This month Shae speaks to Neil Alexander-Passe a world-renowned researcher in the field of teenagers and adults with dyslexia.

Neil went to an art college after school with 5 O levels. Neil went to Art College (university) to gain a BA Hons in Graphic Design and was the start of a 19-year career as a graphic designer in banks, advertising companies, magazine and travel companies. He studied an MPhil, a part-time research masters in dyslexia and emotional coping (1999-2004). This was the start of a transition into SEN (special educational needs). First as a disability employment adviser for Remploy (2010) and secondly training to be a teacher (2010-11). 

SEN in schools has reduced from 21.1% to 14.4% in UK schools over the last 6 years. (UK National Statistic, 2016) They have changed the way that they record it. Before it was recorded by need and now it’s the provision served. 5 0r 6 % have a need but no help. He mentioned about the postcode lottery as to whether you can get SEND in UK schools. 

Despite being Dyslexic, Neil managed to overcome challenges. In 2005, he gained an MPhil on researching how dyslexic teenagers cope using measures of self-esteem, coping and depression, leading to a spell as a postgraduate researcher. In 2010 he published his first book ‘Dyslexia and Depression: The Hidden Sorrow’.

He is passionate about understanding the difficulties and trauma many dyslexics face whilst at school.  In 2010 he retrained as a teacher and has worked in special needs in both primary and secondary education. Becoming the head of SEND in a secondary school has meant that he has been able to understand and address different kinds of special needs. He stands for early assessment in schools, as a result, he has presented to MP’s and peers on educational policy.

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You can find out more about Neil, his work and his books go the Dyslexia Research 

This podcast is sponsored by Untapped. Untapped is about working with organisations to develop a sustainable neurodiverse employment ecosystem. This includes the NeurodiversityHub initiative that assists students to become more work-ready and increase their chances of securing a job.

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