Going to school gave Isabelle Watts panic attacks. Her dyslexia made her feel stupid and she stopped wanting to try to read and write, says her mother. The nine year-old is not alone. In Wales, as elsewhere in the UK, an estimated one in 10 people have dyslexia. WalesOnline reports.
Some children were bullied and suffered anxiety before attending Tomorrow’s Generation in Lisvane – a unit set up by entrepreneur Anders Hedlund, who himself has dyslexia, a condition which causes problems learning to read and write.
Isabelle, like other pupils who attend daily lessons there, has permission to take time away from her mainstream primary to attend one or two days a week.
Pupils don’t wear uniform, address staff by first names, and do not attend full time. They mix one or two days at the unit alongside going to mainstream English and Welsh-medium primaries or home schooling.
And demand for the fee-paying service is growing.
Some bursaries are available for children qualifying for free school meals and as a registered charity Tomorrow’s Generation is a non-profit organisation with all fees going towards its running costs.
Results are remarkable. One former pupil is now a cancer research scientist at Cardiff University and many go on to high school with confidence that they can read and write well enough to access the curriculum.
Crucially, say parents and teachers, the pupils’ often-battered self-esteem is raised at Tomorrow’s Generation where dyslexia is seen as creating a different way of learning rather than a learning difficulty.
Read more about Tomorrow’s Generation No uniform, addressing staff by first name, and writing in shaving foam – inside Wales’ only specialist dyslexia school – Video
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