Guest Article: The Gift of Dyslexia

Rita Treacy from Wordsworth Literacy Programme writes about how dyslexia paved the way for her career. Thanks to Rita for sharing her story. We will be reviewing the Wordworth Literacy Programme over the Easter holidays.
When I was eighteen years of age and in my first year of third level education, I was informed that I was Dyslexic. My first reaction was to question what it meant and whether there was a cure.  Over time, I learned that it was a specific learning disorder that took on many guises, labels and stigmas. It certainly produced a “reluctance” to be put in a position that would expose the problem and as a consequence my ‘avoidant’ behaviours’ were often misinterpreted. Frequently the literacy component is not identified and, in my case, attending an all Irish secondary school certainly compounded the problem.
My own experience included a number of problem areas e.g. word finding difficulties, reading accuracy and comprehension problems, spelling and written expression difficulties and like many others before me, I managed to struggle my way through tertiary education. This was enabled by adopting and more importantly by developing many learning strategies, along the way, which sparked the beginning of my quest to find a logical intervention to a very common and worldwide problem.
Firsthand experience of dyslexia inspired me to create The WordsWorth Literacy Programme. My SLT background and experience working with a wide and varied child and adolescent caseload, coupled with my own “learning strategies” provided the impetus and means to do this.
It is my intention to make the WordsWorth Literacy Programme available throughout Ireland, to schools and in the home for improving reading and spellings skills and making the acquisition of competent literacy skills “affordable”, “available” and “inclusive”. The outcome will help to support essential and stretched educational facilities and services e.g. Resource and Learning Support Services. Other benefits include the following:

  • Reduce the number of children under-achieving, failing at school and consequently not reaching their true potential in life.
  • Reduce the number of “Early school leavers” and the concomitant negative impact this has on society.
  • Promote “inclusion” rather than “exclusion” for all school children to reduce isolation and disenfranchisement.
  • To offer a vehicle to promote collaboration between teacher, parents and students.
  • Improve Ireland’s international ranking for “literacy”.

For further information about the WordsWorth Literacy Programme, or my Private Practice, please logon to the website www.wordsworthlearning.com

Rita Treacy has 25 years experience in the field of Speech and Language Therapy (SLT), specialising in the area of literacy (reading and spelling) disorders.
Over the last 18 years she has created and developed the WordsWorth Literacy Programme © which is a unique methodology to accelerate and improve the development of competent reading and spelling skills in the English language.
Following one year clinical experience in the HSE Community Care SLT services in Dublin, she went to Australia for four years. She worked there part-time on a ‘School Therapy Team’ and part-time as an employee in a Private Practice, which had a special interest in Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD).  After returning to Ireland in 1990 she began working with the St. John of God, Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Services in Dublin and from 1993 she was Principal Speech & Language Therapist & Head of Department in the Lucena Clinic – Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services.
In 2002 she started a full time Private Practice specialising in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of language & literacy disorders.
In 2009 she established a new Company called WordsWorth Learning Ltd. That was created specifically to develop a web enabled version of the WordsWorth Literacy Programme. She holds a BSc. (Hons) Degree in Remedial Linguistics from Trinity College, Dublin (1986).

0 thoughts on “Guest Article: The Gift of Dyslexia”

  1. Rita’s story is really inspiring. Despite being dyslexic she still managed to finished her studies and contribute a lot to the society. People with disability are most of the time the ones being successful because they strive hard to be the best that they can be.

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