In fact, these types of learners often visualize information as a picture, which helps easy recall later. So stimulated are they by visual stimuli, they often, while learning something new, try to shun places with verbal disturbances.

Visual learners may use words and phrases like

  • See
  • Look
  • View
  • Appear
  • Show me
  • Appraise
  • I saw that
  • I can visualize that
  • It just dawned on me
  • Reveal the answer
  • I can envision that
  • I can see that happening
  • Illuminate
  • Let me draw a picture of that
  • I’ll take a photo with my camera
  • I can imagine that
  • It appears to me
  • Beyond a shadow of a doubt
  • I’ve got my eye on you
  • I caught a glimpse of that
  • It is clear-cut to me
  • I have a dim view of that
  • I can see that like it was yesterday
  • We were eye to eye
  • It flashed up on the screen
  • Can I make a video of that
  • I can get a perspective on that
  • Will I see you in person?
  • In view of what just happened
  • Don’t make a scene
  • You’re as pretty as a picture
  • I can remember his face perfectly
  • Am I allowed to show that information in a PowerPoint?
  • You are very upfront
  • I can see what is going on
  • You are a sight for sore eyes
  • That is well defined

Wishing you and your child every success

Kind regards

Liz Dunoon

Source original article from


Symptoms of Dyscalculia

January 13th, 2014 No comments
Dyscalculia is difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, and learning maths facts. It is generally seen as a specific developmental disorder like dyslexia.

Dyscalculia is difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, and learning maths facts. It is generally seen as a specific developmental disorder like dyslexia.

  • Normal or accelerated language acquisition: verbal, reading, writing. Poetic ability. Good visual memory for the printed word. Good in the areas of science (until a level requiring higher math skills is reached), geometry (figures with logic not formulas), and creative arts.
  • Mistaken recollection of names. Poor name/face retrieval. Substitute names beginning withsame letter.
  • Difficulty with the abstract concepts of time and direction. Inability to recall schedules, and sequences of past or future events. Unable to keep track of time. May be chronically late.
  • Inconsistent results in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Poor mental math ability. Poor with money and credit. Cannot do financial planning or budgeting. Checkbooks not balanced. Short term, not long term financial thinking. Fails to see big financial picture.
  • May have fear of money and cash transactions. May be unable to mentally figure change due back, the amounts to pay for tips, taxes, etc.
  • When writing, reading and recalling numbers, these common mistakes are made: number additions, substitutions, transpositions, omissions, and reversals.
  • Inability to grasp and remember math concepts, rules, formulas, sequence (order of operations), and basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Poor long term memory (retention & retrieval) of concept mastery – may be able to perform math operations one day, but draw a blank the next! Maybe able to do book work but fails all tests and quizzes.
  • May be unable to comprehend or “picture” mechanical processes. Lack “big picture/ whole picture” thinking. Poor ability to “visualize or picture” the location of the numbers on the face of a clock, the geographical locations of states, countries, oceans, streets, etc.
  • Poor memory for the “layout” of things. Gets lost or disoriented easily. May have a poor sense of direction, loose things often, and seem absent minded. (Remember the absent minded professor?)
  • May have difficulty grasping concepts of formal music education. Difficulty sight-reading music, learning fingering to play an instrument, etc.
  • May have poor athletic coordination, difficulty keeping up with rapidly changing physical directions like in aerobic, dance, and exercise classes. Difficulty remembering dance step sequences, rules for playing sports.
  • Difficulty keeping score during games, or difficulty remembering how to keep score in games, like bowling, etc. Often looses track of whose turn it is during games, like cards and board games. Limited strategic planning ability for games, like chess.

Wishing you and your child every success

Kind regards

Liz Dunoon

This symptom list is from

A Question From A Parent: A Child Lying

January 6th, 2014 No comments
Our young son has been diagnosed with Dyslexia and is struggling at school.  The hardest thing we are having trouble with is his constant 'getting in trouble' at school for his bad behavior and lying constantly.

Our young son has been diagnosed with Dyslexia and is struggling at school.  The hardest thing we are having trouble with is his constant ‘getting in trouble’ at school for his bad behavior and lying constantly.

Our young son has been diagnosed with Dyslexia and is struggling at school.  The hardest thing we are having trouble with is his constant ‘getting in trouble’ at school for his bad behavior and lying constantly.  Is this also part of the dyslexic behavior?  We can see him do something wrong and then he will lie straight to our faces about it.  Every day when he comes home from school, the teacher inform us about what bad behavior he has shown today.  Many of his friends are starting to distance themselves from him as he is now known as the trouble maker.  This is very hard for a parent as we know he has a great personality and great imagination.  What can we do to help him?

Answer to Question

Thank you for your email and for sharing about your son. I will do my best to answer your question, but keep in mind that this is just my opinion as I do not know your son personally. Children who struggle at school due to dyslexia will often develop strategies to ensure they are not seen as the dumb kid by their peers or others. One strategy can be becoming the ‘naughty kid’. I am assuming the lying might be a part of this. Being a good liar, is often seen by experts to be an indication of high intelligence. But being an obvious liar, is really more an attention seeking strategy. When children can’t get good attention such as for being capable and good at something, they will often settle for bad attention. It is all about getting the attention really, not whether it is good or bad.

As it sounds like this is becoming a problem for him, his teachers and you, it is time to act and nip this in the bud.

I cover this in detail in my book, but in general I would suggest that you need to give him an opportunity to define himself differently. Rather than the naughty kid who struggles with some aspects of his schoolwork, he needs to be the kid who is;

good at sport, creative writing, chess, public speaking, building, music, supporting others etc etc.

Once he has a new definition, he will become more confident and happier within himself and hopefully the bad behavior will begin to cease. From a parenting perspective, it is also the time to talk about the long term consequences for the child who becomes branded as the child who does not tell the truth and lies all the time. As in the story about ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’. When something really important happens, people need to be able to trust his version of events. This is particularly important in the teenage years, when teens can get themselves in trouble and will lie to avoid the consequences.

He also needs to know that there is still time to change his ways and that his friends will begin to spend more time with him if he improves his behavior. Most Children are very forgiving and generally want the best for each other.

I hope this helps.

Wishing you and your child every success

Kind regards

Liz Dunoon

Anxiety and Depression caused by a Learning Difficulty

December 30th, 2013 No comments

If you believe your child’s needs some assistance in this area please seek help early.

Beyond Blue is an amazing Australian website filled with practical advice and solutions for children, teens and adults struggling with anxiety and depression. Here is a link below to their page on Youth.

If you believe your child’s needs some assistance in this area please seek help early. Speak to your medical doctor. You may even find that there is some government funded assistance in the form of a Mental Health Plan. This is the case in Australia where a certain number of visits to see a psychologist are subsidized.


Here is another link to their pages of Fact Sheets


Wishing you and your child every success

Liz Dunoon

Dyslexia Indicators For Working Adults

December 23rd, 2013 No comments

Here are some indicators for adults with dyslexia. You may not have all of these traits and some of your traits may not be listed, but no doubt you will see some similarities.


At work, do you

  • Work at a job that won’t emphasis your literacy difficulties or where you aren’t required to read and write much?
  • Work in a higher position that means you can delegate reading, writing and spelling to other staff members?
  • Hide your literacy difficulties from your colleagues?
  • Find meetings boring and frustrating because they are so slow —often feeling that you already have the answer and others are painstakingly slow?
  • Get easily frustrated and find that changes and new situations can cause you anxiety?
  • Feeling overwhelmed by new or unexpected tasks or a change in routine?
  • Chose or would prefer a career that emphasizes your visual, tactile or kinaesthetic skills like a: Mechanic, Designer, Architect, Engineer, Tradesman, Actor, Artist, Scientist, Retail, Armed Forces, Health Provider, Driver, IT Specialist, Musician, Chef, Gardener, Athlete, Sportsman, Builder or a Businessperson with staff?
  • Prefer to multitask as it keeps you focused?
  • Dread any form of promotion that means you will have to have to write reports?
  • Avoid exams and tests, as you have difficulty passing standardized tests.
  • Self-sabotage or avoid situations that will highlight your weaknesses?
  • Consider yourself highly successful and driven —
  • Or an underachiever who is not living up to your own potential?
  • Are renowned for coming up with creative new ideas that are out-of-the-box?
  • Are an excellent trouble-shooter and problem solver finding solutions to all sorts of problems and difficulties?
  • Hate reading instructional manuals, preferring to learn by watching a demonstration or by doing a hands-on exercise?
  • Watch videos and YouTube clips to see how to do things?
  • See yourself as practical, street smart and a good judge of character?
  • Make choices intuitively or instinctively?
  • Display a sixth sense when it comes to understanding what makes other people tick?
  • Found school difficult and remember struggling at school, with reading, writing, spelling and/or math?
  • Having become a skilled in delegation?
  • Continue to find spelling difficult and use technology to assist you.
Categories: Helping Children With Dyslexia Tags:

Superior physical ability a ‘gift’ of dyslexia

December 16th, 2013 No comments


Ottawa's Shaylyn Hewton, 13, is a nationally ranked swimmer.

Ottawa’s Shaylyn Hewton, 13, is a nationally ranked swimmer. She is also dyslexic and takes out her stress in the pool.

The list of accomplished dyslexics is long and distinguished and includes basketballer, Michael Jordan, Boxer, Muhammad Ali, racing car driver, Sir Jackie Stewart, and golfer, Adam Scott. All these high achievers are dyslexic.

And just as dyslexia didn’t stop them from reaching the top of their field, Shaylyn Hewton, 13,says it won’t stop her. The Grade 8 student in Ottawa, is one of the top five backstroke swimmers in Canada in her age group and aspires to be on the Canadian team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“That’s definitely where I want to be,” says Shaylyn. “Every time I swim, it’s an amazing feeling I have, and I just take out all my stress in the pool. If there’s a big test coming up, I forget about that test and I swim through it. If something happens, I swim through it. I swim through the pain.”

Shaylyn’s talent doesn’t surprise Susan Barton, a California-based dyslexia expert. Barton says superior physical ability can be one of the “gifts” of dyslexia, as can superior musical and artistic ability, people skills and logic, among many others.

In 1998, Barton, 57, left a 20-year career in the IT industry to help her nephew, who was 16 and still unable to read when his dyslexia was identified. She founded Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, an organization that educates teachers and parents about the condition and develops research-based solutions. Barton says people hold many misconceptions about dyslexia, including the idea that dyslexics see things backward, that they can’t read at all, and that it’s rare. In fact, about 15 per cent of the population has dyslexia although only five per cent are correctly diagnosed, says Barton. People with dyslexia have a larger right hemisphere in their brains than those of most readers, says Barton, which also accounts for their strengths. She says if adults know what to look for, dyslexia is easy to detect early on. If a child doesn’t have 10 to 12 words by 12 months, that’s a sign; if a child doesn’t have a clear preference for one hand or the other by age four, that’s a sign; if a child frequently mixes up the sequence of syllables – pasghetti instead of spaghetti – that’s a sign.

Shaylyn displayed signs of a learning disability early. She was unable to hold a crayon at three years old, for example. She was able to get early intervention for what was eventually diagnosed as severe dyslexia and can now read at a Grade 6 level, though she still struggles more with spelling.

Barton says with hard work, even adults whose dyslexia has never been diagnosed can acquire reading, writing and spelling skills.

“There truly is no reason why they have to be slow readers, embarrassed about their spelling and reading their whole life. That part we know how to fix,” she says, adding the oldest student she has ever worked with personally was 63. “But the earlier we pick it up, the better.”

Shaylyn says that while she’s not ashamed of her difficulties, she generally keeps quiet about them because of other people’s reactions. She says she has friends on Facebook or who text her with comments on her spelling.

“I keep it secretive because some people take it differently,” says Shaylyn.

“But my close friends know about it.”

Barton says there’s no perfect method for helping every dyslexic, but there are many good ones, each with their own strengths.

Children with dyslexia can often possess superior physical strengths and attributes. Sometimes I hear parents say a child will have to give up their sporting pursuits to focus more on learning to read and spell and to improve their grades at school. It is important to remember there must be a balance. Children must be able to define themselves as successful in some way whether that is as a gymnast or a good reader. It is all about having the personal confidence to be resilient and give life a red hot go on every level. Who knows your child may be the next big thing at a future Olympics.

Wishing you and your child every success

Liz Dunoon

Source original article from The Windor Star by Janet Hunter, Oct, 2013




Told dyslexia would prevent him being a teacher, now Beverley Grammar School’s Edward Vickerman is judging at national Teaching Awards

December 9th, 2013 No comments
Source original article from the Hull Daily Mail by Trudi Davidson, Oct, 2013

Source original article from the Hull Daily Mail by Trudi Davidson, Oct, 2013

Beverley Grammar School assistant headteacher, Edward Vickerman was told he would never achieve his dream of becoming a teacher because of his dyslexia.
Mr Vickerman is proud to be a judge for this month’s annual awards, after scooping the outstanding new teacher title four years ago.

The 30-year-old, who joined Beverley Grammar School as an assistant headteacher last year, said the awards are a chance to put a spotlight on the good work done by teachers.
He said: “I am a judge for the North of England. It’s really important the profile of teaching is raised and the awards are a rare opportunity for people to say thank you to teachers.

“For anyone to nominate a teacher is quite special. No one goes into this to be thanked, sometimes it is very challenging. The pay-off can be in weeks, months or years and those teachers can make a real difference.”
Mr Vickerman is Business Studies teacher but was discouraged from going into the profession after being diagnosed with dyslexia as a child.
He said: “I was told I would never be a teacher because of my dyslexia and was encouraged to look for alternative career paths. School didn’t work particularly well for me, I ended up going out on work experience once a week from Year 11 and did a degree in Hospitality.
“Then I went back into school for a day, realized I did want to be a teacher and decided to find a training college to take me.”
Mr Vickerman never looked back and won his award as an outstanding new teacher at his first school in West Yorkshire.
He said: “When I go into a classroom I tell the students only once that I am dyslexic, I have some difficulties in my spelling and sometimes in my reading but that is not a barrier. It has made me think outside the box and to find ways of using new technology to teach.”
In my work I meet many amazing teachers who are dyslexic. Being challenged by certain aspects of learning and literacy makes them divergent, understanding and strategic when it comes to assisting their students to find the way that they learn the best. I am not surprised that Edward Vickerman has won this award and now goes on to judge other teachers in his role as a judge. Who would have thought that teaching would be a chosen career for somebody with dyslexia, but remember with determination individuals can achieve their goals.
Wishing you and your child every success.
Liz Dunoon

Dyslexic Strengths

November 26th, 2013 No comments

Here is a great infographic that should be used as a poster in any childs room. Show that dyslexia is a gift of strengths.

dyslexia strengths, dislexic strenghts, dyslexia infographic

Advantages of being dyslexia and the strengths they poses.

Categories: Helping Children With Dyslexia Tags: