Category Archives: Dyslexia

Need help from students with Dyslexia

DyslexiaDyslexia, I need some help.

As some of you may know, I was recently tested and diagnosed with Dyslexia, I knew I had it when I was a kid but it was probably over 20 years ago I was last tested. I was given a good lot of good advice and equipment, mainly a smart pen, dictation and mind map software. The post about it all can be founf at “Studying at the Open University with Dyslexia“.

Anyway its now been a few months and I have been trained in the software and found out what is useful and not useful for me, so I thought happy days. However, now that im doing level 2 module’s I need to take notes for revision and it’s really getting me down !!! All my level 1’s I did without notes and was able to do them fine and with good results, but knowing that I have exams at the end of S283 I really need notes to revise.

I have currently been making them through chapters 1 to 5 (S283) and, I have found it takes about twice the time to make my notes and dictate them (I will explain that later) than it does to do my 2 read through’s of the chapter. So for what used to take 3-4 hours for a chapter now takes up to 10 or 12 hours (Both times exclude answering the questions). This has really sucked the fun out of it for me :(

This is my process:

  • Read the full chapter
  • Re-read the chapter and highlight important info
  • Do notes on each important info
  • Dictate them (This is so I can play back over MP3 while out walking)

Here is an example pic from one of my note pages for S283

Dyslexia NotesI don’t know if it’s just me ore does everyone feels like this? I feel I learn more from doing my research for TMA questions than doing notes.

So I guess my big question is “How do other students with Dyslexia cope with notes ??” I would love your feedback and suggestions.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Dyslexia, S283: Planetary science, Study Notes

Studying at the Open University with Dyslexia

I had known for most of my Primary and Secondary education that I was dyslexic. I was tested when I was about 7 or 8 and I got some help in primary school, but not that much in secondary school.

Now, 15 Years after leaving school with some half decent GCSE results, I’m studying for a Natural Science Degree with the Open University. I had seen sections on their website about studying with disabilities but never really thought it would cover me. Since it has been so long since I was last tested I didn’t even know if I still was dyslexic, or even if it was possible to stop being dyslexic.

Anyway I had noticed a few people talking about DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) on my forums so decided to look into it a little more.  I found the section on the Open University site that gave me lots of information and advice and it can be found here.

I filled in the “Tell us what you need” form online and had a reply within a day saying someone will contact me soon. The next day I got a call from them and was asked a few different questions about my dyslexia.  All straight forward enough and they understood what I was talking about when I was trying to describe what my study problems were.

So it was left that if I wanted to proceed with the help I would need to be tested again, the big down side to this was it would cost me around £200.  Even though it was a lot of money I decided to go for it, if only to get an answer of yes or no to being dyslexic.

A few days later the physiatrist contacted me and I had an appointment a week or so later at the Belfast regional OU office. The test itself was in-depth and lasted about an hour, it included things like spelling, reading, puzzles and a few other bits and pieces. At the end of it she was able to tell me, yes I was dyslexic. She showed me a few graphs showing my IQ in the different areas and even though I was high in some of them I was also low in the spelling ones etc. Apparently this is a good indicator of someone being dyslexic. A week later and I had the full written report for the Open University and DSA application forms.

Two weeks later I got a call from the Open University to arrange an appointment for someone to come out to the house and assess my needs and find out what could help me study. So after this I was told what all I would be given, it included an Echo smartpen, Dictation software reading software and another program to help plan assignments. Also included were a few hours of teaching on the software.

The forms were sorted and sent away. Three weeks passed and I got a letter from a computer store saying my items were in stock and asking where to post them. It turned out the pen wasn’t there and I also needed to fill in a VAT form. So a slight delay but yesterday the box arrived and everything is there. Hopefully I will get the training in the next few weeks, however there is no rush as I have no courses until October.

As I start to use them I will give some more detailed info about what I think of each thing. So even though I had to pay out £200 I received around £700 worth of equipment and software and a £100 a year print allowance.

The whole process took about 2 months and wasn’t that hard to sort out. So if you think you may be dyslexic or need help with your study I would have a look at the “Services for Disabled Students” section of the Open University website.

Some other websites that may help you are:

British Dyslexia Association


Dyslexia Action

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Dyslexia