Background to the establishment of the Support Group
In 1991 a group of parents advised by some teachers noticed that their children had some learning difficulties. On closer inspection and with the help of an Educational Psychologist they found out that this difficulty had a name, it was and is called Dyslexia.
Obviously this came as a surprise to most parents as most of them had never heard of this learning difficulty. Parents began to seek more information on dyslexia in the UK. Many found a lot of informative information and ways of dealing with it.
The Gibraltar Department of Education was a little bit behind the UK on recognising, diagnosing and dealing with dyslexia and some parents felt very alone in their struggle to help their children succeed in their education.
The more parents found out about dyslexia, the more they realised that it was not only their child who was suffering from it. This was very upsetting, that so many children were going through school without ever being recognised as dyslexic. This would have very negative consequences on their education and lives in general. But at the same time it was a blessing for those with dyslexia to know that they were not alone and for their parents to have other parents who also knew what they were going through.
It was time to get together and start making a difference in schools to help children be recognised and helped, so on the 8th April 1992 the Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group was formed.
The Support Group brought a way for parents to be able to get their children diagnosed by an Educational Psychologist privately as the Education Department was at times unwilling to test children. It was a big support for parents and children, with some times just chatting with some one in the same circumstances being very helpful.
The group also pushed the Education Department to think about their stance on dyslexia and how they were going to deal with it. More and more parents were finding out that their children were dyslexic and began to push the ED to improve their teaching methods and support for their children.
For many years the Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group was an important and essential part of Gibraltar. Giving hope to parents and children alike, that they could succeed in life and there was help at last.
Sadly over the years these children have grown up and left school, parents stood down from the committee and the Support Group slowly became inactive. Until a young dyslexic, who was a child of one of the founders when the Group was originally started, decided to get involved with the good work his parents had done. When he inquired about the group he was informed that it were no longer active.
He noticed that there was still work to be done in the schools and that families needed support. They needed someone they could contact when finding out that their child is dyslexic.
He together with parents and teachers began to rebuild on the work that had been done in the past, with a new committee, new ideas and with more understanding as many involve are themselves dyslexic.
Today the support group is still made up volunteers but will always welcome fresh ideas.