On Monday last, 20th April 2009, the founding members of the Offaly Dyslexia Group were proud to present the opportunity for parents to register their children for the forthcoming Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) workshops. The in-inaugural pre-registration parents meeting was held at Daingean National School and was a great success, with the parents of nine children attending.

The meeting was opened by David Walsh, (Chair) who welcomed the parents and briefly introduced the committee members, tutors Susan McGann (workshop co-ordinator), Elaine Norris and Ethne Crowley. Also present was Ms Mary Ball of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland.

Mary Ball, DAI spoke briefly about the aim of the DAI and what to expect from the workshops for children with Dyslexia. Susan McGann (workshop co-ordinator) gave a brief run-down of what to expect in practical terms. Following this there was the opportunity for a questions and answers session, which proved to be lively.

Afterwards the tutors spoke with each parent and some of the children on an individual basis, accompanied by a quick review of their psycho-educational assessment. Parents were re-assured that tuition would be aimed to fulfil the children’s individual needs, with group tutoring and private tutoring combined.

Dyslexia is considered to be a specific learning disability, which means that mainstream teaching cannot always provide the assistance required. DAI workshops provided by the Offaly Dyslexia Group endeavour to introduce learning skills to children who are affected by this condition.

The key to success is to find an alternative learning style by which these children will succeed. Sadly mainstream schools follow only one academic pattern, which does not allow for alternative learning styles, therefore workshops provided by DAI affiliated groups, such as the Offaly Dyslexia Group are invaluable.

The one clear goal which is clearly identified by those with experience of tutoring dyslexic children is that their self esteem is greatly improved as a result of being taught in a way specific to their needs. This in itself is a great triumph on the part of those concerned and often is the motivator needed to accelerate the learning process.

The Offaly Dyslexia Group are thankful for the generosity of The EBS Building Society Community Fund, The Community Foundation For Ireland, The OAK Partnership and Mahon Oil. Also for the tenacity of those parents whose determination to help their children find the help that they require. Without them, the Offaly Dyslexia Group would not exist.

After months of planning and a lot of hard work the group can proudly look forward to DAI workshops commencing on Monday 27th April.

For more information please contact the Offaly Dyslexia Group.