How to stop the “Tinys” from dropping into Dyslexia

Having taught creative imaginative dyslexics how to improve their literacy, for over two decades, by using their visual skills, it seems obvious to offer these skills to the very young to help them scaffold into phonics skills.  As we all know, prevention is much better than assessment, treatment, etc.

Scaffolding is an expression used in the early years to show how new skills can be developed by using existing strengths to support the transition.  This is exactly how word recognition skills can be used to improve phonic learning.  The principle of scaffolding will prepare early years with visual literacy skills that match their visual strengths, and hence when they move onto phonics; the phonemes will simply drop into their existing images of words.

Even the Department of Education acknowledges two parts to learning to read.  “Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words” [DfE].  The former is taught later, but word recognition can start much earlier, giving the student valuable scaffolding for phonics later. 

Empowering Learning has constantly built on visual strengths, and Tinys are creative geniuses with exceptional mental imagery.  Notice how visualisation helps them develop visual thinking skills for creativity, problem-solving, memory, critical thinking, curiosity, imagination, invention, and so much more; skills that are so much in demand for every human endeavour and supported by the early years curriculum.

To further explore this concept with young children, we are asking nurseries, preschools and parents to engage with this project to stop Tinys from dropping into Dyslexia.  Entitled Scaffold for Easy Literacy, we have initially created a video and materials to support parents and preschool practitioners.  Here is the link to our learning resource. There is a small change of £6 to join the project, but for September/October use the code Tinys101 to signup for lifetime free. We will add more valuable videos, resources, experiences, etc., into this collection and share our stories.  I encourage you to let us have yours.

Join our journey and see how you can help young children love literacy.  Together we can explore how to stop young children from dropping into Dyslexia.  Just imagine what that would do?  Dramatically reduce stress, costs and time wasted on a strategy that doesn’t work for some creative youngsters.

If you first want to know more about how visual learning can reduce Dyslexia, do join our free on-line webinar called “Ready to try a New Strategy for Dyslexia”. Link here to book.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me
Here you will find my learning platform for some of my training programmes
You will find other useful information and Practitioner Training at
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources:
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

#dyslexia #dyslexiaforvisualkids #olivehickmott #visuallearning #neurodiversity #literacy

About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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1 Response to How to stop the “Tinys” from dropping into Dyslexia

  1. Some people disagree with this post, that’s OK if you don’t think it is possible to avoid Dyslexia, that is your opinion. I have taught so many highly creative imaginative children and adults to spell, read and crack comprehension in just a few hours, I believe literacy is in the gift of everyone, with the tuition that matches their strengths. When dyslexics learn how to use mental images to improve spelling and reading, they keep all their exceptional visual skills for creativity, problem solving, etc; indeed they often get better. Once you understand the neuroscience the solution is so obvious.

    The only trouble is what would you like to call a Dyslexic who has mastered literacy? The very label means problems with words, but these people don’t have problems with words any longer. So I say they may have Perspectius – genius level ability to see different perspectives simultaneously. Why would you deny anyone the skill to read and spell, because nobody taught them to visualise words?

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