Rising sun trainings for Neurodiversity

Photo by Flo Maderebner on Pexels.com

Due to popular demand from countries where the sun rises 12 hours before the UK, I am doing 3 FREE early morning live workshops, 8am in the UK, 7pm in New Zealand, etc. Of course all are welcome, whatever time of the day it is for you. Just click the link below and register to find out more details:

Exploring Metal Pictures, August 1st: https://www.learndesk.us/live/5066873454460928/explore-mental-pictures

Ready to Try a Different Strategy for Dyslexia, August 2nd: https://www.learndesk.us/live/5843807151063040/mon-wed-ready-to-try-a-different-strategy-for-dyslexia

Ready to try a Different Strategy for ADHD, August 3rd: https://www.learndesk.us/live/5622308976721920/ready-to-try-a-different-strategy-for-adhd

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here you will find my learning platform for some of my training programmes  www.visualkids.co.uk
You will find other useful information and Practitioner Training at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#Dyslexia #ADHD #neurodiversity #Empoweringlearning #olivehickmott

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I am a Featured Speaker at the FREE Teachers Matter Online Summit

I’m super excited to announce that I am one of the 27 featured speakers at the 2022 Teachers Matter Online Summit on the 15-17th July 2022.

It is all about Renewing your Pedagogy, Refreshing your Leadership and Reviving Your Wellbeing, and it is FREE!!

The world is literally changing so fast and so is the face of teaching. Whether you are teaching online or face to face, navigating anxiety, stress or overwhelm, or looking for ideas to be the best you can, this  event is for you!

It is packed full of practical ideas from heart centred speakers and perfect for teachers, principals and educators at all levels of schooling.

My talk is … “How Mental Imagery supports Creativity and Accelerates Learning. You can find more details here:www.teachersmattersummit.com

Best of all it is FREE to attend! Check out the summit details and get your FREE ticket today by clicking HERE: https://olivehickmott–spectrumeducation.thrivecart.com/tmos-22-free-ticket/

I look forward to seeing you there and adding value to you and your students learning.

P.S. Please forward this email to any friends, family or Teachers who you think might benefit from knowing about this summit!

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here you will find my learning platform www.visualkids.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#teachersmatter22   #teachersmatter   #onlinesummit #olivehickmott #empoweringlearning #mentalimagery

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Dyslexia assessment is fine but prevention is so much better

I recently read this article, in the Metro about Matt Hancock’s experience of being Dyslexic and his Dyslexia Campaign for universal screening in primary schools in England.

In his words this means that no child leaves school not knowing if they are Dyslexic.

Matt talks about how learning word shapes has helped him, but thanks to neuroscience we know that competent readers/spellers store millions of whole words as mental images in their Word Form Area (WFA), adjacent to the Occipital Lobe, the visual centre (see picture). This is how word recognition develops.

We have 22 years experience of enabling Dyslexics to learn these skills, simply and easily we know exactly how to learn the basics in less than an hour. Furthermore giving these skills to teachers and parents of the very young should be able to dramatically reduce the incidence of Dyslexia in schools.

To learn more go to www.visualkids.co.uk and book on my next “Ready for a new strategy for Dyslexia”, live event. Monday 4th July at 7pm UK time.

Dyslexia assessment is fine but prevention is so much better!

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#dyslexia #empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #mentalimagery #matthancock #wordrecognition #wordformarea #metro #WFA

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Let’s avoid Dyslexia: Simple ways parents could help

Children who learn to visualise words don’t develop Dyslexia. So how do we encourage young children to visualise words, even before school and any formal teaching. The Word Form Area (WFA) is an area in their brain that has mental images of words used for word recognition. The answer is simple and you don’t need to be taught how to do this you can simply learn in the right environment.

For free live group coaching sessions register here Ready to try a Different Strategy for Dyslexia. The one scheduled for July 4th is about helping children avoid Dyslexia, even if it runs in the family. You will also be able to download a full version of this note.

Step 1: Make friends with your own mental images.   This is a useful skill for any learning. Without pressure, a child can explore their own mental images for objects and people.  For example, if they are talking about elephants, ask them what colour theirs are and don’t be surprised when you are told rainbow coloured elephants doing ninja dancing.   There are no right answers to mental imagery, they are your pictures, and you are not being asked to judge them.  Here are some examples of how to do this:

  • Help them explore their own mental images, e.g. looking at pictures and talking about the details.   
  • Talk about life events they can recall or make up
  • When reading a story, encourage the child to make up pictures in their head so they can remember their favourite bits.  These pictures can be still or videos and may not match yours; they may be better!  Have you ever read a book and then seen the film, and the story doesn’t match your imagination?
  • After a parent reads a book, the child may like to look through favourite books and make up their own stories, encouraging a vivid imagination.
  • You/they can make up imaginary characters and animals; the crazier, the better.
  • Notice how your child may like waking up and just turning the pages of a favourite book, with no pressure to read, but gaining an awareness of words all on their own.
  • You may notice them look up when they are talking about their pictures – this in excellent and the best place to visualise.
  • Follow their interests in a self-directed way.

p.s. they have pictures in their head of you at 6 weeks old, that is how they recognise you and smile.

Step 2: How to build up your Word Form Area (WFA) without instruction?  Help them get used and familiar with being able to picture letters and words before beginning any formal instruction, which may not even be needed. By simply seeing words in a non-threatening way, they will invisibly start building words in the WFA.  It is essential to stay relaxed.  If the child gets stressed or feels put on the spot to “get it right”, their anxiety mounts,  memory is poor, and the letters may even start dancing around on the paper. 

  • Their name usually is the first word they recognise; why?  Because they have seen it the most times and naturally popped it in their WFA.
  • Stick post-its of object words around the house, on the object, just above their eye level.  Perhaps different colours for fun.  Preferably one-syllable words to start with, e.g. door on door, cup on cup, wall on wall.  Don’t make a fuss about them, just leave them there.  Perhaps add a few more on to favourite places like the fridge door too, e.g. eggs, cheese and pop. You can also use a favourute teddy, as in the picture.
  • By simply seeing words in a non-threatening way, they will invisibly start building words in the WFA.  It is essential to stay relaxed.  If the child gets stressed or feels put on the spot to “get it right”, their anxiety mounts,  memory is poor, and the letters may even start dancing around on the paper.  Please don’t ask the child what the word is; wait until they recognise it or ask you.  Waiting for the child to ask has the added bonus they are more likely to remember it.
  • Words are all around them; in books, on street signs, shop signs (like Tesco), shopping lists, etc. and they will be secretly stashing these away in their WFA for the day, they proudly announce, “I can read”.

These have all been noun words which is the place to start and neuroscience has explained why this is so. For more details as to how to start recognising non-nouns register here and select July 4th, for a live class for young children and a free download. I has been teaching dyslexic children for 22 years. I can assure you it is easier for very young children to learn these basic skills of word recognition before going to school, where they will need to master phonics, when a little older, for more difficult words.

For free live group coaching sessions register here Ready to try a Different Strategy for Dyslexia. The one scheduled for July 4th is about helping children avoid Dyslexia, even if it runs in the family.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#dyslexia #empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #mentalimagery #selfdirectedlearning #wordrecognition #wordformarea #WFA

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Your child’s strengths for creativity….

types-1Today, we have young children with strong visual skills for creativity, imagination, problem solving and so much more. These are natural skills are in high demand for a multitude of 21st century challenges. They stem from having good mental images from our first days in the planet -how else do we recognise our parents? Mental imagery is their natural way of learning – but, great imagery is not acknowledged or used to help their learning journey in school. In fact creativity still can often be discouraged. Why is this? 

  • Schools teach to an outdated curriculum, and then measure performance against it, without space for  valuing individuals strengths.
  • Maybe their parents or teachers don’t value their own mental images.
  • Creative answers to any question may not match the national curriculum.
  • Teachers and parents have not been taught that creating mental images of words is essential for fluent reading and spelling in English, before or in parallel with phonics
  • Maybe dyslexia is becoming a “badge of honour”, but many others share dyslexic strengths without struggling with literacy. 
  • Children rarely get the opportunity to follow their passions.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.

You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk

Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk

You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk

Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott

My latest books are:

The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.

Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

Recover Your energy– this book will energise you

You too can do health 

#creativity #mentalimagery 

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If letters move on the page are you Dyslexic?

Answer: Yes and No

Many Dyslexics see letters moving on the page, but this is often caused by a mixture of stress and having an active visual brain. The more the person gets stressed the faster the letters move and may even fall on the floor. So 20 years ago we explored what happened if you helped them reduce their stress. The result was that the letters stopped moving – magic!

Highly visual people who are not dyslexic can do the same when very stressed, or when they encounter a new complicated word.

So how do you help them remove their stress. Here are some simple ways to start:

  • Gently breath in and out through your nose right down into your belly, to create better relaxation.
  • Pick up anything you are trying to read so you are looking up, like reading a newspaper. This will help you access your visual field and get you out of negative emotions associated with past experiences. Many people get an instant improvement by just moving the book.
  • Make sure they start by reading something simple that they are really interested in, to build confidence, motivation and reduce anxiety
  • If you have permission gently stroke their back (Havening technique) to create calm.
  • Sit or stand in a quiet place away from distractions.
  • Don’t ask them to read aloud as that creates performance anxiety. Read to the dog, cat or themselves, until their confidence grows.

Using colored overlays or tinted glasses help very severe cases, but first check out the list above and see what you can achieve – success will boost your self confidence. Please let us know your results and you are welcome to come back with questions.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #dyslexia #lettersmove #mentalimagery

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Neurodivergent brains think differently, so lets help them learn differently

Join one of the free sessions to explain the role mental imagery plays in learning. Dates through to end of August now available. Take a look at www.visualkids.co.uk for all the details.

There are 3 different sessions, plus one new one and even a special for tiny’s to avoid Dyslexia:

Ready to try a different Strategy for Dyslexia? Struggling with literacy is no joke for you or your child. Modelled on successful people we now know exactly how to enable children to learn quickly and easily. In just 1 hour your will go away with invaluable insights. The event on the 4th July will be a special, giving parents invaluable knowledge to enable very young children to avoid developing Dyslexia – don’t think this is possible, we know it is.

Ready to try a different strategy for ADHD? Have you every heard mental imagery mentioned in the same sentence as ADHD – I doubt it. We know there is a huge that people are just ignoring. Come and join this 60 minute class and learn more.

If you don’t think your mental images are great, come and join Explore Mental Imagery and see if you can recover yours in just 1 hour.

Now how about our new class Support Your Highly Sensitive Child and Yourself. It will be released in the next couple of days and is bound to be a popular topic.

These sessions are suitable for home schoolers, parents and teachers – you will all learn essential skills. I have just updated the calendar to show dates available until the end of August. Just go to www.visualkids.co.uk and select whichever date works for you.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #ADHD #dyslexia #newperspective #neurodiversity #HSPs #mentalimagery

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3 simple things to explore about ADHD

ADHD isn’t just about behaviors. Once you understand what is driving the behaviors, you will be able to create a calmer life for you and the whole family.

What are the 3 key things I have noticed in 22 years working with neurodivergent children and adults. And these will help those people who are stuck in long delays waiting for a diagnosis.

The are regular FREE coaching sessions to help you learn more. Just follow the link a choose the best date for you.

  1. Are they a mouth or a nose breather? In the USA it is estimated that 60-70% of those with ADHD are mouth breathers. Join us to find out why and what you can do
  2. Disrupted sleep – lack of quantity and quality has major effects on what you can do the next day
  3. Fast moving mental imagery – Many people have extraordinary mental images, that are invaluable for all sorts of learning tasks, especially creativity. But they can get completely out of control, and move too quickly to be useful. There are simple skills to learn how to “make friends with your images”.

I would like to introduce you to some of the causes lurking behind the behaviors. You will be amazed how they give you different perspectives, for you, your family and your students.

I am on a mission to celebrate the gifts of neurodiversity, whilst reducing the negatives, through a better understanding of mental imagery.  You have probably never heard ADHD mentioned in the same sentence as mental imagery, breathing, sleeping and grounding.  These are some of the missing keys.

ADHD seems to be on the increase. Knowledge creates understanding and offers you simple ideas to turn around situations.

For example:

  • Poor breathing reduces oxygenation in your brain that in turn causes your brain to go even faster!
  • Being grounded can slow down your own mental images; a relief for a busy brain
  • stress from various topics like poor literacy, “Covid disruption”, school challenges can create ADHD like symptoms.
  • mental imagery is a fabulous creative skill, you can easily optimise how you use it.

Using your existing visual skills, you can conquer confusion with just a few simple “how-to’s”.  You have amazing visual strengths, and maybe time you learned how to use them more effectively. Choose one of these live sessions when I will teach anyone these skills.  As a bonus, confidence and calmness will improve too. 

To help parents whose bright creative children maybe struggling, this is offered for free. These children are the great minds of the future.

So click here to book your place now

Can you imagine how much happier your creative, imaginative child would be when they realise they can be happy and healthy without all their confusion? In just 1 hour you will know the answer for yourself.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #ADHD #confusion #newperspective #neurodiversity

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The Wall of Awful Literacy

Here is a very simple way to improve literacy for highly creative, imaginative students.

I listened to Brandan Mahan (ADHDessentials.com) recently talking about The Wall of Awful – a metaphor to describe how students get stuck and how they can start knocking down the bricks.  We can all build up walls to protect us from things we find hard.  Although Brendan developed this great metaphor for ADHD, it is just as appropriate to us all, when we get stuck.

It resonated with how we enable creative, imaginative, often Dyslexic students to improve literacy and numeracy through the use of their internal mental images, that are already strong for pictures.  So, this is my interpretation of the Wall of Awful when applied to using visual skills for literacy and numeracy, through the lens of Empowering Learning (www.empoweringlearning.co.uk). Thank you Brendan.

The emotions in these walls can grow rapidly as we repeatedly fail. What emotions are in your wall? – disappointment, rejection, fear, shame, failure, want to quit, being bullied, comparison with other students, worry, impulsive, feeling stupid, feeling ashamed of myself.

So, what can we do about the Wall of Awful for Literacy.

1.      Stare at it (freeze)

Unfortunately staring at the problem without changing your approach is not going to help.

2.      Go around it (flight)

  • Get parents to do your homework
  • Do only what you know that you are good at and leave the rest – the problem here is that the wall gets wider the more you practice this one and you get left behind.
  • You are also practising incompetence with the wrong skills.

3.      Get angry and throw things around (fight)

Many parents and teachers will have seen this one in action and although it generates a bit more energy, it is unlikely to be channeled in the right direction.

4.      Put doors in the Wall

This is where the useful strategies start.  How can the student start to change the emotions and create doors and windows in the wall? The object is to quickly and easily move the student from “I can’t, I’m stupid” to “I can do that.”  Some people refer to these as brain hacks or scaffolding. Note that 1-5 are just as appropriate to ADHD as Dyslexia and poor literacy.  The big thing here is to do something different rather than keep repeating what the student can’t do, that only creates more bricks as they practice incompetence. We need to see them turn on their learning switch.

  1. You can change the environment by for example taking breaks, move, going out in the garden, exercising, laying down, walking around, playing motivational music, etc
  2. Look up – things are looking up and you will be out of negative emotions.
  3. Work on the student’s interests and their strengths. Reading and spelling best relates to anything that interests them.
  4. Good breathing, sleep and grounding to calm mental images. Tracing a labyrinth may also help.
  5. Using coloured overlays or tinted glasses
  6. Check out simple primitive reflexes that maybe retained
  7. Raising the book when reading, will get them out of negative emotions
  8. Get out of performance anxiety by reading aloud to the dog, a baby or yourself
  9. Start with the easy stuff
  10. Scribe for your kids without changing anything or use Dragon.  Then ask the child to read their own words back – can be amazing
  11. Suggest reading comics that have speech bubbles in capital letters
  12. Write in capital letters
  13. DK or Barrington stoke books may help
  14. Copy down writing without looking at the paper
  15. Find just one word several times in a book, like squirrel and as they are searching see what happens.
  16. Write on the wall so you don’t look down.
  17. Make the student feel safe
  18. When someone is reading a story (parent or teacher), make up pictures or movies in your head so you can remember
  19. Apologise to the student, it is not your fault – you aren’t being taught in a way that works for you.  There is nothing wrong with you, the educational system is out of date for highly creative, imaginative students.

5.      Climb the Wall, you need hand-holds to make progress, which takes effort

Look at www.empoweringlearning.co.uk, we have a network of trained practitioners who have extensive experience in visual learning and in particular using images of words, to improve literacy and images of numbers to improve numeracy.  Join one of my Dyslexia workshops. You can register at www.visualkids.co.uk. Here is a summary of the steps:

  1. Give the student a brief summary of the neuroscience, brain plasticity, breathing, sleeping and grounding – why the topics above (1-19) work.
  2. Learn to visualise words. Practice with small nouns (start with the easiest, success increases dopamine/motivation and slowly get longer)
  3. Move to longer nouns
  4. Explain how to do non-nouns
  5. Check out other primitive reflexes that maybe retained and sensory differentiation to reduce sensory overload.
  6. Move away from looking at behavior to being curious about what is driving the behavior.
  7. Learn touch typing
  8. Read out loud to others
  9. Decode new words with phonics
  10. Reduce sibling rivalry
  11. When at your desk look up when writing
  12. Parents or an Empowering Learning coach can get you started.  Rapid practice of successes is essential for building confidence
  13. Visualise number triangles to help with times tables
  14. Use techniques such as EFT (tapping) or Energetic NLP, to release sticky emotions. Feel the feeling and learn how to release it.  Squashing it down, it will just explode later.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
You can check out some new resources on my learning platform www.visualkids.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you

#dyslexia #empoweringlearning #neurodivergent # creative #olivehickmott #visualise

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Have you heard of Twinkl?

I was delighted to be interviewed by Dylan Morgan, Content Executive at Twinkl recently for his article Living with Dyslexia from those who know best. Several people contributed their lived experiences, that makes for an interesting read here. Enjoy.

Twinkl is a British educational publishing house, producing teaching and educational materials. They have a vast range of resources, many of which are free. For more information go to https://www.twinkl.co.uk/

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
You can check out some new resources on my learning platform www.visualkids.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #dyslexia #neurodiversity @twinklResources

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