4th December 2014: Dyslexia; What It Is And How It Has Affected Me by Alex Dunedin

Alex Dunedin Portrait

Come along to The Counting House at 7pm to listen to Alex’s talk. Share a crust of bread, and hear the thoughts he has to share…

Title of talk:

Dyslexia: What It Is And How It Has Affected Me

Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

  • The early years and tears: what I could not understand about primary school
  • Trying to fit into a schooling system: life in secondary school
  • Freedom: The beginning of my interest in academic learning
  • Trying out the science of Oxford Neurosciences department
  • Oculo-motor synchronisation: Eyes moving together
  • Dark-light adaptation: Pupils reacting to available light
  • Practical understandings I have of my own experience


A few paragraphs on your subject:

I grew up profoundly dyslexic which led to a lot of confusion as I tried to get to grips with something I did not believe was real. I often found that I could achieve a given task if let be to find a way to do it on my own terms. I was convinced that everyone had got it wrong and was misrecognising my abilities. Only when I left school did I start to gain a passion for academic subjects, as I encountered them through people’s interests and intrigues.
Whilst doing library research for an organisation I came into contact with the work of Dr Alexandra Richardson, who was a senior research fellow at Oxford Neurosciences. With scepticism I followed the advice she gave and supplemented with EPA and DHA; it changed my ability to see things but not the way I thought or lived. I understood that dyslexia was a grossly misunderstood phenomenon, even by the people who had it (i.e. me).
I came to be very interested in the work of Dr Richardson as it was the first physical data on a word which had come to represent so many barriers in my life. The ideas made sense, and most importantly, they worked on double blind cross over placebo controlled studies. This made me reflect and reappraise my experiences of learning and how I learn, the sociology of what we attach to a word like dyslexia, and the sense of ‘otherness’ which can so easily come to affect our understanding of how we perceive people.
This talk is to share and compare the personal experience and the published science around what is still a very misunderstood condition – Dyslexia

A few paragraphs about you:

I am someone who loves to learn from others. What is most important to me is the ability to have a conversation with people about a subject, if I am to get to grips with it. This is one thing which has led me to get involved in community and informal learning.
I was in my mid twenties before I started to read and since then have found a deep passion for books, knowledge and learning. I believe that – under the right circumstances and with the right resources, everyone is capable of learning anything.

What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend to others if they wish to explore your chosen theme further?



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