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What do I do?
I am based in a friendly office at Ty Gwydr (The Greenhouse) in Bangor, and my work is not just about dyslexia, but also other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as Dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Disorder. My overall aim is to help individuals develop strategies which will see them through their studies, and into their working lives.

"Meg, in her role as a one to one support tutor, makes you feel at ease, while
supporting your individual thinking in a relaxed, friendly environment".

TK (BSc Psych 2:1)

As a very experienced and highly qualified specialist tutor, I support adults in the North Wales area. Most are students at Bangor (undergraduate and postgraduate), but members of the wider community can also be catered for. My degree was in English and Music, but I also support students across a wide range of subjects.

I have helped develop study skills in adults and children in the North Wales area for over 20 years from postgraduate students to secondary/upper primary school pupils, and adults in work. We are very lucky to live in North Wales, because of the expertise and long research/teaching history of the Miles Dyslexia Centre (part of Bangor University Psychology department).

What exactly are 'dyslexia', 'dyspraxia', etc.?
These names really just refer to the different shaped minds which often have developed compensatory capabilities. These strategies can often lead to the individual having a unique, creative view of the world with which they have to interact.

This condition is not an illness and has nothing to do with intelligence. It is usually characterised by slower than average visual and/or auditory processing and weak working memory. Relating the different sounds in words to the written symbol can frequently present a difficulty and syllables may be confused, because there is often a difficulty with sequencing information. This confusion may be apparent when a task involves generating a large piece of text to present information. There may also be difficulties when presenting information verbally.

This can often show itself in an individual's difficulties with fine motor coordnation. Hand writing can prove challenging and is often slow, illegible and can result pain in the arm or hand. Often time management may be a problem (this is in common with dyslexia) and strategies have to be learned, which can deal with this. Routines can be difficult to established due to weak working memory. Sequencing information can be a difficulty when writing or speaking and some may have problems with stammering, especially when anxious.

Attention Deficit (with or without hyperactivity)
An individual may not be able to focus on a given task due to the amount of competing distraction in the environment or in their own thoughts. This can lead to restlessness and a need to take frequent productive breaks in order to see the task through to completion. Time management is often a serious issue in AD(H)D, but frequently individuals with this assessment successfully complete some tasks very quickly. Maintaining a sustained effort on longer tasks can be difficult for someone who finds filtering out distraction challenging.

Scotopic Sensitivity / Meares-Irlen Syndrome
This is a very common condition affecting individuals who have dyslexic/dyspraxic difficulties. It is not as alarming as it sounds. Many people find that they cannot tolerate the look of black print on very white paper. The print may appear to distort, or the background glare and flash. All of this can make the eyes very tired.

It is not a problem caused by the eyes, but is how the brain perceives the high contrast, although when this is being assessed by a suitably qualified optometrist, they will need to check the eyes first in order to rule out any optical problems which may be causing print ditortion. If there is found to be a problem, it is generally very easily sorted out by the provision of coloured overlays or filter spectacles.

Stress and anxiety
Dealing with these difficulties can be hard work and many people who do not experience them, do not fully understand the problem. This can lead to great anxiety and can be very depressing. If a child takes longer or has to work harder to achieve the same result as their peers when dealing with literature based academic work, they may be accused of being lazy or stupid and this can be very destructive of their self-esteem.

The important point is that everybody is an individual and there is no one sort of dyslexia, dyspraxia. I believe that it is vitally important to treat people as individuals and decide which strategies can be developed in support sessions, which will work for them.

Nid yw'r gwasanaeth ar gael trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yn anffodus, ond fe allai eich arwain at rhywun arall- dim ond i chi ofyn!