Seeing Spells Achieving by Olive Hickmott and Andrew Bendefy
|Seeing Spells Achieving by Olive Hickmott and Andrew Bendefy|
|Genre: Home and Family|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A simple method aimed at overcoming the disadvantages of dyslexic symptoms, delivered in a user-friendly book. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 176||Date: January 2006|
|Publisher: MX Publishing|
I felt an immediate empathy with Olive Hickmott when I read this book. We're obviously of a similar age and were taught reading and spelling in a time before you were dyslexic. I found that the terms more commonly used were 'not trying hard enough' and 'lazy'. I did master reading although I was late by today's standards but I've always struggled with spelling: certain words and letter combinations still have terrors hidden within them half a century later and until we changed the format of Bookbag I used to warn reviewers that they should check whatever I uploaded onto the site as I was unreliable when it came to spelling. Olive and I have both been saved by the spellchecker. I settled happily into reading, Olive less so, but we both made careers where numbers were important. I could read a set of accounts like a story; she found a home in engineering. We worked in areas where intuition was important.
Over the years I've found various ways of coping, some of them unconscious, and I smiled as I saw many of them outlined in this book.
Whatever your age being unable to read and spell comfortably is a real disadvantage and it's a problem that traditional methods of teaching tend to exacerbate rather than improve. Olive Hickmott and Andrew Bendefy set out to give a step-by-step guide as to how dyslexia symptoms can be controlled, overcome or even eliminated. I'm not going to attempt to summarise what they suggest as that would seem to be counterproductive and confusing, but I will comment on the way that they do it.
Firstly, I did wonder if a book to help someone with problems in reading and spelling might be something akin to climbing gear for someone with a fear of heights. Rest assured on this point. It is a book but it's as kind and forgiving as a book can be. There are only 164 pages and the font is of a size and type which makes it easily readable. Paragraphs are not overlong and there's plenty of space which allows the eye to focus easily. There's nothing that's superfluous, so you're not going to be struggling through text for the sake of it.
There's plenty of reassurance. Dyslexia is not necessarily a problem – it can be a gift as dyslexics have attributes not always given to those who don't have dyslexia. You're not going to feel like a second class citizen reading this book – you're simply looking at ways of adding to your other skills.
Age is no barrier. The book is designed so that you can use it on your own, use it with someone to help you or use it to help someone else. The steps are clearly outlined and the gradient comfortable. There's guidance and plenty in the way of explanation.
After reading the book I did some work as suggested in the book on my spelling and I've added one or two more techniques to my armoury. I am easier with certain combinations that I was before and I can see ways of improving in other areas. I'm not planning on turning the spell-checker off but then there's no suggestion that you should – why not take all the help that's available?
I can see nothing in this book which would confuse – and you might laugh as you realise why I do most of my reading lying flat on my back with the book at an angle so that my eyes are looking slightly upwards.
Seeing Spells Achieving by Olive Hickmott and Andrew Bendefy is in the Top Ten Books About Language.
Seeing Spells Achieving by Olive Hickmott and Andrew Bendefy is in the Top Ten Book Recommendations From Twitterers.
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